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Kathleen Marie Walker Marx (Tyree)

December 21, 1927 - April 8, 2020

Service Date June 13, 2020

Private Services for Kathleen M. Tyree Walker Marx will take place at St. Therese Catholic Church in Rapid City, SD.  A Funeral Vigil will be held on Friday, June 12 at St. Therese and a Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, June 13, also at St. Therese.  Kathleen will be laid to rest next to her two children in the cemetery of Hill City SD, on Saturday, June 13.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be given in honor of Kathleen Marx, to Hope West of Western Colorado, Hospice Center, in Montrose, CO, Sharing Ministry Food Bank of Montrose, CO or St. Mary Catholic Church, of Montrose for maintaining the gardens.

Kathleen Walker Marx

December 21, 1927 – April 8, 2020

 

Surrounded by family, Kathleen Marie Tyree Walker Marx went home to the Lord peacefully on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at the age of 92, after almost three years in hospice care.

Kathleen was born in Gillette, Wyoming, on December 21, 1927, to Edward and Rita Tyree.  Her pioneering/homesteading parents raised her along with their other two daughters, Arlene Tyree Saunders and Jeane Tyree West on the family ranch 36 miles north of Gillette. At a very early age of 6, Kathleen began helping with the work on the ranch. She started out herding sheep by herself.  As she grew older, she learned how to rake and stack hay with a team of horses, fix fence, and other ranch chores.

Kathleen attended country school through eighth grade.  During her teen years, Kathleen boarded at Mrs. Swartz’s house in Gillette.  During the school year, she worked at the local soda fountain of Edelman Drug. When school was out for the summer, Kathleen returned to the family ranch to help with all the summer work. Then in the fall, she returned to Mrs. Swartz’s house to attend the next school year until her graduation from Gillette High School in 1945Kathleen continued with her education earning a teaching certification from the State of Wyoming.  With her teaching certification, she taught at the Morel Country School located north of Gillette from 1944-45.

In 1946, Kathleen married Norbert Lee Cates. Their first four children were born in Gillette. The couple moved to Sturgis, South Dakota, for employment and this is where the remainder of their five children were born.  After twelve years of marriage this union ended in a divorce.  Kathleen, now a single parent, resumed her education, taking extension classes at Spearfish Teacher’s College, while working to support her nine children.

She met and married Robert (Bob) Earl Walker of Custer, South Dakota, in 1961. Bob became the father, “Dad” to her nine children. Kathleen and Bob added a daughter to the family in 1962.  Bob had two children, a son and a daughter from a prior marriage, so now there were fourteen family members in the Cates/Walker combined household.  Bob worked as a U.S. Postal Clerk in Custer, a trade he learned while serving in the armed forces in Italy during WW II.

Bob and Kathleen became entrepreneurs, starting the Walker Cleaning Service, in Custer. Kathleen managed  the cleaning business as her contribution to the large household.  Bob and Kathleen had the reputation of being honest and hardworking individuals.  The two of them instilled this work ethic in all twelve of their children.  Each child starting at the age of 7 had their own paper route.  The whole family worked hard, as the children were expected to make their contribution to the family business by working before/after school and on weekends. The family business was a big success and the family thrived.

With this extra income and the carpenter skills of Bob “Dad”, the family worked together to enclose the front porch of their house to increase the square footage of the living room and dining room areas to accommodate the many LARGE family gatherings and celebrations held throughout the years. On August 4, 1973, unexpectedly, Kathleen and the children lost their beloved Husband and Dad from an unknown heart condition.  The death of Robert “Bob” Walker affected each and every family member. The loss of his strength of character and love was felt immediately and it made it hard for everyone in the family to move forward.  He was such a good man.

Kathleen, a widow with three children still at home, returned to college, earning an Associate’s Degree from the National School of Business, in Rapid City, SD.  She decided to relocate her family to Spearfish, SD, in May of 1976, where she became a co-owner of a motel, with James (Bob) R. Marx.  This new joint business venture included many renovations and updating of the motel, which helped create another successful business.  After several years in the motel business, James (Bob) R. Marx and Kathleen decided to sell the motel.  Kathleen continued to live in Spearfish, accepting a clerical position in the administrative offices of Black Hills State College in 1980,  Three years later, Kathleen decided to take a chance with the boom in the fossil fuels industry and in 1983. accepted a position as a data entry clerk with ARCO Coal Company at the Black Thunder Coal Mine in Wright, Wyoming.  This employment took her back to Wright WY, only 43 miles from her home town of Gillette, and closer to her aging parents Ed and Rita Tyree.

