Katherine Demple

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Katherine Demple

Known as Kitty, Katherine Demple passed away peacefully on January 13th, 2020, with her family by her side. She was a witty and well-traveled lady who raised a large family and had many adventures. Born in Jersey City, NJ on June 30th, 1928, to Genevieve Furey Griffin and Francis E. Griffin, first-generation children of Irish immigrants who had settled in Massachusetts. She was raised in Washington, DC, where Frank Griffin worked for the U.S. Government Printing Office. She attended parochial grade school and the high school of the Catholic University of America. Kitty studied English literature at Dunbarton College in Washington, DC. In October 1949 she married Joseph A. Demple of Sheridan and they moved to Wyoming, then viewed by Easterners as the untamed Wild West. Characteristically, she took to this new life with gusto and flair. Kitty involved herself in the Sheridan social scene and local civic groups and made many friends. The Demples eventually had nine children, the firstborn in 1950, the ninth in 1965. Even with a rapidly growing family, Kitty maintained her civic efforts. As president of the Junior Women’s Club in the early 1960s, she spearheaded the establishment of Sheridan’s first mental health clinic. Always an avid reader, she returned from the Carnegie Public Library every week with a big stack of books, replacing them with a new stack each week. In the 1970s, she got involved in the effort to build a new library, now the Sheridan County Public Library on Alger Street. She traveled widely while married: San Francisco, Mexico, Amsterdam, sending us postcards reporting on her adventures. After divorcing, she worked at First Wyoming Bank, then becoming an executive assistant at The Ucross Foundation. In 1983 she relocated to Palatine, IL, to help her sister Maryanne care for their mother. She spent several months in 1983 visiting London, a lifelong dream. She became an executive assistant in the Toshiba office in Chicago, becoming a vital part of the company and known to her Japanese colleagues as Kate-san. Kitty loved classical music and had a subscription to the Lyric Opera of Chicago. After the death of her mother, Kitty and her sister both retired in 1996 and moved to Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol of Spain, where she lived until returning to Sheridan in 2014. Her sister stayed only six months in Spain, but Kitty enjoyed the life there and made many friends, especially among the expatriate English community. She traveled widely in Spain, enjoying the many cultural sites. She made trips to Nice in France, and to Rome, and attended a summer course in Oxford studying the poetry of Emily Dickinson. She was skilled in knitting, crochet, and needlepoint, using the latter to generate beautiful renditions of classic paintings. She was preceded in death by her parents, her only sister Maryanne Griffin Ward and her nephew and fellow opera buff, Frank Ward. Kitty left a big legacy: she welcomed all to the house, and it could be unpredictable who might show up for any meal, but she dealt with this readily. Kitty had many well-known sayings in the family, such as “You don’t take a ham sandwich to a banquet”, a typical response when we wanted to tag along to a fancy dinner. She is survived by her nine children, Maura (Charley) Plunkett, Bruce (Susan Avery) Demple, Cecilia (Mike) Harris, Barbara (Jeff) Brettin, Gerry (Mary) Demple, Paul (Suzann) Demple, Mark (Janine) Demple, Matt (Pattie) Demple and Greg (Connie) Demple and their spouses, 22 grandchildren and dozens of great-grandchildren. Kitty remains lovingly in their thoughts and hearts.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the Amie Holt Care Center, 497 W. Lott St., Buffalo, WY 82834 or to the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library, 335 W. Alger St., Sheridan, WY 82801.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at Kane Funeral Home with Reverend Kevin Jones officiating. Burial will be held in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery with a reception to follow in the Kane Reception Hall.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.