Kathleen Ballenger passed away peacefully at her home in Kodiak, Alaska, July 19, 2020, following a short, brave fight with cancer. She was born April 11, 1941, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Marie and Louis Kearns.
Kate arrived in Kodiak on a vacation with friends and never left. Over the years, she worked for several employers, including the Kodiak Island Borough, Wien Air and the City of Kodiak. On September 8, 1990, Kate married her best friend, Benny Ballenger. After her retirement, she continued servicing the Kodiak community as a KEA Board Member for many years. She was an active member in St. Mary’s Catholic Church and a consistent volunteer at St. Mary’s School, where she enjoyed many years tutoring and reading with the “little kiddies,” as she fondly referred to them. Kate loved her neighborhood and was always eager to visit and find out what was new with all of her neighbors. She enjoyed gardening and loved her dog, Molly, dearly. Kate enjoyed watching Cincinnati Reds baseball, Bengals football and boxing. Each year she proudly celebrated her favorite holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, with green mashed potatoes and green iced water with her corned beef and cabbage dinner. Her very favorite color was purple and her favorite party was Republican.
Kate leaves a large, extended family who loved her dearly.
She is survived by her daughter Geri Lindquist and husband Mike of Lafayette, California; stepdaughter Darsha Spalinger and husband Greg of Kodiak; sisters Patti Hamburg of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Eileen Johnson of Berkeley, California; and brother Marty Kearns of Cleveland, Ohio. She leaves granddaughter Rachelle Brouhard and husband William and their children Mackenzie, Chase, Madison and Benjamin of Orting, Washington; grandson Jacob Spalinger of Kodiak; and grandson Dylan Gleeson and granddaughter Jennifer Gleeson of Lafayette, California.
The list of her Kodiak friends is nearly endless and they know who they are.
Kate was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Tom Kearns and the love of her life, husband Ben Ballenger. Her ashes were spread at her request at Buoy 4 near Ben’s favorite halibut hole, a place for both of them to rest in peace.
A potluck repast will be held Saturday, August 8, 2020, from 2-5 p.m. at the Elks. Please bring a dish and your favorite reminiscence of Kate! In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Mary’s School would be gratefully accepted in anticipation of their reopening.