Kathleen Ann (Divine) Wilcox died January 29 after a spirited battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Kathy was raised one of seven children in south Minneapolis, attended Christ the King grade school and Southwest High School, and retained long and loving friendships with her childhood friends. She attended the University of Minnesota, where she met Gerald Koch. They married in 1958, and their daughter Laurie was born in 1959. In 1960, Gerald died, and Kathy raised Laurie surrounded by a supportive community of family and friends. She was working as a secretary for the the Canadian National railroad in 1963 when she met John (Jeff) Wilcox on a ski weekend at Telemark, and after a “long-distance” courtship, they married on December 28, 1963, and she and Laurie moved to their new home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Kathy was a devoted, loving, and hilarious wife and mother with a sense of adventure and a love of good food, good bike rides, good books, and good jokes. As parents, John and Kathy set an impossibly high bar for kindness, laughter, and life-long love. She transitioned seamlessly from full-time parenting to work with PESI and Health Ed, traveling around the country facilitating seminars and conferences. Eventually, John and Kathy’s love of travel brought them on bike trips through Italy, camel rides across the Moroccan desert, temple-gazing in Thailand and sailing trips through the Caribbean. Upon return, her travelogues always centered around the most delicious foods she had tried, especially the desserts.
Kathy was preceded in death by her first husband, Gerald Koch, her parents Catherine and Lloyd Divine, her brothers Tom, Mike, and Bob Divine, and her sister Joan Ryan. Kathy is survived by her husband, John Wilcox, her children Laura Roach (Joe), Angela Wilcox, Mary Wilcox (Eric Timar), and David Wilcox (Gillian Brody), siblings Bill Divine (Lucy) and Mary Alice Divine, her seven loving grandchildren, and loving family and friends.
Kathy joins many of her loved ones who also suffered from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Donations may be made in her name to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.