Mary Kathryn was born on her parents’ ranch in Stafford, Nebraska on May 23, 1938. She was raised in Holdrege, Nebraska with her mother, Wilda Carr, her sister, Connie Burton, and her brother, Patrick Carr. She attended St. Joseph’s College of Nursing School of Nursing in Omaha, Nebraska. After becoming a registered nurse, she returned to Holdrege to work and then moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Saint Louis University School of Nursing. She met her future husband, Robert R. Kanard, MD at the University Hospital. Their first child, Mary Elizabeth, was born in St. Louis and they then moved to Iowa City, Iowa, where their second child, Anne Margaret, was born. They settled in Cheyenne where their third child, Robert Carr, was born.
Mary Kathryn was very active in the community and volunteered throughout town including Meals on Wheels, playing the flute for the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra and the Girl Scouts. She returned to nursing at De Paul Hospital in the emergency department, then as a night watchman, and finally to home health care. Her true passion was caring for terminally ill patients and helping them die with dignity. She started the Palliative Care Program in Cheyenne at De Paul Hospital which she coordinated for many years. However, she saw a greater need within the community and started the Wyoming Hospice Organization and participated in the National Hospice Organization. Mary Kathryn also received Leadership Awards from the National Hospice Organization, the Wyoming Hospice Organization, and an All-Time Service Award from the Davis Hospice Center in 2008. Her ultimate dream came true when she helped develop and design the Davis Hospice Center with its 12 inpatients. beds. Following its construction, she volunteered throughout the center until her illness.
She is survived by her husband, Robert R. Kanard; daughters, Elizabeth Kanard of Burlington, VT and Anne Kanard of Fort Collins, CO; son, Robert C. Kanard of Santa Barbara, California; daughter-in-law, Lisa Itamura; and five grandchildren, Alexander, Sophia, Lillian, Eleanor and Lucia.
A funeral liturgy will be celebrated on Wednesday September 15, 2021 at 10:30 am in the Sainte-Marie Cathedral. A burial service will follow at the Olivet cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to the Davis Hospice Center through the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Foundation, 214 East 23rd Street, Cheyenne, WY 82001.
Condolences can be presented to the family online at www.schradercares.com.
Posted by Wyoming Tribune Eagle September 8-9, 2021.