Ellen Kathleen Fagan, daughter of Elzie and Alice Beaman, was born April 16, 1925, in Stuart, Iowa. She was the youngest of four children; her siblings were Marguerite, Clarence and Francis. She graduated from Stuart High School and at the age of 18 obtained a teacher's certificate, but instead of teaching she stayed home to help out her parents on the family farm.
On August 12, 1946, she was married to Eugene Fagan of Adair, Iowa, after he returned from serving in the Navy during WWII, and they later became the parents of three daughters, Mary Kay, Marilyn and Marcella. They lived their entire married life on a farm south of Adair where they worked together successfully raising crops and livestock. After their daughters were raised and on their own, Gene and Kathleen enjoyed numerous travels with their Supercross seed corn group to various European countries, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. After the death of Gene in 1983, Kathleen persevered in operating and managing the farm, and at the age of 83 moved to Adair in 2008. She was a woman who did not give up easily!
Kathleen was a selfless woman dedicated to her family...and how she loved her family. Even at the age of 96, she kept up with not only what her children were doing but also her six grandchildren (Farrah, Paige, Alison, Nicole, Skylar and Hayes) and her six great-grandchildren (Eden, Isla, Ella, Ethan, Emerson and Bowman). She was so proud of them all and delighted in hearing about their successes and accomplishments. She was "grand central" in terms of communication, as she shared with her daughters on a daily basis the "news" from every family member. Remembering her family on birthdays and holidays, she had a knack for selecting just the "perfect" card to fit the person and the occasion.
Kathleen had a very recognizable voice (which often perturbed her), but it was a voice everyone loved to hear. She was sharp as a tack and had a dry and witty sense of humor that made her fun to be around. She had a kind word and a smile for everyone, even when she was not feeling her best. Kathleen was a wonderful listener; she really cared about people and was understanding of the troubles we all face, small or large. Her frequent retort was, "There will be a better day," encouraging us all to see the "big picture" of life and not be dismayed by temporary setbacks.
Kathleen, as you may have gathered, was a very independent woman, living alone 38 years after her husband passed away. She had numerous health challenges, including five knee replacements. But she always persevered and never felt sorry for herself. She often underestimated her own limitations and, amazingly, surpassed them. She resisted moving into a nursing facility until the very end because she didn't want to be around "all those old people," a comment once again demonstrating her witty outlook on life.
Kathleen passed away Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at the Guthrie County Hospital in Guthrie Center, Iowa. She was a lifelong member of St. John's Catholic Church in Adair, Iowa.
Kathleen will be missed by so many people, but most of all her family, who loved her dearly and cannot imagine life without her presence. Holding her memory in their hearts are her daughters, Mary Kay (Alan) Ranker of Pleasant Hill, IA, Marilyn (Ron) Follmann of Mt. Pleasant, SC, and Marcella (Ted) Murphy of Greenwich, CT, as well as all of her other family.
Visitation will be held from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at St. John's Catholic Church in Adair, Iowa. Burial will be in St. John's Catholic Cemetery in Adair, IA.
Facial masks are required to be worn in attendance of the services.
Hockenberry Family Care in Adair, Iowa, is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.hockenberryfamilycare.com.