Kathryn Ann “Kay” Kaspar, née Arns, 89, of Carmel, passed away peacefully on September 21, 2022. She was surrounded by her loved ones, who assured her that soon, she would be able to walk without pain, and return to the loving embrace of her husband, Ed, and son, Mark. We are also sure that in Heaven she will find all the white wine she could consume to be cold enough to not require ice cubes, as it did on Earth.
Kay was born to the late George and Pearl Arns on August 29, 1933. As a child, she was affectionately known as “Smitty” and attended Marywood Academy for Girls, graduating in 1949.
Upon graduating, Kay worked as a bank teller until she was swept off her feet by Edward Kaspar. The two wed on June 18, 1955, and the couple welcomed their first two sons in 1956 and 1958. The parents of two were surprised and elated when they brought their third child, a daughter named Kathryn for her mother, into the world in 1968. Kay was delighted to stay home to raise her three children and honed her skills as a seamstress.
She took on a new role as she learned to administer her husband’s dialysis treatment until his untimely death at age 51 in 1981. She then suffered the tragic loss of her eldest son less than a year later.
Despite these inconceivable tragedies, Kay carried on. She became a buyer and manager of a high-end boutique, La Grande Trunk. She fondly remembered her trips to New York City to meet with designers and considered herself a fashionista the rest of her life.
Kay’s strong will was perhaps her defining personality trait. She met her next greatest challenge in 1994 at age 60, when she suffered her first debilitating heart attack and simultaneously a stroke, leaving her disabled for the rest of her life. Still, she fought through recovery and lived independently for more than a decade.
Kay was truly one of a kind—and this wasn’t just because she was one of the 1% of people who have Heterochromia (two different colored eyes). No, it was because she was singularly feisty, with a sharp wit, strong opinions, and a fondness for expletives till the end. She effortlessly endeared herself to anyone she met (who were not offended by a few foul words), and became fast friends with all.
In the days prior to her death and in some of her last hours of clarity, she was able enjoy some of her favorite foods, see family photos, and watch one last Colts game. She of course had some harsh words for the duration of the game and team leadership, which should come as a surprise to no one.
The family would like to deeply thank the staff at The Stratford at West Clay, and over the past four years, staff at Greenhouse Cottages of Carmel, particularly Lenore, Pam, Kay, and Holly, who loved her and treated her as if she was their own mother.
Kay is survived by her children, Bob (Rhonda) Kaspar and Kathy (Josh) Fedor; grandchildren, Kylie (Richard) Howenstein and Kevin (Katelyn) Kaspar; daughter-in-law, Eileen Kaspar; and sister, Elizabeth Barranco. She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Kaspar; son, Mark Kaspar; and siblings, George Arns, Robert Arns, Mary Helen Delang, and Georgia Hawkins.
Funeral services will be held at Aaron Ruben Nelson Mortuary, 11411 North Michigan Road, on Monday, September 26th at 7 PM. Friends are welcome to visit from 4 PM until the time of the service. Burial services will happen September 27th at 2:00 PM at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, Illinois.
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