Published 1:21 pm Monday, November 14, 2022
Kathryn Ann (Clark) Rockne was born August 3rd 1938, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. She often spoke of having the last rites said over her as a newborn, after suffering a brain aneurysm. Pretty much the rest, she would say, has been the icing on the cake.
Kathy attended Lourdes Catholic High School. Reading the notes in her yearbook, it is clear that even then, she was the loyal friend, the practical one, the good listener who laughed easily.
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She met her sweetheart, Dick Rockne, at a St. Patrick’s Day Dance. He always said it took just one look across the room to know he would never be the same. They were married for 61 years, spending most of that in his hometown of Austin, MN, where they raised three daughters. She was a lifelong homemaker in the true sense of the word.
There were hard times: illnesses, losses, family crises, a catastrophic layoff. Throughout all, her strength and practicality served her family well. In later life, if you had almost any sort of question for him, Dick would simply ask, What does mom say? (And being Irish, she had just the right saying for almost any situation. Bad day? Well, that’s just the tail end o’ the limit. Rough night? Kid, you look like the last rose o’ summer. Good times? Aren’t you livin’ the life o’ Reilly!)
In later years, Kathy and Dick moved to Decorah, IA to be near family. There they found another community, and a new ease of living. After Richard’s death, Kathy continued to be a downtown fixture, walking, or tooling around with the kind and helpful Hometown Taxi drivers to all her places: Fareway, The Hairloom, T-Bock’s, and more.
Coming full circle, on All Hallows Eve, October 31st, Kathy died in the hospital where she was born, perhaps from that very part of her brain that caused the trouble at her birth.
If we could narrow down her superpower to one thing, it might be this: her contentment. Despite the many trials of her life, even during them, she was grateful for each day. She never tried to be anything but herself, and we will miss her more than we can say.
Kathy is survived by daughters Ellen Rockne and Mary (Ron) Brohmer, grandsons Gabriel and Matthew Andreas, siblings Judy Gilmore and Kerry Clark, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, their daughter Carol, and many beloved aunts and uncles.
A Celebration of Her Life will be held on Friday, November 18, at 1PM at the Lingonberry Event Venue, 218 West Water Street in Decorah, IA. Feel free to wear pink, her favorite color, as is fitting for our dear Irish Rose.