Katie Kitchell, 61, died peacefully in the company of her family after a short illness in Grand Junction.
Born in Washington, D.C., she grew up in the Maryland suburbs and graduated from Walter Johnson High School. She attended Fairleigh Dickinson University and graduated with her degree in dental hygiene. Katie worked for several years in the Boston area, then migrated to Los Angeles in the 1970s to join her sister, Gretchen, and reunite with other Maryland friends who had also come West. She met her future husband, Ron, during these years and the two of them adopted Vail as their permanent home following their marriage in 1981. With the start of their family nearly 30 years ago, Katie opened her Mothers and Others store in Avon with the purpose of providing maternity and child related clothing and services to locals. Through her business, community activities and close personal ties, Katie developed a strong network of friends in the valley. Her home was known to be a haven for good cheer, support and connection.
Katie had a great love for the ocean and all things beach related. Her personal nature reflected these attributes - she was beautiful, exciting, inspiring, unpredictable, comforting and constant. She could always be counted on. She will be missed.
She is survived by her only husband, Ron Kitchell; her son Tim Kitchell and his wife Shannon; daughter Brittainy Illig and her husband Lucas and grandson Joseph; sister Gretchen Jaeger; her Aunt Cynthia Crim; cousins Lisa Galioto, William Crim, Dwight Crim, Emily Wells, Dottie Polak and Peter Higgins; and sister-in-law Grace Whalen.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Edwards Interfaith Chapel, 32138 Highway 6. Reception immediately following. A side dish would be appreciated but is not necessary. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Caring for Katie. An account has been established at US Bank. Donation envelopes will be available at the service. If you have any questions, please contact Val Woodbury at 970-376-4347.