Kathleen Ann Reiling was born December 5, 1945, and weighed 2 lbs., 6 oz., at Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Carroll, Iowa. In her second week of life she dropped to 1 lb., 13 oz. The hospital priest said then that if she made it through, she was a miracle baby and that God had a special plan for her. Kathleen stayed at Saint Anthony’s and joined her parents Albert Henry Reiling and Gwendolyn Wynonna (Kruchten) Reiling at home, a healthy young baby, on April 8, 1946. She was the eldest of 11 children.
In her early life Kathy was Al and Gwen’s right hand in caring for the younger children, which she did willingly and lovingly. She went to country school, then to Junior High School in Auburn, Iowa. Kathleen attended Breda High School where she sang with a group of girls who entertained with costumes and props, at various functions throughout the area. At the last performance, the girls were crowned with silver tiaras and a special program for their dedication throughout the four years. Kathleen loved this group.
After graduating high school, Kathleen joined the Sorrowful Mothers Convent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There she worked as a missionary in Barbados, among other things. She left before taking her final vows to pursue a calling from God in another direction.
She worked as a phlebotomist at the University of NE Medical Center in Omaha Nebraska, drawing blood specimens from children and adults. It broke her heart to hear the children cry as she drew their blood so she moved in a new direction through various employments where needed.
Kathleen loved flying with her dad when she was young and doing loops all the way back to the airport. All of her life she enjoyed traveling and camping, visiting the state of Washington and all across Canada. She had a loving smile and a sense of humor that drew perfect strangers into conversation. She was intrigued by computers and electronics of all kinds and had a natural ability to configure components like no one else could. She spent her time studying scripture, loved Doris Day movies, enjoyed puzzles, was fascinated by tiny homes, and was an aspiring wonderful cook.
She has been a guardian angel taking care of family members for one day or for months, whenever and whatever was needed.
Kathleen is preceded in death by her father Albert Reiling, her brothers Dwight Reiling and Alan Reiling. Those that will continue to carry on her spirit are her mother Gwen Reiling, her brothers Jerry (Barb) Reiling, Paul (Nancy) Reiling, and Brian (Denise) Reiling; her sisters Joan Martin, Marilyn (Ken) Loynachan, Joyce Simpson, Jane Reiling, and Nancy (Tim) McDonald; many nieces and nephews; relatives and friends.
She will be loved and missed.