August 10th 2022, Kathi our club founder and “Mother of GOTAhams” lost her long-fought battle with Primary Biliary Sarosis, a congenital liver disease rendering bile duct system non-functional. Her early prognosis was disheartening giving her only five years. Kathi seriously wanted to see her children graduate high school, vowing to do whatever it took to extend her life. Kathi did have a dream to continue in nursing to move beyond CNA. She did enroll in a college LVN course and through pure determination acquired her License and tried in vain to stay in that career, unfortunately her declining health forced into a less physically stressful career. Kathi did really win at extending her life, watching her daughter graduate with her GED, Having Kathi’s first Grandchild, Dakota followed by her Grandson Sullen.
Post retirement (Yes Kathi did make it to a vested retirement). Kathi and I returned to a hobby (Ham Radio) we began in the early 1990’s but raising a family and careers monopolized our time (the typical story). we looked for a radio club to hopefully help us re-ignite our passion for radio. Kathi not only Joined a local club but offered her talents as Club Secretary. We both believed this was going well but our “Radio in the Park” activities became somewhat of an issue, we were told that we needed to do our activities on their schedule although it was our equipment, vehicles and time with no support or assistance from the Club. Kathi decided to leave that association, bringing much criticism and actual name calling for its leadership. All this just proved to Kathi that she was not taken seriously as a true Amateur Radio hobbyist.
Kathi did miss some of the comradery and friends she enjoyed in that club. sitting at her desk pondering this she asked me “What does it take to start a Radio Club?” I replied that to be ARRL affiliated you need only four members. Kathi answered with “I know four people!” several phone calls later we set a meeting actually with six or seven folks and GOTAhams was born…. well, a radio club, Vic Correla coined the name GOTAhams following the affectionately nicknamed GOTAhome (Kathi and My RV). the group came up with a simple premise of being Open, Inviting, Helpful to hams, New and seasoned, young and old gender friendly etc. deciding that we were actually a Social Club that does Radio. many folks responded to this “New Way”? of thinking, began to join our ranks and spread the message. Kathi has been there with her warm heart, wonderful smile magnetic personality doing whatever she could to support anyone who asked. This “Family” of Hams has carried Kathi’s message. I couldn’t be prouder of what we have built.
I would like to Thank every member of GOTAhams for carrying on and Honoring Kathi’s Legacy in the fostering of our Hobby through the work of this Organization!
These letters Have been moved to “in Memorium” Since Kathi’s Passing August 10th 2022
Dear GOTAhams ARC members, not as club president but as Kathi KD6CAFs Spouse and friend of over 40 years, I would like to update this amazing group of people, Kathi’s Friends, acquaintances, partners in the hobby and all that are interested.
We had to transition Kathi to Hospice care recently 7/29/2022, unfortunately anything the doctors would attempt to treat would only increase the pain and prolong the inevitable.
Kathi has suffered with Chronic Liver disease for over thirty years, which lead to further health issues each having its own Consequences. In the last several years she has suffered the typical aging health concerns including Cervical cancer which was complicated by the Liver issues. Each of these challenges created further pain and suffering but Kathi Soldiered through all of them, publicly she kept a happy face, Privately I knew and shared her pain.
In the past year things deteriorated quickly and we got little help from doctors due to some of the best specialists moving into research and leaving a huge gap in the field of Chronic Liver disease.
As the pain got to the point Kathi could no longer walk or even support herself, she was hospitalized. Doctors performed noninvasive tests (a CT scan) that exposed a mass on her lower spine presumed cancerous likely metastasized from the Cervical cancer. With her blood condition from liver illness, it was impractical to do a biopsy. The Prognosis is “Grave” and we had to opt to simply treat the pain.
So you Know, Kathi and I have planned this outcome for a very long time, our final arrangements have long been arranged and dealt with as not to be burden our children and grandkids after our passing.
There is SO MUCH more to this story, but I would like to ask that your prayers be focused on a comfortable, peaceful passing and end to the Pain she has suffered most of her adult life.
It took a lot to write this, nearly as much as Me asking Kathi to not be concerned with others now and just focus on her (asking Kathi to not be Kathi through a river of tears).
Thank you all for being there and keeping Kathi in your thoughts and Prayers.
We plan on bringing Kathi Home on Hospice care Monday august 1st to keep her more comfortable as she ends life’s journey and transitions to the next.
Very Sincerely, Ken KC6WOK
Kathi’s Home: update
Monday Aug 1, my family and I successfully received the medical equipment and ultimately Kathi to allow us to continue Hospice care at home.
So that everyone understands why I have not asked for the overwhelming help that you all have been offering I’ll explain how we are managing her care.
Kathi’s Daughter (my stepdaughter) Misti is caring directly for her mostly 24/7, Misti’s daughter Dakota and Stepdaughter Presley are their moms’ assistants, and my caregivers. Kathi’s sister Karin has relocated temporarily from Havasu to help with her care and help follow through with final arrangements. We have nursing, equipment, transportation, and things I hadn’t thought of being handled by the Hospice contract through Kathi’s medical insurance.
With a busy household caring for Kathi of course there is shopping, meals, housekeeping etc. My granddaughter are dynamos handling all that mostly without complaint. My sister-in-law is relieving Misti for much needed breaks and helping me sort out Kathi’s unorthodox filing system to manage our accounts and bills. Karin has talked at length with Kathi (when she is in a lucid state) concerning memorial services when and where etc.
It is difficult to watch someone so full of life and intelligent being attacked by her own body, destroying her brain and not having control. In her lucid moments Kathi is explaining to Misti how to properly do CNA tasks, properly changing bedding, and how to explain it correctly to Misti’s daughters as if they are Nurses aids in training (maybe they are). Misti was a Certified Nurses Aid, managed Hospice patients and went through this same scenario with her natural father, she is a very experienced Nurse just like her LVN mother.
For what is supposed to be a nice quite peaceful situation, the household is a little hectic, along with managing two dogs, a snake and a recently rescued hamster.
With all this being said, I would like to apologize for not reaching out to the generous offers of help but adding to this chaos may not be our best option.
I do want everyone to know that when the time comes Kathi and her sister Karin have planned two memorial services, one will be a religious memorial at the Church of the Brethren in La Verne followed by a celebration of life at San Dimas Canyon park.
As a side note of my own; Many of you know that I’m not a particularly religious person, but if there is a heaven, Kathi is coming and she will be arranging the events, educating the new arrivals and pretty much being Kathi, move over St. Peter!
’73 for now, Ken