Kathleen Mary (Harlow) Van Drisse was 76 years old when she passed from this earth into heaven on Sunday, January 9, 2022, after an unexpected illness. She was surrounded by her loving family at the time of her passing. Kathleen wrote her own obituary and the following are her words:
My parents were Joseph and Mary (Gallagher) Harlow. I was raised in a lovely home overlooking Lake Michigan in Kewaunee, WI. My childhood was filled with fun filled days swimming in the freezing lake in the summer and ice skating on the rink my father would make for us in the winter.
I had four brothers. I have been told I was spoiled being the only girl, but I don’t remember that being so. My brother, Joey, was a year older than I was and my brothers Jim, David and Peter were younger. My mother died when she was 39 years old – I was 13 years old at the time. I took on the role of “mother” for a few years following her death.
I met my husband, Jerry, when he came to Kewaunee on a Friday night when we were sophomores in high school. Jerry lived on a farm near Luxemburg. We married shortly after we graduated. A day has not gone by that I am not grateful to have met him that Friday night. We have shared our lives together for 59 years. We spent many wonderful times traveling with our 5th wheel camper visiting many national parks throughout the country. Our son, Jon, lived in Germany for several years and we were able to travel throughout Europe while visiting him and his family. We enjoyed hiking, especially our hike down the Grand Canyon. We were snowbirds for many years traveling to FL each winter. We were fortunate to have experienced all of the adventures we had together.
We were blessed with two wonderful children. Our daughter, Christine (Tina) has given us many reasons to be proud. Tina’s daughter Madeline, and husband Todd, died and Tina has shown us what courage and strength are really all about. Tina and Todd blessed us with our grandson, Quinn, who has set a high standard for himself and amazes us by the person he is. He and I were roughly the same age when we both lost a parent.
Our son, Jon, is the kind of person all parents hope their son would be. His thoughtfulness cannot be measured. He and his wife, Karen, brought us much joy with the births of our grandchildren Nicholas and Samantha. Nicholas mirrors his father in many ways, especially his sense of humor and caring heart. Samantha holds a special spot in my heart. I have enjoyed watching her grow into an independent and adventurous young lady.
Our grandchildren have brought us such happiness. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without them, for being a “Nana” was one of the most important things to me. We shared many wonderful times and created many memories together.
I have been blessed with a wonderful life and I have to say I have very few regrets. I was presented a challenge with my diagnosis of Parkinson’s. I faced it head on and fought hard to battle its progression. Jerry has always been my strength throughout our years together, but was especially my supporter since my diagnosis.
Kathleen is survived by her husband, Jerry; daughter, Tina Williquette; son, Jon (Karen) Van Drisse; grandchildren, Nicholas and Samantha Van Drisse and Quinn Williquette; brother, Peter (Linda) Harlow; step-sister, Noralee (Roger) Lautenback; step-brother, Kirk Harlow; sisters-in-law, Nancy Hansen and Mary Kay (Jack) Seidl; and many special friends.
Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Mary Harlow and step-mother Ruth TF Harlow; father-in-law and mother in-law, Fred and Leona Van Drisse; siblings, Joseph, James and David Harlow; step-sister, Barbara Hilt; brother in-laws, Dick Beyer and Frank Hansen; son in-law Todd Williquette; granddaughter Madeline Williquette
Visitation will be held at Proko-Wall Funeral Home and Crematory, 1630 E Mason St. Green Bay, WI on Friday, January 14, 2022, from 10:00am to 12:00pm, prayer vigil to follow at 12:00p.m. Online condolences may be expressed at www.prokowall.com.
Kathleen’s family would like to express sincere thanks and gratitude for the care Kathleen received through Bellin Hospital and Unity Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Green Bay Botanical Garden and/or the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. Her love of flowers and wildlife will live on in your donations.