Kathleen “Kathy” Anne VanOtterloo, age 76, passed away on April 22nd, 2023, at her home in Arvada, Colorado. She was the loving wife of Jim VanOtterloo, whom she married on March 24th, 1973. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends. Together, Kathy and Jim have 2 children, Tracy Zahner and Brad VanOtterloo, and 1 grandson, Ian Zahner.
Born in Sparta, Illinois, she was the daughter of Albert and Annie (Nickel) Varsa. Kathy grew up on her family farm in Marissa, Illinois, with her four siblings, Albert Jr. Varsa, Helen McCormick, Edward Varsa, and Lorene Harmon. She attended Sparta High School in Sparta, Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in Business Education. She later went on to receive her Master of Business Administration. She moved to Wheat Ridge, Colorado in 1969, and soon began her teaching career at O’Connell Middle School in Lakewood, Colorado. She later accepted a position at Pomona High School in Arvada, Colorado where she taught business education. She retired from teaching after thirty-two years.
Kathy was very active in her faith. She was a member of Spirit of Christ Catholic Church, later joining their Young at Heart group. She enjoyed being actively involved in her children and grandson’s lives, traveling with family and friends, spending time in the Rocky Mountains, and attending concerts and Denver Broncos’ games. She will be remembered for her dedication to her family, her commitment to friends, her caring spirit, and her warm and welcoming nature.
She is survived by her husband, Jim, children, Tracy and Brad, and grandson, Ian. She was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Annie, and siblings, Albert Jr. and Edward.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Kathy’s honor to either The Denver Hospice or The American Cancer Society .
The Celebration of Life event in honor of Kathy will be held on June 2nd, at The Ranch Country Club in Westminster, Colorado from noon to 3:00 pm. We hope that you can join us as we share joyful memories and stories of her life.
Please share memories of Kathy and condolences with her family by signing the tribute wall.