Kathy Haen, age 66, of Atwater, MN formerly of Olivia, MN passed away from cancer on Thursday, December 15, 2022 at her home. Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, December 22, 2022 at 11 a.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Olivia with Rev. Joe Steinbeisser as celebrant. Burial will be at a later date. Visitation will be Wednesday, December 21, 2022 from 5-7 p.m. at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Olivia. Memorials are preferred to St. Mary’s Catholic School in Bird Island.
A live stream of Kathy’s service will be available on Thursday, December 22, 2022 at 11 a.m.
Katherine Marie Ryan was born on August 8, 1956 in New Brighton, MN to Thomas and Arlene (Schmoll) Ryan. She attended St. Aloysius grade school and graduated from Olivia High School in 1974. Kathy was introduced to her husband Mark by her Mom Arlene, when Arlene was a waitress and Mark was a cook at the Gateway Cafe. Mark and Kathy fell in love and were united in marriage on October 11, 1975, with their daughter, Jackie being born in 1976. Kathy and Mark lived in Hector for a year before purchasing a home in Olivia. Kathy worked as a waitress for several years at Cowtown USA, Union 76 Cafe, Clock Cafe, and Cornland Kitchen. In 1980, their son, Joseph was born, making their family complete. With two young children in the house, Kathy decided to make a career as a Daycare Mom and she did this for 17 years from her home in Olivia. For Kathy, this was more than a job, as she loved the kids as her own, making lifelong connections and memories and becoming a “second mom” to dozens of kids.
Kathy began doing property management and then earned her Real Estate License in 1999. She sold real estate and managed property for 23 years in the Olivia area, primarily for Re/Max with her brother Randy Ryan. She earned many awards with Re/Max including the Hall of Fame and 100% Club Awards. Later in her career, she took great pride in working together with her son, Joe. Kathy loved helping people find their dream homes and create fresh starts. She retired from being a Realtor in 2022.
Kathy and Mark moved from Olivia to the home they built together on Diamond Lake in Atwater in 2017. Here, Kathy loved to work in her garden and grow plants, host family and friends, cook, attract birds, and spend time on the pontoon. Kathy and Mark enjoyed 3 fabulous weeks in Costa Rica together in February 2022, where they zip-lined five miles across the rainforest, met monkey friends, and relaxed together. As a devoted Elvis Presley fan, she also treasured her trip to Graceland with Mark and Jackie in 2003.
Kathy was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She had a heart of gold and contagious smile, often putting the needs of others before her own. She will be remembered for her unending kindness and love for family, especially her grandchildren. Kathy was proud of her title of Grandma Kathy, which lovingly got shortened to “Grand Kathy” by her grandkids. She gleamed with pride when watching her grandchildren at preschool programs, baseball, basketball, dance, or other events. Some of her favorite traditions with her family were girls day pedicures, 4th of July at the Lake, and giving gifts at Christmas.
Kathy is survived by her husband Mark of Atwater, daughter Jackie (and Neil) Kaufenberg of Olivia and Joe (and Amanda) Haen of Olivia; her five grandchildren Maverick, Brody, Charlotte, Nolan, and Duncan; her brother Randy (and Terri) of Spicer and her sister Lisa of Olivia, MN, along with many nieces and nephews. Kathy is preceded in death by her parents Tom and Arlene Ryan, and her siblings Ron Ryan and Rick Ryan. Dirks-Blem Funeral Service, Olivia, MN (320) 523-1102 www.dirksblem.com