Kathleen Ann Olden
Kathleen Ann Olden will be remembered as a peacemaker, nature enthusiast and fun-loving person.
“She didn’t have a mean bone in her body," Robert Shafferkoetter, her long-term companion in St. Louis, said. "It sounds simple, but I think if you live up to that, that’s about all you can do.”
Ms. Olden died during gastrointestinal surgery on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010. She was 62.
She was born June 13, 1948, in Renwick, Iowa, to Roscoe and Lucreta (Luchsinger) Olden.
Ms. Olden graduated from Harrisburg High School and the St. Louis Municipal School of Nursing as a registered nurse. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1980 from St. Louis University and a master’s degree in hospital administration in 1986.
She worked at Missouri Baptist Medical Center from 1984 to 1986 when she joined the St. Louis Physicians Group where she worked until 1988.
Ms. Olden planned on returning to work at St. John’s Mercy Hospital Administration, where she worked from 1988 to 2010. She was the director of physician accounts in administration.
Ms. Olden also worked for about 20 years on an open-heart surgery team, Shafferkoetter said.
Her sister Carolyn Larson of Humboldt, Iowa, said Ms. Olden was fearless in her career.
“She wasn’t afraid to tell a doctor, 'no, you're not going to get this,'” she said.
Besides Ms. Olden’s dedication to her career, she will be remembered for her love of travel and nature.
Shafferkoetter and Ms. Olden enjoyed visiting her favorite place— the Missouri River bluffs outside of Bosherton Town. She loved the rolling hills and peach orchards.
“Kathleen was the love of my life," he said. "She’s somebody that can’t be replaced.”
She also enjoyed biking in the mountains out west, her sister Patricia Rowland, of Harrisburg, said. When her nieces and nephews visited Ms. Olden in St. Louis, they would go camping and swimming, Rowland said.
Ms. Olden was a very thoughtful person and was close to her family, Larsen said. “She made sure we were all getting along fine,” she said.
Larsen, who was 10 years older than Ms. Olden, said her strongest memories are from when they were children.
“I used to tease her quite a bit, and she used to always run to mom," she said. "She was the youngest."
Ms. Olden spent a month in Mercy St. John’s Hospital in Springfield before she died.
“She couldn’t do much sharing; most of the time was spent holding hands,” Rowland said.
Ms. Olden is survived by her partner, Robert Shafferkoetter of St. Louis; a brother, Dennis Olden of Onamia, Minn.; sisters Patricia Rowland of Harrisburg, and Carolyn Larsen of Humboldt, Iowa; and 12 nieces and three nephews.
Her parents died earlier.
Visitation will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Nilson Funeral Home, 5611 St. Charles Road. An 11 a.m. service will be conducted at the funeral home and burial in Memorial Park Cemetery will follow.
Memorial contributions may be sent to 4187 W. Harper Road, Clark, MO, 65243 for a nursing education scholarship through Hope Chest For Kids Inc.