Katherine Jo McClanahan Wilson died peacefully on July 7, 2019 at the age of 90 at Morningside Place in Overland Park, Kansas.
Katherine was preceded in death by spouse James Wilson; parents Clarence McClanahan and Opal May (Horton) McClanahan; brother Edward Leon McClanahan (Joyce); sister Dorothy Lou Downs Bonner; nephews Robert Downs, Jeffery McClanahan and James Andrew Downs.
She is survived by daughter Judith Kay Buckner Clause (William); sons Richard Eugene Buckner (Patricia) and Eric Stevan Buckner (Rebecca), granddaughters Kimberly Jollynn Clause, Stephanie Brooke Buckner- Nielsen (Brian), Chloe Marie Grace Buckner and Stevie Alana Hope Buckner; great grandchildren Dorian Vincent Clause (Kirby), David Benjamin Williams (Kaley), Anthony Manchenton, Rylan James and Brooklyn Elizabeth Nielsen, nephew Michael McClanahan and many good friends.
Katherine was born February 24, 1929 in Kansas City, Missouri and was raised in and around Picher, Oklahoma. She graduated from high school in 1947 and earned a license in cosmetology. She eventually worked with her father at his Standard Oil Service Station in Baxter Springs, Kansas and lived with her parents with her daughter, Judy, until her father’s death in 1956. Katherine married Hershel Theo Buckner in 1955 and their son, Richard Eugene, was born in 1956. The family moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1957.
In Tucson, Katherine was a homemaker and wanted to share their home with children in foster care. In the span of 31/2 years, Katherine and Hershel fostered 48 children. She was very proud of all of her “kids” and provided loving support and refuge to them unconditionally. As her children became more independent, she decided it was time to start a career. She worked as cafe manager, retail manager and finally became a successful corporate, hotel and college food service manager and caterer. Katherine had a flair for making beautiful table and food decor and earned many compliments for her cooking and decor. She was a member of the Tucson American Business Women’s Association and once earned the title of Woman of the Year of which she was very proud. Throughout her food service career, she lived in several different cities where she found success and many friends.
In the twilight of her life, she met and married James Wilson and moved to Manhattan, Kansas. There she became an avid Kansas State University sports fan. Their home was filled with K State purple! It was there that she began taking oil painting lessons and found her true artistic self. Katherine’s paintings grace the homes of her loving family.
Katherine so loved family, singing, painting, decorating and cheering for K State teams. She loved a good potluck, a good party and a good glass of wine. She was a woman of substance and heart. She will be missed by many.
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.’ “ (Erma Bombeck)
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Katherine’s name to:
St. Mark’s Hope and Peace Lutheran Church
Kansas City, MO 64109
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St. Mark's Hope and Peace Catholic Church
3800 Troost, Kansas City MO 64109