Cover photo for Kathleen VanWagenen's Obituary
1943 Kathleen 2023

Kathleen VanWagenen

December 29, 1943 — September 5, 2023

Copperas Cove

Kathleen VanWagenen, also known as Kathy, passed away on September 5, 2023, at the age of 79 from heart disease. She was born on December 29, 1943, to Charles and Lillian VanWagenen in Provo, UT.  Kathy was the 3rd of their 4 children. She lived a remarkable life filled with various accomplishments and cherished memories.

Having grown up in the small town of Provo with limited exposure to the outside world, Kathy's life took an exciting turn when she married Dee Nielsen on July 28th,1961 and became a military wife. Through this experience she discovered the vastness of the world and formed strong bonds with fellow military wives.  These experiences opened Kathy's eyes to the diversity of the world and forever changed her outlook on life.

Kathy was a spunky woman who touched the hearts of many. Her beauty was captivating, but it was her vibrant personality that truly made her shine.  She had a knack for bringing smiles to people's faces and as an adult she was never shy or afraid to express herself.  Known for being outspoken, she was a loyal friend to those fortunate enough to know her.

Throughout her journey, Kathy had a beautiful singing voice and played the piano with grace. She expressed her artistic talents through painting, sewing and crafting and enjoyed her bowling leagues and traveling for tournaments.  Her talent and creativity were evident in everything she pursued from creating beautiful scarves to crafting delicate porcelain dolls, they remain treasured keepsakes for those fortunate enough to receive them.

Among Kathy's proudest accomplishments were raising four beautiful redheaded girls and becoming and grandmother of 11 and a great grandmother of 13.  Later in life, she achieved another significant milestone by becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse at the age of 50.  Her determination and resilience were truly inspiring.

Kathy's memory will forever be treasured by her surviving family members and friends.  She is survived by her husband Dee Nielsen, her daughters, Tamara Sharp, Mary McCutchen, Carolyn Young and Kathy's baby sister, Sandra Carroll.  

Kathy was preceded in death by her Father Charles B. VanWagenen; Mother Lillian R. VanWagenen; Brother Kay Lamar VanWagenen; Sister Nana Lee VanWagenen Burton and her Daughter Denise Michelle Nielsen Ormonde. Their love and support meant the world to Kathy and brought her joy throughout her life.

To honor Kathleen Vanwagenen's life, a Graveside Service will be held on September 20, 2023, at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, TX. The service will commence at 11:00 AM. The cemetery is located at 11463 TX-195.

Kathy will be deeply missed but fondly remembered for her vivacity, talent, and infectious spirit. Her legacy lives on in the hearts of all those who had the privilege of knowing her.

Please consider in lieu of flowers donating to Kathy's most cherished foundation St Jude Children's hospital through the link below.

Proceeding the services, we will be having a Celebration of Life, @ Olan Forest Smith VFW Post 8577 & Auxiliary 1506 Veterans Ave Copperas Cove TX, 76522.





To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathleen VanWagenen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery

11463 TX-195, Killeen, TX 76542

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