Anne Katharine Klebba
June 20, 1918 – January 10, 2013
Anne Katharine Klebba, of Sheridan, passed away on Thursday January 10, 2013, age 94, at Westview Health Care Center.
Anne was born to Polish immigrants John Michael and Suzanna Waszut Kuzma June 20, 1918 at the Haratyk homestead on Meade Creek. The family moved to the Hays Ranch at Monarch and then to the family homestead on Slater Creek, her home until the last few years. Anne attended Engelfield School while at the Hays Ranch, walked or rode horseback to school at Early Creek from the homestead, and then moved to Ranchester to attend high school. She graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1940 with a degree in Education, with majors in English and Spanish and with a minor in Social Science. Three months after graduation, Anne lost her mother and, within another three months, her father died. Anne assumed the responsibility of caring for her five younger siblings.
Anne went on to teach school at Big Goose Elementary, Ranchester High School, Campbell County High School, Slater Creek, and Tongue River Elementary.
Anne married Joe H. Klebba on November 16, 1946 in St. Thomas Church in Monarch. They made their home on the Kuzma homestead on Slater Creek and added land holdings to the ranch several times. Their seven children were raised there and taught by Anne in a classroom contained within the ranchhouse from 1954 until 1967. Thereafter, Anne taught at Tongue River Elementary, retiring in 1983. Anne’s natural instincts animated her life as a teacher and, if there was a child near, she was sure to be found enriching that student’s life. She brought classroom papers and workbooks home every night to be corrected. Of her students’ efforts she had said, “If it is worth asking them to do, it’s worth correcting for them.”
Anne was a parishioner of St. Edmund Catholic Church in Ranchester for many years, taught catechetical classes, and was a member of the Altar and Rosary Society. She was a 4-H leader/mother and especially enjoyed the sewing and cooking divisions.
Anne was proud of her Catholic Polish heritage from which her parents had bequeathed her a lasting legacy of faith and work ethics. She truly believed in God, and in Jesus Christ, in the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection of the body. She especially loved the devotion of the rosary and enjoyed the celebration of the Mass and reception of the Eucharist. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy gave her great hope. She was as diligent in her prayer life as she was in whatever else she was seeking to accomplish. She and her husband kept the traces taut and pulled in the same direction even when the going was tough.
She dearly loved her home range on Slater Creek. She loved to cook, garden, and read whenever she could get the time. She made good use of the apple and plum orchards and the rhubarb patches she had helped her dad plant. The wild plums and chokecherries along the creek were picked for her delectable syrups, jellies, and jams; there was a special quest in the spring for the wild mint of which she made a fabulous jelly. The well she helped her father dig has never gone dry.
Anne was preceded in death by her husband Joe, three sisters, Edythe Kuzma Araas, Adelaide “Della” Kuzma Johnson, Elizabeth “Betty” Kuzma MacMillan and two brothers, Frank “Tom” Kuzma and John David Kuzma.
She is survived by her seven children: Joanne Westbrook of Sheridan, Karles Klebba of Sheridan, Phillip (Margaret) Klebba of Sheridan and their children Susan, Phillip, and Joseph, Mary McMains of Casper, Steve Klebba of Dayton and his children Jenny and Angela, Jim Klebba of Cody, and Genevieve Klebba of Soldotna, Alaska. Anne is also survived by two great-grandaughters, Aurora and Acacia. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Vigil service will be held Thursday, January 17, at Champion’s Funeral Home at 7:00 pm. Mass of the Christian Burial will at 10:00 am on Friday, January 18, 2013 at Holy Name Catholic Church with Father Jim Heiser officiating. Interment will be in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Parish Hall.
Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice or to Tongue River Elementary School Library in care of Deb Hoffmeier, the Holy Name School Building Fund, or to St. Joseph’s Children’s Home, 1419 Main Street, Torrington, WY 82240.
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