Kathleen "Kathi" Sue Clymer

 

Courtesy photo

Kathleen "Kathi" Sue Clymer

Kathleen "Kathi" Sue Clymer, 70, passed away on March 24, 2023, in Laramie, Wyoming, leaving a legacy of extraordinary creativity, lifelong learning, and unwavering love for her family, friends, students, and the fine arts. She was a multi-talented spirit who touched thousands of lives for the better.

Kathleen was born in Laramie, Wyoming, at Ivinson Memorial Hospital on July 22, 1952, the daughter of Edwin R. Clymer and Edith White Clymer. Her formative childhood years were spent with a backdrop of Snowy Range landscapes. She was a member of the Laramie Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls from age seven to 17. She was a 4-H member from age nine through collegiate years and judged at the Wyoming State Fair for Open Class Arts & Crafts.

A woman of high expectations, sage wisdom, and an honest word, Kathleen wanted everyone to have their best chance in life and to know their self-worth; she tirelessly gave to others because she believed in the essence of humanity. She blazed an unforgettable career as a full-time educator, advisor, and director. She taught art, theater, and speech for 27 years in Wyoming and Colorado public schools. Numerous students from Glenrock, Burlington, and Green River were part of her life's joy.

Kathleen had a flare for productions and always had a plan. Whether her vision included producing full-scale musicals, traveling the world, organizing the Wyoming High School State Arts Symposium, or attending Native American rendezvous reenactments, she touched the hearts of many. Kathleen had an incredible work ethic. After full days at school, she could be found nights and weekends in the theater and art rooms mentoring students. Her set designs and costumes wowed audiences. She empowered people to believe in themselves, and she provided support and a safe-harbor.

Kathleen was a dedicated leader; she contributed to improving the communities in which she lived. She served as President of Wyoming Secondary Art Educators, President of Wyoming Educators of Secondary Theater, and was a member of the Wyoming Education Association Board of Directors. She was awarded the Wyoming Outstanding Art Teacher and the Wyoming Outstanding Theater Educator. She was employed at University of Wyoming as a Student Life Specialist. She served as Director of the Laramie Area Chamber of Commerce and was the creator of the "Freedom Has a Birthday" Fourth of July event still celebrated in Laramie. Her Facebook page is flooded with positive memoirs--a testament to the scope of her influence.

Time spent at the Arlington homestead property along Three-Mile Creek was one of Kathi's greatest joys. 

In retirement, she taught at the Laramie Montessori School, became a 4-H Leader, and was a member of The Unexpected Company--a Laramie Senior Citizens' theater group. She created beautiful fused-glass art, sculpture narratives, and detailed beadwork pieces.

Kathleen held a love of Native American culture. She faithfully presented at Rendezvous for fourth-grade students. She was involved in Buffalo Days and was one of the founding members of the Shell River Indian Camp, attending annually. As a respected mentor, Kathleen was highly interested in preserving the authenticity of 1840-1870's Native American attire. She loved camping in her tipi.

Kathleen was married to Warren A. Clarke in 2007; the couple parted in 2011.

Although she had no children of her own, one of her most important callings was giving unconditional love to her extended family. Their welfare and happiness were always on her mind.

Kathleen is survived by her sisters: Karling Clymer Abernathy (Ed) of Cody, WY and Valorie Clymer Smith of Laramie, WY; nieces and nephew: Corelle Smith Lotzer, Shawnee Smith Abell, and Dana Edwin Smith; great nieces and nephews: Annica Fenus Lotzer, Landon and Liam Lotzer, Riley and Cale Smith, Shelby and Britian Abell; and great-great nephews Charlie & Bair Vollmer. Kathi's furr-family cats and dogs were the luckiest animals on the planet.

In 2022, she published her book Dymphna the Dowdy Dragon. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that expressions of love for Kathi's life be made by ordering her book and sharing its message of finding acceptance and joy along life's journey. (Her book is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.)

There will be a funeral service at First Christian Church, 2130 East Garfield Street in Laramie, Wyoming at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2023.

 

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