Cover photo for Katherine Willis's Obituary
1920 Katherine 2021

Katherine Willis

January 28, 1920 — April 11, 2021

Katherine Bonell Burdick Willis was born January 28, 1920 in Powell Park, close to Meeker, Colorado. She was the 11th of 12 children. Her parents, Vernon and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Burdick were ranchers there. Katherine grew up with her brothers and sisters all around in a close family. She attended a one room school for the 1st through 8th grades riding a horse to school sometimes.

When it came time to go to high school she had to go stay in town (Meeker) because all though their ranch was only 6 miles from town, her Dad didn't think he could get her to school every day. She stayed with her eldest brother, Elmer and family during the week and went home on the weekends and holidays.

In her last year of high school, she and her brother Frank rented a little apartment and went to high school together. They also stayed with her older sister Velma Deaver and her husband.

She graduated from Meeker high school in 1938. After high school she went to work for a plumber keeping the books. She also worked with a kindergarten teacher after that. Her sister Velma and husband Hoyt, were at Streeter Mine between Meeker and Craig Colorado where she helped her sister cook for the miners. She met her husband Robert Willis there. They became engaged and he joined the Marine Corps and served in the South Pacific during World War II.

While he was gone, Katherine got a job as Assistant County Treasurer. She worked there until Bob came home. They were married January 19,1946. They lived in Craig, Colorado close to her sisters Ruthie and Velma and families. Their first daughter, Connie, was born in October. In 1949 & 1950 they built a home a couple of doors away from Velma. Son Johnny was born in Jan of 1951. The following year a daughter, Mary June was born. Bob had a chance to run a cattle ranch raising black Angus cattle so they moved to Carr, Colorado. They lived in Carr for a little over a year, then moved to Cortez, Colorado where Bob bought dump trucks to haul Uranium.

Daughter Karla was born there in Cortez. From Cortez they moved to Naturita, Colorado where they lived for about a year and a half, then up to Nucla before moving to Gateway, Colorado. Two more children were born, Susie and Dale, making a total of 6 children.

Bob worked as a mechanic in the Uranium mines. They bought 27 acres where they raised a few cows, some pigs and had a wonderful garden. She lived in the Gateway community among all the wonderful people there for 60 years. Bob passed away in August of 1987 and Katherine lived in Gateway 30 more years without him with Karla & Johnny. In 2017, she came to Mapleton, Utah to live with her daughter Susie.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, 3 sons, Tommy, Johnny & Dale, her parents Vern and Lizzy Burdick,

5 brothers, Elmer, Edmir, Albert, Floyd, and Frank, 5 sisters, Velma, Lilias, Hilda, Ruthie and Ina. Also her grandchildren Janice, Janet, Kyleigh, Kiana & Kristopher.

Left to mourn her passing is her sister Vera Tagert (Bristol, Virginia) 4 daughters, Connie (Ester, Alaska) Mary June (Safford, Arizona) Karla (Ester, Alaska), Susie (Mapleton, Utah).

Grandchildren include Amy Huntsman, Valerie Arnold, Bobby Bohanan, Evie Bohanan, Ronnie Sturm, Cherla Ramsey, Douglas Sturm, Jared Sturm, Shay Wood, Rylan Sturm, Adam Campbell, Hyrum Campbell, Katherine Jolley, Davy Campbell Jessica Rendlessbacher, Jamie Campbell, Michaella Scott, Jacob Campbell, & Bruce Campbell.

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