Karen ‘Kitty’ Winter

Karen ‘Kitty’ WinterKaren Elizabeth Winter, known to all as “Kitty,” passed away peacefully in her home in Ridgecrest on Aug. 15, 2020, surrounded by her loved ones. Although she was a fighter, lung cancer won this battle.

Kitty was born on June 16, 1942, in Chicago, Ill., and adopted by Wesley Peterson of South Dakota and Margaret Neil of Wisconsin shortly after her birth. Her childhood was full of love and adventures. Growing up, she lived in Shadow, N.J.; Wilmington, Dela.; North Oaks, Minn.; and she traveled to Europe with her mother. She attended Stevens College in Columbia, Mo., in the hopes of becoming an actress someday, but God obviously had another adventure planned out for her; during that time, she met a handsome man who ended up being the love of her life, during a party mixer.

On Dec. 30, 1961, Kitty married Don L. Winter in Jefferson City, Mo., and career opportunities carried them first to Indianapolis, Ind., where she gave birth to her first-born son, Don in 1962. In 1964, her husband was offered an engineer position at Naval Weapons Center China Lake, so they relocated to Ridgecrest. Five years later, in 1969, she gave birth to her second son, Eric.

Faith was centermost in Kitty’s life and she made sure her children and grandchildren were educated in a faith-based school environment. Her youngest son, Eric, and granddaughter, Stephanie, attended Saint Ann School and now her grandson, Wesley, is following on the same footsteps. She volunteered at the school as a room parent and grandparent with school events and functions; her favorites being the Fall Festival, the Holiday Bazaar and the Benefit Dinner.

Kitty proudly volunteered for many clubs and events throughout the community: WACOM, Various RV Clubs, The B.P.O. Ridgecrest Elks, Beta Sigma Phi and she was also a Merit Badge Counselor for Boy Scouts of America. Kitty enjoyed her life to the fullest! Everywhere she went, she built cherished friendships and was loved and admired by many. She enjoyed playing bridge with her friends, hosting luncheons, attending Lone Pine Film Festivals, RVing with her husband, Hollywood movie stars and history movie trivia, the study of feline behavior and cats in general (hence the nickname), collecting Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls, going to the Mall and especially spending time with her grandchildren.

Kitty was a life member of Beta Sigma Phi, Delta Iota Master chapter, where she built many cherished friendships and together with her sisters, gave back to the community through fundraising events. She steadfastly leaned on her sisters’ presence for support as she did for them. As she would often say “They are truly the best bunch of women I know and love.”

Kitty is preceded in death by her parents, Wesley and Margaret Peterson; brother, Alan Peterson; and beloved husband, Don Winter.

She is survived by her sons, Don Allan Winter (Laura) of Victorville and Eric Anthony Winter (Chantell “Chachy”) of Ridgecrest; and grandchildren, Stephanie Marie Winter of Stockholm, Sweden, and Wesley Owen Winter of Ridgecrest.

— Submitted by the family of Kitty Winter

Story First Published: 2020-08-28