Kathleen O’Connell Utz

08/24/1939 — 03/13/2013

From Richland, WA, US | Born in New York City, NY

Kathleen O’Connell Utz

Kathleen O'Connell Utz passed away peacefully at Kadlec Medical Center in Richland on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013. Kathy was born in New York City on August 24, 1939. In 1959, she was one of the first female graduates from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. It was there that she found the love of her life in John Utz Jr and they joined together in holy matrimony on July 11th, 1959 in Forest Hills, New York. In the early 1960's she worked on Wall Street for Smith, Barney & Company. She always reflected fondly on that period of her career despite the challenges of being a professional woman at that time in America. Eventually, she returned to John's home state of Pennsylvania to start a family. There, she gave birth to three sons: John, James and Eric. In July 1970, the family moved to Richland and Kathy quickly discovered that she had found her perfect home . She enjoyed a rich life of community involvement with the League of Women Voters, Benton County Democrats, and her churches St. George's in Kennewick and All Saints Episcopal of Richland. In 1976, she was elected to serve four years on the Benton County Board of Commissioners. While in office, she played key roles in bringing public transportation to the Tri-Cities and the building of the Juvenile Justice Center . Beginning in 1980, she returned to the financial services industry to work for Merrill Lynch as an account executive and certified financial planner. Kathy frequently spoke highly of the many fine relationships that she developed with her many clients and coworkers.

Kathy felt blessed to have been a citizen of the Tri-Cities and the State of Washington during her active life. She enjoyed travelling to the Washington Coast, taking walks by the river and countless fine evenings with family or friends and her favorite cocktail the "Manhattan". Kathy was also proud of her MBA from the University of Washington . She was always an active learner and spent time sharing her knowledge about the US Economy and politics with the community. She taught economics at Columbia Basin College in Pasco and recently offered a series of classes through the Richland Parks and Recreation System . She had a strong sense of civic responsibility and community pride that grew proportionally with the region that she enjoyed for almost 43 years.

Kathy was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years John L. Utz Jr., her parents Edward and Charlotte O'Connell , two brothers Edward and Thomas and sisters Charlotte and Ellen. Surviving members of her family are John, Elmira, Audrey and Eileen Utz of Renton, WA and Komatsu, Ishikawa, Japan , James, Lisa and Garrett Utz of Richland, Washington and Eric, Lisa, Mackenzie, Cameron and Zoey Utz of Florence, Oregon. Nieces ; Joyce, Jill, Moira , Michelle and Betsy and Nephews; Edward and Daniel. A memorial service and post service remembrance reception will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church at 1:00 pm on Saturday, March 23rd 2013 .

Also, please visit the online obituary memory book for Kathy located at the Einan's Funeral Home website: http://www.einansfuneralhome.com/ - we would appreciate reading your written remembrances, especially if circumstances prevent you from attending in person.

Guestbook for

Kathleen O’Connell Utz

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  • Kathy was a model for good. She was so smart and so focused on enriching all our lives. She will live on.

    Alma Cahn
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • To the Utz family: Kathy and I met at League of Women Voters soon after she arrived in Richland. Our families had some good times together including a trip to the windy top of Jump off Joe to take a family picture for their Christmas letter. Another time we created green silk screened signs in our basement for her county commissioner election. We were working on remodeling the Richland Players Theater while Kathy was rehearsing for her performance in “A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. What ever the activity, Kathy approached it with an energetic enthusiasm that was infectious. It is her enthusiasm for life that I hope is foremost in your memories.

    Brenda Dau

    Brenda Dau
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • John, James, Eric,

    Shocked and sorry to hear of your Mom’s death. A fine lady gone from the neighborhood will surely be missed.

    Mart and Dee Young

    Mart & Dee Young
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, Benton
  • To hers sons and family, I am so sorry to hear of Kathy’s passing. She was a wonderful co-worker and I admired her devotion to her family. We shared lots of laughs during our time at Merrill Lynch. May you find the support needed during this most difficult time from your family members and friends.

