Kathie was born in Sterling, Colorado to John and Elsie Black. Her family moved to Englewood, Colorado when she was five, where she graduated from Englewood High School in 1938. She attended the Business School at the University of Denver. Her business, Kathie’s Import Chalet, was in Englewood from 1962 to 1995.
She passed away peacefully on Good Friday, April 15th. She had many visits from family and friends in the two weeks before her passing, as they celebrated her 102nd birthday. She was mentally very sharp until the end, so they were able to have wonderful conversations sprinkled with stories and laughter.
She met the love of her life, Eden Recor, when she went roller-skating in Denver. They knew each other a short time before he was sent with the Army Air Corps as a ball turret gunner in WWII. Their love developed as they wrote letters, and soon after he returned from the war, they married. They had two children, Eden Recor Jr. (Petra) who lives in Grand Lake, and Linda Marsolek (Bob) who lives in Denver. She had three grandchildren, Kimberly Recor, Jenny Recor, and Paul Marsolek III; and two great granddaughters, Chizel and Arraya Marsolek. She also had numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Her parents and two sisters, Linda Province and Patricia Vardaman, preceded her in death.
Kathie was an exceptional woman, who was known for her kindness, generosity, and determination. She loved people, and was always very interested and caring towards others, and encouraged them in their lives. She developed a career in sales as she sold china, stainless steel flatware, and crystal stemware in homes all around Denver and in the mountains. She won many sales contests, and earned her first trip to Europe this way. She loved the beautiful things she found on that trip to Europe in 1961 - Swiss music boxes, Hummel figurines, woodcarvings, delicate porcelain figurines, cut crystal - and just knew that people here in Colorado just needed to have those things. She and her husband Eden found a house on Broadway in Englewood, Colorado where they could live and start a gift business, Kathie’s Import Chalet. In those days, bankers wouldn’t consider working with women in extending business loans - or even credit cards for that matter. With Eden’s many practical talents and her excellent selling skills, and love of people, they developed one of the finest import gift businesses west of the Mississippi. It became famous all over the United States as well as overseas. Within a few years, Eden joined the business full time. It became a real destination for visitors from all over. It was part business and part museum, with a fine collection of antique music boxes when they expanded to a neighboring property. She loved to help people find that perfect gift to express their love for others, or to beautify their homes. She traveled to Europe every year for over 40 years, as she deepened her friendships with the many artists and business people.
Her beloved Eden passed in 1991. Joe Habas, a customer, met her in her gift shop and they married in 1992. After selling the business in 1995, they invited hundreds of people every year to come enjoy the beautiful things in their home. At Christmastime, it became a wonderland with the Christmas decorations and villages Joe set up, and over 30 Christmas trees throughout their home. Kathie and Joe gave much enjoyment to the hundreds of visitors every year. Joe loved to show visitors the beautiful things, and was quite the cook. Joe preceded her in death on March 22, 2022.
A few years ago her niece introduced her to pocket angel coins. It became Kathie’s mission to spread these coins to as many people as she could, with the message that we all have angels- some of them in human form - that care for us and help us. She gave away over 100,000 pocket angel coins over the past few years. Known as the “Angel Lady” she heard so many stories of what these angel coins had meant to others. Her desire was for others to continue giving these angel coins, or to find other ways to express care and kindness to others.
She belonged to various organizations and groups – PEO, Christian Women’s Club, Variants and Department 56 and Hummel collectors’ clubs. She led her 1938 Englewood High School class in their reunions and socializing over the many decades. She loved her church, Mile Hi Church in Lakewood, Colorado, and was even honored as the production department’s “Angel of the Year” for all her support over the years.
A Celebration of Life will be on June 17th at 1:00 at Mile Hi Church, 9077 W. Alameda Ave., Lakewood, CO., with a reception to follow. For those who are unable who to attend Kathie's service personally, please join us virtually by clicking on the following link: https://vimeo.com/event/2071043/4f00499d3c
Kathie requested that instead of flowers, that people help the homeless and those in need. One local organization that does this is Colorado Feeding Kids (www.cofeedingkids.org).
Please leave memories and condolences for Kathie by signing her tribute wall.