Kathleen Mary Caylor
Kathleen Mary Caylor age 67 of Merrill passed away on Friday morning, September 18, 2015, at Bell Tower Residence under the care of her family, friends, Ministry Health Care Hospice Services and the staff of Bell Tower Residence.
Kathleen was born on May 19, 1948, in Merrill the daughter of the late Robert and Charlotte (Sullivan) Lange. Kathleen attended St. Francis and St Robert Bellarmine grade schools and was a 1966 graduate of Our Lady of the Holy Cross High School in Merrill. She was a member of the Merrill Glengarry Highlanders’ Color Guard and one of the first Candy Stripers who volunteered at the then Holy Cross Hospital.
A chance meeting with a witty boy on the corner of E Main St. and Court St. changed her life forever. Soon she and Michael “Loopy” Caylor were dating, and they became engaged on Christmas Eve, 1966. The couple was married on August 19, 1967, at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in Merrill, and from there they set out on an adventure that would cover continents and last their lifetimes.
The wife of a police officer is not easy, but Kathy made the best of things shaping the family home as her husband worked a variety of shifts. Later on in life when he decided to become a politician, she adapted to that as well, reluctantly becoming the “first lady of Merrill.”
Kathy worked seasonally for the family store “Caylor’s Corner’s” for many years and later was a crossing guard for the city of Merrill at Washington School for many years.
One of her biggest loves besides her family was Christmas. Kathy loved Christmas and the magic of that season. She was the inspiration behind and personally handpicked every Christmas tree that has stood in the gazebo at Normal Park in Merrill. Kathy also decorated her house for Christmas with enthusiasm, usually having five Christmas trees and all the trimmings that went with them.
In 2013 Kathy was diagnosed with cancer. Her cancer was rare and very aggressive, but Kathleen endured all its horrors as she put up the good fight, but it seemed no matter what she did to stop it, the cancer kept coming back. Despite her pain and advanced state, Kathy vowed to attend her son’s wedding in August of 2015. She did just that with her entire family at her side.
Kathleen is survived by her daughter, Anne Caylor of Kaukuana, WI; her sons, Michael “Gus”(Valerie) and Robert “JP” of Merrill; and her grandson, Andrew of Merrill, whom she treated as if he were her fourth child. She is further survived by her sister-in-law, Shirley Lange of Tomahawk; her Caylor in-laws, Kathryn Sensenbrenner of Madison, Mary (Eldred) Kufahl of Merrill, Margaret (Myron) Oestreich of Merrill, Peter (Colleen) Caylor of Fairfax Station, Virginia, Timothy (Donna) Caylor of Irma, and Daniel (Carol) Caylor of Merrill; as well as many nieces and nephews, special cousins, and her cat, Penny.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Loopy in 2009; her parents; her brother, Dennis Lange in 2012; her in-laws Bill and Darlene Caylor; and several special friends including her cousin Ronald Woller who was like a second brother to her. Another special person who preceded her in death was her mother-in-law, Jean Caylor. Kathy looked to her for guidance many times over the years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Merrill. Father Chris Kemp will preside and burial will follow at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, at the Taylor-Stine Funeral Home from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM and on Wednesday from 10:30 AM until 11:30 AM at the funeral home.
As the end grew near, Kathy wanted a message to go out to her children and loved ones and everyone who will listen. It goes back to an old adage, “if you want to make God laugh tell Him what YOUR plans are tomorrow.” That is even more apparent as her terminal diagnosis came 29 days before her death. Kathy told anyone who would listen to go out and see the world while you can. See what the world has to offer before you are called to your heavenly home. She did.
The family would like to express its debt of gratitude to Ministry Home Hospice, especially Becky Daigle; the caring staff of Bell Tower Residence; family friend Joann Peel whose help enabled her to stay at home as long as she did; and Shirley Woller, Linda Proft and Sister Ann Wittman for being with Kathy and her children all the way to the end. We further wish to thank the host of family and friends who sent cards, flowers, prayers, and comforting thoughts to her.
Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com