    Robin Bridges, Kennewick WA

    Robin Bridges
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA
  • Bill and I extend all of our sympathies to you and the children. We were so sorry to learn of Kathy’s unexpected death. It seems like just yesterday that the two of us entered the otherwise all-male first assembly at the Wharton School. Kathy was a brilliant student, always super organized, lots of fun and most of all a good person. Liz & Bill Seeley

    Elizabeth Seeley
    November 4, 2014
    Southport, CT, US
  • Rest in peace, Kathy. If I had known about John’s passing in 2001, I would have sent you a card.

    Judi Gibbs

    Formerly of Richland

    In Seattle since 1996

    Judi Gibbs
    November 4, 2014
    Seattle, WA
  • Kathy was a model for good. She was so smart and so focused on enriching all our lives. She will live on.

    Alma Cahn
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • To the Utz family: Kathy and I met at League of Women Voters soon after she arrived in Richland. Our families had some good times together including a trip to the windy top of Jump off Joe to take a family picture for their Christmas letter. Another time we created green silk screened signs in our basement for her county commissioner election. We were working on remodeling the Richland Players Theater while Kathy was rehearsing for her performance in “A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. What ever the activity, Kathy approached it with an energetic enthusiasm that was infectious. It is her enthusiasm for life that I hope is foremost in your memories.

    Brenda Dau

    Brenda Dau
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • John, James, Eric,

    Shocked and sorry to hear of your Mom’s death. A fine lady gone from the neighborhood will surely be missed.

    Mart and Dee Young

    Mart & Dee Young
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, Benton
  • To hers sons and family, I am so sorry to hear of Kathy’s passing. She was a wonderful co-worker and I admired her devotion to her family. We shared lots of laughs during our time at Merrill Lynch. May you find the support needed during this most difficult time from your family members and friends.

    Robin Bridges, Kennewick WA

    Robin Bridges
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA
  • Bill and I extend all of our sympathies to you and the children. We were so sorry to learn of Kathy’s unexpected death. It seems like just yesterday that the two of us entered the otherwise all-male first assembly at the Wharton School. Kathy was a brilliant student, always super organized, lots of fun and most of all a good person. Liz & Bill Seeley

    Elizabeth Seeley
    November 4, 2014
    Southport, CT, US
  • Rest in peace, Kathy. If I had known about John’s passing in 2001, I would have sent you a card.

    Judi Gibbs

    Formerly of Richland

    In Seattle since 1996

    Judi Gibbs
    November 4, 2014
    Seattle, WA
  • On behalf of the Gordon section of the extended O’Connell family, please know that Aunt Kathleen and her family are in our thoughts and prayers. Kathleen was our favorite babysitter way back when. She delighted in watching us squirm as we watched her “scary” movies.

    Joe Gordon
    November 4, 2014
    Scottsdale, AZ
  • I will miss Kathy, and our lunches together. She’d quiz me on current issues and often have a thick envelope of “homework” for me! She made a real difference in the lives of countless people, a legacy of service to the community. I’m sorry that she’s gone so soon, as she had more concerns she wanted to tackle to make the world a better place. God’s peace be upon her and her family.

    Jan Griffin
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • Kathy, Kathy you left us way to soon, I thank you for all the advice you provided at Merrill Lynch. I will miss our visits and small talk we had over coffee following your retirement. Take care until we meet again.

    Leo Kocher
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • I was acquainted with Kathy through the League of Women Voters. Her intelligence, knowledge and political passion was to be admired. May she rest in peace.

    Beverly Johnson-Torelli
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA, United, States
  • James and family, Kathy may have shunned the role of housewife, but she excelled in the role of mother and grandmother. She was so proud of all of you. There is a special tie to one’s mother. She was too young and had much more to do. We talked about ways to stay young and take care of ourselves and how best to influence the people who represent us.

    Thelma Triplett
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, United, States