Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
(1/1/1921 — 2/24/2018)
Kathleen (Kitty) was born in Crosbyton, TX on January 1, 1921 and died in Roswell, NM on February 24, 2018 at the age of 97.
In 1936, due to the disastrous results of the dust bowl, Kitty’s family moved to Roswell, NM with her parents, sister, Marguerite (17) and brother, Bill (12) when Kitty was 15 years old. She graduated from Roswell High School in 1938. When she was 17 years old, Kitty was voted “Miss New Mexico.” She attended Roswell Business College for one semester.
Kitty married Henry D. Johnson (H.D.) on October 8, 1938. They lived the first four years of their marriage in Kansas City, MO, while H.D. attended dental school. Two children were born during this period, Henry D. Johnson III and Karen Rhea Johnson. When H.D. joined the war in 1944, Kitty moved back to Roswell to be near her parents and H.D.’s parents. She has remained a resident in Roswell since that time. After 42 years of happy marriage, H.D. died in 1980.
In 1983, Kitty married Frank Zukowski, the second love of her life. They, too, had a happy marriage and were able to build a new home and travel for 9 years before Frank’s passing. Kitty gained two step-sons from this marriage, John Zukowski and Bob Zukowski, with whom she has remained close.
Since 1936, Kitty has been a faithful member of the First United Methodist Church in Roswell. She served as communion chairman for many years and also served on the worship committee. Kitty was a member of the Clipper Sunday school class and enjoyed being the chairman of her morning study group. Kitty was also a member of Chapter Z, P.E.O. with her daughter Karen. Kitty was loved by her P.E.O. sisters, and she loved them. She enjoyed volunteering at the Eastern New Mexico Medical Center and was a charter member of the ENNMC Auxiliary. She was also a member of RSVP. Kitty volunteered weekly at the Roswell Art Museum as a greeter for many many years. She was perfect as a greeter because she loved Roswell and always had a smile on her face. Kitty was also a charter member of Beta Sigma Phi and Senior Circle. She was known for her cheerful, optimistic attitude. In fact, she was voted “Ms. Congeniality” at the Villa Del Rey residential home just a few years ago. She enjoyed helping the new residents get acquainted to each other and adjust to their new surroundings. Throughout her life, Kitty loved playing cards and was a member of two bridge clubs. She also loved swimming and was a water aerobics teacher at the Roswell Racquet Club for over twenty-five years well into her mid 80’s. Kitty was also an avid Dallas Cowboys football fan her whole life.
Kitty was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Most important in her life were her two children, seven grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren, two step-great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews from three generations. It kept her busy every month remembering birthdays.
Kitty was preceded in death by her mother, Naomi Rhea Mabe; her father, Jesse Newt Mabe; her sister, Marguerite Mabe Neal; her brother, Bill Mabe; her husband, H.D. Johnson; her son, Henry D. Johnson III; and her second husband, Frank Zukowski. She is survived by her daughter, Karen Armstrong and son-in-law Bill Armstrong Jr. of Alto, NM; her two step-sons, John Zukowski of Pacifica, CA and Bob Zukowski of Albuquerque, NM; her seven grandchildren, Shawn Welsh and wife Jenny of Albuquerque, NM; Justin Welsh and wife Kathy of Sunnyvale CA; Holly Newman of Albuquerque, NM; Scurry Johnson of Dallas, TX; Whitaker Johnson and wife Debra of Dallas, TX; Mariette Scherer and husband T.O. of Dallas, TX; and Kathleen Self and husband Michael of Portland, OR; and her two step-grandchildren, Scott Armstrong and wife Dianne of Dallas, TX; and Ami Armstrong of Austin, TX. “Kiki”, as she was lovingly known by all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, was most proud to have known and spent time with all of her 16 great grandchildren and 2 step-great grandchildren grown to be young adults. She is survived by all 18: Shannon and Brandon Welsh of Albuquerque, NM; Austin and David Welsh of Sunnyvale CA; Jack and Jessica Newman of Albuquerque, NM; William, Leslie, and Walter Johnson of Dallas, TX; Alexis, Cole and Garrett Johnson of Dallas, TX; Marietta and Teddy Scherer of Dallas, TX; Maddie and Mason Self or Portland, OR; and Kaelyn and Cade Armstrong of Dallas, TX.
The family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation for the excellent care and kindness shown by the Beehive assisted living staff of Roswell, NM. Special thanks is given to her two personal caregivers, Sharon Johnson and Martha Aguilar, who have both been so caring about meeting all of Kitty’s needs, especially in these last two years as her sight declined. Their patience, kindness and diligence will never be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, Kitty requested donations be given to the First United Methodist Church or the Animal Humane Society.
A memorial service celebrating Kitty’s life will be held on Friday, March 2, at 11:00 AM at the First United Methodist Church. Reverend Archie Echols, former pastor and personal friend, will assist with the service. A luncheon reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com to convey your memories and thoughts to the family.