November 22, 1939 — March 11, 2013
Doris Kathleen “Kathy” Lewis, 73, of Peoria, passed away at 10:28 p.m. on Monday, March 11, 2013, at Cornerstone Rehab and Health Care Center in Peoria Heights.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2013, at Clary Funeral Home, 3004 West Lake Avenue in Peoria, with visitation one hour prior to services. Interment will be at Historic Springdale Cemetery in Peoria.
Kathy was born on November 22, 1939 in Mankato, KS, the daughter of George and Marjorie (Kyle) Nichols. She grew up in Mankato, moving to Manhattan, KS while in high school. She graduated from Manhattan High in 1957. She earned an undergraduate degree in physical therapy from the University of Minnesota in June of 1961.
She married Daniel Ray Blankenship in August of 1963 and had one daughter, Terri. She spent her early married years as a mom and helping in the family business. She went on to graduate school in physical therapy at the University of Southern California and graduated in 1970. Upon graduation, she held several positions, including teaching physical therapy. Her last position from 1974-1982 was at Colby Community College.
While a practicing physical therapist and teacher, Kathy also held positions for the State of Kansas Licensing committee and at the national level for the APTA. In 1982, she began law school at Washburn School of Law in Topeka, KS, earning her JD in 1987. She continued her professional career in teaching with an emphasis on law for physical therapists and finished her career at Wichita State University. She was published in an academic book, “Managerial Supervisory Principles for Physical Therapists”, and as a contributing author wrote the chapter “Jurisprudence Essentials”. She was a well-loved, but demanding teacher. She was often voted “best dressed”.
All throughout her life, she demonstrated love for her family and was the family historian. She also had a love for good food, shopping, rose gardening and travel. Her shopping sixth-sense was legendary, as was her love for all desserts. Just prior to retiring in the fall of 2008, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and during her treatment, lived with her daughter, Terri, in Peoria. She beat her cancer, despite the odds, and moved to her dream retirement location of San Antonio, TX. She planted roses and became a Spurs fan. She moved back to Peoria in late 2011.
Kathy is survived by her daughter, Terri Lewis and son-in-law Daniel Angot of Peoria; grandsons, Dustin and Jordan Angot; grand-dog, Jaike; siblings, Burt Nichols of San Antonio, Barbara Nolf of Tampa, FL, Dwayne Nichols of Manhattan, KS, Frank Nichols of Cedar City, UT, Bud Nichols of San Antonio and Elaine Nichols of San Antonio; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made in Kathy’s memory to the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery Program in Peoria.
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