Madison - Kathryn “Kate” Richardson died June 3, 2021 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 77. Kate was born June 1, 1944 in Milwaukee Wisconsin to Georgia Woods and Erwin Huenink. Her father died in November of 1944 and she was adopted in 1949 by David Woods upon his marriage to Georgia. Kate remained in contact with the Hueninks throughout her life, spending time with her own aunt Kate, uncle Henry, and cousin Dorothy.
In 1949, Kate moved to Monroe Wisconsin, where she spent most of her school-age years. Kate was an accomplished dancer, piano player, puppeteer, girl scout, and student.
She was a delegate to Badger Girls State and was also a counselor at the Pottawanamie Hills Girl Scout Camp. As a child in Monroe, Kate met Robert “Bob” Richardson in the youth group at Union Presbyterian church at about 7 years of age. Both Bob and Kate served as officers in youth presbytery and sang in the adult choir while in high school. They were long-time childhood friends, dated in high school and married after Kate’s Junior year in College (September 12, 1964).
Kate attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she obtained both her Bachelor’s Degree in English with a minor in French in 1968 and a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Appraisal and Investment Analysis in 1986. Kate and Bob ran the Richardson Appraisal Company in Madison together for 40 years.
Kate obtained a Senior Residential Appraiser (SRA) designation from the Appraisal Institute where she served as President of the Madison Chapter. For several years, she taught an appraisal course at the University of Wisconsin.
Kate was a devoted volunteer in her community. For almost 55 years, she was an active member of Covenant Presbyterian Church, serving in multiple roles, including deacon, elder, clerk of session, senior high leader, Sunday school teacher, and choir member. For 17 years, Kate volunteered at Attic Angels (a senior living community) playing piano, visiting residents, and sharing companionship and joy through her therapy dogs.
Kate was an avid dog trainer, participating in flyball, and agility competitions with her dogs (10 different dogs over the years). She trained her dogs for certification with the Delta Society as therapy dogs and began a visitation program at their facilities, as well as reading dog therapy programs at local schools. Kate was a voracious reader enjoying novels and histories above other genres. She participated in a book club, the Ravenous Readers, for over 50 years. She derived a great deal of pleasure from discussing books with this fantastic group of life-long friends.
Kate loved working up a sweat with physical activity, especially playing tennis and working on her farm. She played tennis competitively, one year even winning the state doubles tennis tournament for her age group. She was known for a hard shot and aggressive play. On her farm, she tended gardens, weeded and mowed fields, and restored prairie habitat.
Kate was a devoted mother and wife. She served as a Cub Scout den mother, and a hockey and soccer mom, traveling to Minnesota, Illinois, and throughout Wisconsin. Kate and Bob took their family on many adventures: They canoed the Brule, Flambeau, Pecatonica, Kickapoo, Sugar River, and the Boundary Waters; they sailed the Great Lakes in Door County and at the Apostle Islands; they backpacked in Glacier National Park in Montana; they toured England, Scotland Ireland, and Wales; and they skied in Upper Michigan, Colorado, and Utah. Later after their sons moved out of the house, Bob and Kate traveled to Alaska, Israel, and Hawaii.
Kate prided herself on living authentically, speaking kindly yet honestly, appreciating simple everyday pleasures, and stepping in to help others in need. She will be deeply missed by family and friends.
She is survived by the love of her life and husband of 57 years, Bob Richardson; Her two sons, David, and Rob Richardson; and her five grandchildren, Oliver, Eli, Jackson, Charlie, and Caroline; Her sister Diana Oostdik; and sister-in-laws Janet Rich and Kathryn Richardson.
Her funeral service will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church on June 26, at 2:00 pm. Donations can be made on her behalf to Covenant Presbyterian Church, Attic Angels, and Prairie Enthusiasts. A drop-in celebration will be held at Bob and Kate’s farm at 6952 Rothenbuehler Road, Monroe WI on Sunday, June 27th from 1-6 pm. All are welcome.
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