She continued working at the coal mine until she reached retirement age.  In 1988, Kathleen married James (Bob) Robert Marx.  Now retired, she and James (Bob) sought out another challenge.  The two of them began purchasing houses and refurbishing them in the Wright and Gillette areas.  They were ahead of their time, as this trend of buying and fixing up houses has since been coined “Flipping Houses“.  While living in Wright, they became active members of Blessed Heart Catholic Church.  As parishioners, they contributed both financially as well as donated their manual labor in the building of a new church structure.

After the death of her parents Ed and Rita Tyree, James (Bob) and Kathleen decided they wanted to move closer to their family members living in Colorado.  In 2001, Bob and Kathleen relocated to the western slope of the Rocky Mountains in Montrose, CO.  This move enabled them to live in the same city as Kathleen’s second to the youngest daughter, whose husband worked for the U.S. Forest Service.  For many years the four of them Bob, Kathleen, Loretta, and Blake enjoyed going fishing at Ridgway Reservoir and Beaver Lake in the Big Cimarron area.  When other family members visited James (Bob) and Kathleen, everyone would load up and go for a drive over Owl Creek Pass, along with going fishing.  It was not uncommon, for James (Bob), Kathleen, Loretta, and Blake on Saturday’s to get in the truck and drive across the Uncompahgre Plateau, San Juan Mountains, and the Big Cimarron area.  James (Bob) and Kathleen enjoyed the milder climate which Montrose offered, as compared to Wyoming weather.  It didn’t take them very long to feel right at home in “Paradise”, the word used most frequently by Kathleen when referring to Montrose.

James (Bob) and Kathleen were members of St. Mary Catholic Church.  After the death of her husband, James (Bob) on September 9, 2008, Kathleen continued attending Mass. She also began participating in bible study programs, supporting religious education, and other activities at St. Mary Catholic Church, until her health started to decline.

Kathleen always stressed to her children, a post high school education was a must for each of them. She took great pride in the fact that every one of her 10 children completed some form of postsecondary education.  As a parent, Kathleen felt this was one of her most important accomplishments, along with instilling a strong work ethic.

Kathleen loved family gatherings, gardening, reading, and watching the news and stock market. She was sharp-witted and had a great curiosity about many things. Towards the end of her life, Kathleen became convinced that humanity’s future depended on the colonization of Mars.

Kathleen is survived by eight of her children:  Edward (Irmgard) Cates of Colorado Springs, CO; Sharon Rovella (Michael) of Hill City, SD/Montrose, CO; Terry Gregson of Sheridan, WY; David Cates (Stephanie) of Weston, FL; Sharyl Cates (Kevin Thorson) of Tucson, AZ; Perry Cates (Kathryn) of Glendale, AZ; Loretta Patton (Blake) of Montrose, CO; Barbara Gonzales (Sam) of Thornton, CO. Other surviving family includes; stepdaughter, Gloria Shippy of Gillette, WY; two sisters; Arlene Saunders of Gillette, WY; and Jeane West of Buffalo, WY; 12 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, and numerous nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Rita Tyree, spouses Robert (Bob) E. Walker and James (Bob) R. Marx; stepson, Robert (Bobby) Walker Jr.; grandson Luke Gregson; daughter Rita Cates Burg and son Laurence (Larry) Cates.

Private Services for Kathleen M. Tyree Walker Marx will take place at St. Therese Catholic Church in Rapid City, SD.  A Funeral Vigil will be held on Friday, June 12 at St. Therese and a Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, June 13, also at St. Therese.  Kathleen will be laid to rest next to her two children in the cemetery of Hill City SD, on Saturday, June 13.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be given in honor of Kathleen Marx, to Hope West of Western Colorado, Hospice Center, in Montrose, CO, Sharing Ministry Food Bank of Montrose, CO or St. Mary Catholic Church, of Montrose for maintaining the gardens.