Kathy Cockrum passed away on the morning of March 4, 2014. She had been visited by many caring family members, and had enjoyed frosting cupcakes with her granddaughters several weeks before during a family vacation. Her sisters were with her during her last days, and she was made comfortable with the assistance of many excellent health care providers.
Kathy led a diverse and interesting life. She moved to Chelan, WA after spending her formative years in Western Washington. Kathy was an enthusiastic athlete in high school, enjoying success in singles tennis, and flustering batters with a wicked left-handed softball pitch. Her sister confirms that longtime residents of Chelan still comment to this day about Kathy’s prowess as a player long ago.
She met her husband, Dennis Cockrum, after moving to Chelan. They began dating in high school. They both attended local community colleges, before he attended Washington State University and she attended Eastern Washington University. After graduation, they were married and moved to Omak, WA, where Dennis worked as a pharmacist and Kathy worked for the city and the local school district. Kathy took great pleasure in helping to develop the local softball program, elements of which are still in place today. Kathy also cared very much about many young students she worked with during her time with the school district, often pointing out years later that a local resident had been a student when she had worked for the schools. She also enjoyed playing softball and refereeing local sporting events during this time. She developed a longtime friendship with Shirley Bowden in part through softball, and they enjoyed an annual birthday lunch for many years.
Her sons were born several years after she and Dennis moved to Omak. The care she paid to her boys could only be rivaled by the quality of hot breakfasts offered every morning, along with trips to Omak Lake, local camping spots, and ski trips to the Loup.
Kathy experienced a series of heart conditions beginning in the late 1980’s, culminating with a heart transplant in 1991. The local communities played an integral role in supporting her family, both emotionally and financially, during this time, a fact that was never lost on Kathy, her husband, or her sons. They were and remain eternally grateful for the years of life afforded in part by the efforts of local residents.
After this, Kathy enjoyed watching her children grow, graduate from high school, and attend college. She attended several college graduations, the weddings of her children, and had the amazing opportunity to meet all sorts of granddaughters during her last few years. She enjoyed continued boating trips when physically possible, followed by years of camping in the mountains outside of Omak and driving ATV’s with her husband over the many logging roads nearby. She continued to volunteer for the local HOST reading program, dedicating some of her remaining energy to helping children improve their reading skills.
Kathy was preceded in death by her grandparents and her father. She is survived by her husband, her mother, her two sisters and their husbands, several cousins, as well as her sons, their wives, and her four granddaughters. Their lives were continuingly enriched by the joy she brought to life, as well as the simple wisdom born from that joy.
The family asks that a donation to the East Elementary Accelerated Reading program be considered in memory of Kathy. Donations may be made out to “East Omak Elementary Reading” c/o of East Elementary school, P.O. Box 833, Omak, WA 98841. Kathy would find great pleasure in knowing that children were influenced by her even after her death. A Private Memorial Service is otherwise being held for Kathy. The family thanks her many family, friends, and the local community for their years of support.