Katherine M. 'Kay' Barzen
Barzen, Katherine M. Age 104, a long-time resident of Edina, passed on Friday, September 6, 2019. Kay was preceded in death by her parents Timothy John and Josephine Dwyer Maroney (nee Olsen), devoted husband John Clarence Barzen and son Terry. How do you measure a lifetime spanning more than a century? Kay was born a year after WWI began and lived with the lessons of the Great Depression throughout her life. Always maintaining a freezer full of food in case of emergency was one such example. Yet Kay's sense of history, as with us all, was imperfect. She skipped the 1936 Olympics to socialize with people introduced to her in Berlin. Yet she was steadfast in raising six children throughout the tumult of history, birthing her oldest child during the darkest days of WWII and fledging the last adolescent during the social upheaval of the 60's. From the final decades of her life, inner strength was shown in Kay's resolve to continue living life well even among setbacks in her own health and loss of her husband of 56 years. Throughout the historical chaos of the 20th Century Kay remained a stanch Catholic from Popes Benedict XV to Francis and staunch Republican from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush. Lessons lasted a lifetime. Kay danced with an heir to fortunes (William Randolph Hearst) and she danced with a seed salesman from Thief River Falls. Fortunately for her progeny she chose the seed salesman. An exceptional bridge player, Kay played the game for roughly 80 years but never mentioned having 'good cards'. Fearless, Kay skied in the mountains into her 70's, still doing the stem christy as taught in the 40's when she first learned the technique, but she always fervently prayed throughout travel in small airplanes. While fishing from the arctic to the equator, Kay usually caught the most and the largest fish, much to the chagrin of her outdoor-enthusiast husband, growing bevy of children and other friends who deigned to test her amazing luck. Volunteerism was lived and exemplified in Kay's decades of support and leadership for the Boys and Girls Club, the Catholic League and Abbott Hospital. Her children and grandchildren carry forward this life of service through their own volunteer work. Always a person who took social grace seriously, Kay moved throughout Minneapolis society with grace and equanimity. Perhaps that is the lesson from a century of living. What matters most are the relationships that you nurture with people and how you use those relationships to better the world in which we live. Lessons that last a lifetime. Kay is survived by daughters, Kathy (Mimsey Struck) Barzen, Molly Barzen and Mimi (Dan Hanson) Barzen; sons, Tim (Victoria) Barzen & Jeb (Barb) Barzen; grandchildren, Sarah (Matt) Slayen, Katharine (Nick) Plurkowski, Meredeth (Alex Theoharides) Barzen, Hannah Lapkin, Sophie Lapkin, Krista (Dr. Brad Yentzer) Barzen-Hanson, Kyle Barzen-Hanson, Kevin Barzen-Hanson, Jakob Barzen, Anna Barzen; great-grandchildren, Max and Allison Slayen, Jack and John Plurkowski and Josephine Theoharides. The Family would like to thank everyone who has provided abundant love and support for Kay, and all of us during the end of her long life. The outpouring of kind thoughts and memories of Kay during this time is greatly appreciated. Funeral services will be held at Our Lady of Grace Church, 5071 Eden Ave, Edina, MN 55436 on Thursday, September 12 with visitation at 10 AM, mass at 11 and lunch at 12. A private burial at Resurrection Cemetery for family will follow. Memorials may be given in Kay's name to the Our Lady of Grace School Endowment Fund, the Poor Clare's Sisters (Monastery of St. Clare, 1001 14th St., Rochester, MN, 55901) or Visitation Convent (in care of Sister Kathy Mullin, 1527 Fremont Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411). washburn-mcreavy.com Edina Chapel 952-920-3996
Published on September 11, 2019
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