Surrounded by her family, (Melissa) Kathleen Duey, 89, peacefully entered Heaven on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 after a short illness. Kathleen was born in Shubert on Jan. 22, 1926 to Tom and Alta (Ankrom) Ludwig.
She grew up in Barada, where she had many friends to share her adventures. Her outgoing personality and striking red hair made her a memorable personality. Kathleen was creative, artistic, adventurous and always interested in others. She graduated from high school at Shubert/Stella, after attending school in Barada, Falls City and Plattsmouth.
After high school, Kathleen moved to Grand Island to work in the Q-O ordinance plant making bombs for WW II. She was an original “Bomb Girl.” After two years, she moved to Peru to obtain her teaching certificate. She taught in several country schools in Richardson County.
Kathleen met Duane Duey at the Richardson County Fair and he won her over with outings in his airplane over the county. They were married in St Paul’s Lutheran Church on Sept. 22, 1949. Kathleen and Duane farmed near Stella while starting their family and raising seven children. After a short time in Verdon, they moved to Falls City, where she resided for the remainder of her life. She later returned to Peru State Teacher’s College and earned her Bachelors Degree. Kathleen was proud to be on the Dean’s List for the duration of her time there.
She then taught art in Mound City, MO, for grades 1-12, retiring when she was 73 years old. Kathleen always enjoyed working with young people, nurturing their creativity. She was also a girl Scout leader for Brownie and Junior troops. Highlights of her scouting years were taking her scouts on campouts and being cookie chair.You haven’t seen cookies until you’ve had your living room and porch filled with boxes of Girl Scout cookies!
In her retirement she became active in the Falls City Humane Society and served on committees and fundraisers. She especially loved getting in costume for the annual Halloween party. Kathleen was able to go to Europe with Duane on a dream vacation before his death. They traveled first class all the way and visited many art museums there. The trip was a celebration of their 50 years of marriage.
Kathleen was active in her prayer circle and Evening Circle at First United Methodist Church in Falls City and was a member of the Retired Teachers Association.
Kathleen loved beautiful things and took care to make sure her clothes and hair were worthy of compliments. Her wiry red hair was a constant challenge to tame but she never stopped trying. Even though her mobility had been limited recently, she continued to be interested and helpful to her church, friends and family. Her body was 89 but her heart was still 25.
She is survived by children, Kurt, of Bellingham, WA, Tom, of Lincoln, Nancy (Larry), of Lincoln, Dianne, Gail (Rick) Allen, of Crescent, IA, Denise, of Wathena, KS, and Kent (Susan), of Bellingham, WA; grandchildren, Kyle, Jess Duey, Andrew, Timothy, Christopher Duey, Elizabeth Ramsey, Melissa Lee, Natalie Lenz, Jacob Peterson, Bryan, Alex, Clark, Jillian Allen; and 14 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are her younger siblings, Robert/Gail (Nancy) Ludwig, and Kay (Erv) Rung, of Lincoln, whom she has kept entertained for 88 years. Additional survivors include many nieces, nephews, friends, and pets, Bob and Curly.
Her husband, Duane, preceded her in death.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at the First United Methodist Church, 1700 Harlan St., in Falls City, with Pastor John Hogue officiating. Interment at Harris Cemetery, Barada. Family will receive visitors from 6-7 p.m. Friday at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home. Memorials may be directed to the First United Methodist Church of Falls City or to Falls City Humane Society.