With ways all her own, Kathleen Cardin was a woman who persevered through much and celebrated her greatest joys. A woman of inner strength who loved her family deeply, Kathleen was a driving force of everything “home.” She lived by way of example, and through her unconditional love and loving nature, she will be forever remembered.
Although conservative in nature, the decade of the 1950s sculpted the culture of America. Everything from music to movies, art and media to beloved comic strips and cartoons introduced households to a whole new way of life. With manufacturing and home construction on the rise, the economy boomed as the suburban dream was being realized. Amid these exciting times, the Korean War monopolized the news waves and clashes between communism and capitalism dominated the decade. It was indeed a time of change as well as blessings, especially in the lives of Harry and Ellen (nee Mallette) Cardin of Montevideo, Minnesota when on March 14, 1950, they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Kathleen Louise into their arms.
One of four children, Kathleen grew up alongside her three siblings, brothers, Roger and Richard, and sister, Carolyn. In her early years, Kathleen’s family moved about as her father spent several years serving in the U.S. Navy. They moved from Minnesota to California, and after settling in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, her father took a position working for the City of Cudahy, Wisconsin in the water department. While her mother made a good home for their family as a homemaker, Kathleen enjoyed a childhood filled with adventure. During her youth she attended Catholic grade schools before moving on to attend Cudahy High School. Always an outgoing and fun-loving girl, Kathleen shared the friendships of many. In high school she was involved with synchronized swimming and she marched in the Packer’s Color Guard twirling a rifle before graduating with the Class of 1969.
Kathleen made her way to adulthood at a time when the culture of America was moving along at a rapid pace. The Vietnam War was on the hearts and minds of all while peace demonstrations and racial tensions flared across the nation. Even so, Kathleen, like many young woman, had her own hopes and dreams for the future. These hopes were realized when she met Gary Callaway, a Navy friend of her brother, Roger. A whirlwind romance, the two eloped in Texas where they began their new lives together. Soon blessed with the birth of their first son, Eddy, Kathleen could not have been happier. In time she and her family moved from Texas to California, and eventually made their way to live in Hawaii. There they welcomed the birth of their second son, Isaac who completed their family. Although Kathleen’s marriage came to an end, she was forever grateful for her two wonderful sons who came from their union.
With her two boys in tow, Kathleen returned to Milwaukee where she began working at the Louis Allis Company in the drafting department. She later took a bookkeeping position located at the Milwaukee International Airport at Paradee Gift Shoppes. There wasn’t anything Kathleen wouldn’t do for her sons. She exemplified that of a strong, sacrificing single parent who did her utmost to care and provide for her family. At times she even worked two jobs to make ends meet, but she was always willing to do whatever it took. Through the years Kathleen and her sons created lasting memories which will always be treasured. They went camping at the beautiful Pikes Peak State Park in Iowa, and visiting the unforgettable Spook Cave. She took Eddy and Isaac to their first Brewers game, and when Eddy was hospitalized after a serious accident, Kathleen barely left his bedside.
There were many things that made Kathleen special in the hearts of those who knew her. And there were many things Kathleen loved about life in general. She liked camping, and she was an avid Brewer and Green Bay Packers fan. Kathleen loved to dance, especially during the disco era. In fact, in her earlier years she’d dance around the house and would enjoy times spent with friends at the local dance clubs. Some of her favorite TV programs included none other than American Bandstand, Dance Fever, and Solid Gold. She also loved watching Little House on the Prairie, and she indulged her love for reading Christmas stories anytime of the year!
A woman of strength and substance who gave her all and then some, Kathleen Cardin was a delight to know and love. She never ceased in being there for those she loved, and family was the very center of her heart. In all ways, Kathleen loved and lived fully at every opportunity and will be dearly missed and remembered.
Kathleen Louise Cardin, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully February 3, 2017 at the age of 66. She is the cherished mother of Eddy Callaway and Isaac (Kate) Callaway; loving grandmother of Jake; dear sister of Roger Cardin, Richard Cardin and Carolyn (Walter) Robertson. She is further survived by nieces, a nephew, other relatives and friends. Visitation will be Friday, February 10, 2017 from 1:00 pm until the time of the funeral service at 3:00 pm at the Suminski Family Life Story Funeral Homes – Niemann/Suminski Location, 2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207. To share a favorite memory or photo of Kathleen and to sign her online guest book, please visit www.suminskifuneralhome.com.