OREGON – Kathy Lynn (Hilliard) Colbert, 63, of Oregon, passed away Jan. 4, 2020 at the UW Madison Hospital. She died a peaceful and contented death with family by her side, six months after being diagnosed with cancer.
Kathy was born Sept. 14, 1956 at Rockford, the daughter of Richard and Delores Hilliard. She grew up in Holcomb, before moving to Carbondale, Colorado, where she graduated from high school.
Returning to Illinois, she met her future husband, Andy Colbert, at Kishwaukee College. The two were married on March 31, 1979 at Elim Reformed Church in Kings.
A son and daughter were soon born and Kathy interrupted her studies to stay home to raise her children, living in Rochelle for a while before moving to Oregon.
In 1988, 12 years after she started course work on a teaching degree, she graduated from NIU, making her mother and father very proud. Later she would obtain a masters degree.
His first elementary teaching job was at Ashton for a year, followed by stints at Rahn Elementary in Mt. Morris and Etnyre Middle School in Oregon.
Kathy’s favorite subject to teach was history, with math her least favorite. School kids were her first love, as borne out by the wide number that consider “Mrs. Colbert” their favorite teacher. She especially appreciated the relationship with fellow grade-school colleagues and was also grateful for all the support and help offered by the retired teaching community in her time of need. Kathy favorite past-times were reading and watching football on TV. She was also noted as a quilter and home decorator.
Her greatest joy was spending time with twin 6-year old granddaughters. Kathy relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah, two years ago to be with them. She stayed for six months before returning to Oregon.
She is survived by her husband, Andy, of Oregon; son, Blair Colbert, of Salt Lake City, Utah; daughter, Jorie (Carlton) Getz of Salt Lake City, Utah; grandchildren, Alexandra and Liliya Getz; father, Dick Hilliard of King, Wisconsin; brother Rich Hilliard of Tampa, Florida, brother Rob Hilliard of Tomah Wisconsin; mother-in-law, Bobbie Colbert, of Rochelle; brother-in-laws Bo (Cindy) Colbert of North Carolina and Tony (Catherine) Colbert of Wyoming; and sister-in-laws Jodi (Brett) Kemp of Montana and Suzie Colbert of Virginia.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Delores.
Services were held last month at Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home in Oregon. Cremation care was provided by the funeral home, with the ashes to be scattered over the mountains of Salt Lake City by request of the deceased.