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Kathleen Avalon (Grosz) Ferson, age 80, passed away on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, surrounded by family at her home, after a courageous battle with metastatic lung cancer.
“Kitty” was born January 30, 1938, in St. Paul, MN, the daughter of William P. and Iona S. (Van Dyke) Grosz. She, her parents and three siblings, Ben, Gwen, and Helen, moved to Alexandria in 1945. She attended grade school at District 99, now the LaGrand Town Hall. She was graduated with honors from Central High School, Alexandria, in 1955.
Kitty moved to Oklahoma and began her secretarial career with Cities Service Oil Co., Bartlesville, OK, in 1955. Upon returning to Minnesota, she accepted positions with the Dept. of the Interior and XIV US Army Corps, Minneapolis. In 1963, she moved to Colorado Springs, CO, to begin employment with Headquarters NORAD and the 9th Aerospace Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base.
Kitty returned to Minneapolis in 1965, where she met her future husband Ronald K. Ferson, a career military man. They were married in Alexandria, MN on November 26, 1966. They moved to Fort Sheridan, Illinois, following Ron’s tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967. They then left for a three year stint in Heidelberg, Germany. Kitty finished her federal career there at Headquarters, Fifth U.S. Army, Europe.
Upon Ron’s retirement in 1974 from the U.S. Army, they moved to Alexandria, MN. It was here they spent almost 40 years together in their home in the woods on Cork Lake. Kitty thought of it as her “Walden.” This land was special as it had been homesteaded by Kitty’s grandfather, Lewis C. Van Dyke, in the 1870s. Here Kitty enjoyed fishing in her row boat, tending her flowers and vegetables, writing poetry, having a cold one on the deck, nesting in the winter, and appreciating all the splendors of nature that surrounded her every day. Kitty cherished her kin and adored her many cats. She was a longstanding member of the VFW Auxiliary and a member of the Lakes Area Humane Society.
Kitty and Ron’s life journey together ended when Ron succumbed to a brain hemorrhage on December 10, 2013. The loss of the closeness they had shared for so many years was difficult for Kitty.
Kitty was a bit of a dreamer: “Hold fast your dreams. They’re better far, than the truths revealed are.” She was a loving and sometimes complex woman. Kitty had said if people were so inclined, when she left this earth, she would not mind if a few tears were shed for her, but then she would like her loved ones to smile and lift a glass “for the good times.” May she be doing the same with her beloved Ron, in that great beyond.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Ron; her sister, Gwendolynne Tvrdik; infant sister, Sally, and her beloved nephew, Billy Lake.
Kitty is survived by special niece-in-law, Meredeth Lake; brother, Ben Grosz and family; sister, Helen Lake and family; Gwen's family, and numerous nieces and nephews, other relatives, and Patches, her cat.
A funeral service will held on Monday, November 26, 2018 at 11 AM at the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel, Alexandria, with Pastor Jay Jenson officiating. Interment to follow in the Evergreen Cemetery, Alexandria. A special thank you to great-niece, Taylor Lake, who cared for Kitty during her entire hospice journey. Thank you to the Hospice of Douglas County for the compassionate help, and to other relatives and friends who helped and loved Kitty so much.
Donations can be made to the Lakes Area Humane Society and the William S. Lake Memorial Scholarship at ATCC Foundation, 318 17th Ave. E., Alexandria, MN, 56308. Please indicate “Bill Lake Memorial Fund” in the memo.
Lakes Area Humane Society
3811 Nevada St. SW, Alexandria MN 56308
William S. Lake Memorial Scholarship
318 17th Ave. E, Alexandria MN 56308