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Obituary - Kathleen Fanning

With family and love with her, April 25, 2023, our beloved mother, Kathleen Fanning, went to meet the angels. She fought a valiant battle with her cancer diagnosis, and none of us will ever be that tough. She persevered when the stuff didn't go her way, and she never complained about her fight. She's the toughest lady we'll ever know. 

Kathy was born December 11, 1954, in Bismarck, ND, to Wendelin and Mavis Schmaltz. She was raised and educated in Bismarck, graduating from St. Mary's Catholic High School in 1973. She went on to attend the University of North Dakota, graduating with degrees in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development in 1978. Her degrees led her to Wibaux, Montana, where she taught kindergarten. It was here where she met the love of her life, Ron. They married on September 29, 1979, at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Bismarck.

They moved to Havre, Montana; in 1980, and started their family there. Jenn came along in October 1980, Kyle in June 1983, and Eric in July 1986. After having her own children, Kathy found her true calling and passion as a day care provider and mentor to many children in the Havre area. It was in this area that she truly relished her teaching ability. There are many kids in the area who were blessed with her kind heart and guiding hand. When Ron deployed to Iraq in 2009, Kathy retired from her day care and as we call it, got her "big girl job" at Child Care Link, mentoring area providers with their certifications and registrations. She thoroughly enjoyed and excelled at this. Ron retired in 2012, but Mom wasn't quite as ready to give up her career. She finally retired in 2018, after much prodding from the kids to finally just be a full time Grandma. Again, it was another job in which she took immense pride and was fantastic at.

Kathy's last years were filled with many travels with Ron, seeing many concerts together. The biggest highlight of the concerts was Ron surprising her with a trip to Spokane in 2019 to see Neil Diamond for their 40th wedding anniversary with their close friends.

After her cancer diagnosis, it took a while to finally slow Kathy down. She again took on this job with the fiercest tenacity few will ever know. In between all the doctors and treatments, she still found the time to enjoy her greatest time: being with all of her grandkids as much as possible. The love and guiding hand was again on full display, and every one of them enjoyed their special time with their Gma. She was especially proud of the legacy she left behind.

Our family would like to thank all of the caregivers and doctors who helped Mom in her final weeks to make her as comfortable as possible. Her daughter Jenn spent countless hours taking care of her until the end, with Ron by her side as always. We'd especially like to thank her sister Paula and niece Amy for their support and great meals when we weren't able to do it. Your love and support is appreciated, and doesn't go unnoticed. While this is such a huge loss, we are grateful to everyone who lent a hand these last few weeks to make this process so much less difficult. We love you all, you all hopefully know who you are. 

Kathy was preceded in death by her parents, Windy and Mavis; her in-laws, Dallas and Vera; brother Richard; nephew, Brian Fanning; sisters-in-law, Jean Kuntz and Brenda Cook; grandson, Bailey Nash; and brother-in-law, Don Kreps, all of whom she cared for deeply.

She is survived by her husband, Ron of Havre, MT; daughter, Jenn Thompson of Havre; sons, Kyle (Cara) Fanning and Eric (Dee Dee), all of Havre; brother Art Kuntz of Tempe, AZ; sister, Paula Kreps and her family from Lilburn and Lawrenceville, GA; and her six grandchildren, Aarron, Taylee, Kinli, Rawley, Jake, and Tatum.

Services will be held Monday, May 1, 2023, at Holland and Bonine Funeral Home in Havre at 12 noon with Deacon Tim Maroney officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Plant a Seed ... Read!, PO Box 782, Havre, MT 59501. The family would also like to send a big thank-you to Bear Paw Hospice and Angel Care, and all of the special ladies at the Sletten Cancer Center for all of their care.


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