Kathleen Theyken Wattenberg

Kathleen Margaret Theyken Wattenberg

Monday, August 31st, 2020
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Frenchtown - Kathleen Margaret Theyken Wattenberg, age 82, passed away on Monday, August 31, 2020, after a long battle with kidney disease and chronic back pain. Kathleen died at home surrounded by her family.
Kathleen was born in Teaneck, NJ to Frank and Kathleen Theyken on May 28th, 1938. Frank was a newspaper publisher and owned three papers in the Teaneck area. When she was 12 years old, the family decided to move to southern California, eventually settling in La Canada where Frank established a Real Estate company. She attended John Muir High School in Pasadena, where she met her future husband Robert “Bob” Wattenberg. She exhibited leadership qualities early, being a student body officer and a Honored Queen of the Order of Job‘s Daughters. Kathleen attended Pasadena City College and Bob went on to UCLA. They were married in 1958 and remained so for 62 years. Early in their marriage, Bob and Kathleen agreed that church was important to the family and they joined the Episcopal Church.
After graduation, the family moved to Palos Verdes, where their children spent their early years. The couple had three children, Lisa Kathleen, Robert Ellis Jr, and Shauna Teresa. Bob’s job moved them to Santa Maria California.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years until her Real Estate background took effect and she became a salesperson, eventually opening “Town and Ranch Realty” as owner broker. Kathleen loved her family, and never let her professional life interfere. Many hours were spent following their children’s pursuits, as a driver, team mom, sponsor, score keeper and avid cheerleader. Lots of late night meals and motels in unfamiliar places were commonplace as she traveled with the teams.
After 8 years, a change in jobs caused the family to move back south to Orange County. Her leadership qualities again arose, and Kathleen was elected President of the Orange County Republican Woman's organization. Another job change and the family moved back to Palos Verdes and then to Virginia for a couple of years before Bob retired in 2001. After Shauna and her family moved to Frenchtown, a few visits convinced them that this is where they wanted to spend the rest of their lives, so they left Southern California for good. Many happy years were spent following their 8 grandchildren wherever their activities took them. Kathleen became very active in the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church giving her time and talent freely.
Through the years, Kathleen always came from a passionate love of her life partner, Bob, her children and grandchildren always supporting their ventures with positivity and grace. She will always be the grandchildren’s “Nana”. She picked up and moved 19 times in their marriage and saw good in each move. In addition, she always made time for charitable work, be it the local Episcopal Church, sports teams or community organizations. When asked, she willingly took on a leadership role, as the family matriarch, an officer or director or behind the scenes motivator.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Kathleen is survived by her husband, Robert Ellis Wattenberg Sr.; daughter Lisa Kathleen Nichols and husband Charlie of Paso Robles, CA, their children Alyssa Houtby and husband Andrew and daughter Makenna of Visalia, CA, Amanda Vietti and husband Rory of Visalia, CA, Ethan Nichols and wife Mackenzie of Hanford, CA, and Emily Nichols; son Robert Ellis Wattenberg Jr. and his wife Margaret of Dove Canyon, CA, their children Sarah Wattenberg of Flagstaff AZ and Luke Wattenberg of Seattle WA; daughter Shauna Teresa Anderson and husband Ray of Frenchtown MT, and their children David Anderson of San Antonio TX and Katie Lynn Anderson of Anchorage AK; sisters Penny Fries of Pismo Beach, CA and Merilee Peck of Arroyo Grande, CA; and several nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and grand nephews.
A private graveside service will be held for the family at St. Mary’s Old Cemetery in Missoula with the Rev. Terri Ann Grotzinger of the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church and the Rev. Steve Oreskovich. Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home.

The online obituary and guestbook is available at
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Posted at 01:16pm
Many condolences from Joe, Brenda and family. Truly enjoyed our many visits with Kathleen. Kathleen and all of her family will be in our prayers.
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