Kathleen Toth (nee Willow), age 71, of Knoxville, TN, passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on August 23rd, 2019.
Kathleen was born in Cleveland, OH on November 27th, 1947 to the late Joseph P. and Victoria D. (Szarafinski) Willow. After graduation from Marymount High School in the class of 1966, she began her adult life as a volunteer and mentor, especially to children, as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) stationed in Boston, MA at the Columbia Point Housing Project with training from Harvard University. Kathleen then continued her committment to helping others in her professional career, first in the dental then surgical fields that continued for decades to come. Beginning as a dental assistant under Dr. Kevin J. Kuffel, D.D.S. in Brookfield, WI, she then returned to school to become a surgical assistant and technologist, eventually working for both private oral surgeons and hospitals, including more than a decade in the Chicago area with Dr. Stuart Dessner. Later she returned to Ohio at Barberton Citizens' Hospital then back to Cleveland and the Cleveland Clinic Hospitals' South Pointe Hospital as a Surgical Technologist, Operating Room Service Coordinator, and assisted in teaching surgical technology students. Kathleen completed her career at Park West Hospital in Knoxville, TN working in the labor and delivery department. She was a member of the National Assn. of Surgical Technologists and National Board Certified from 1984 until her retirement. In her free time, she engaged in volunteering and political activism, working on campaigns for both candidates and causes everywhere she resided. Her hobbies included gardening, birding, hiking, spending time outdoors, geneaology and most of all enjoying time with her family.
Kathleen was preceeded in death by her beloved husband of 28 years Mark A. Toth in 1994. Meeting while in high school and marrying in Cleveland August 6th, 1969 while he was on leave from the U.S. Marine Corps, the two spent their years enjoying traveling and living together around the country. She cherished their time together and later missed him deeply for the rest of her days after his tragic loss to cancer, evenutally surviving the disease twice herself.
She devoted the remainder of her life to, and is survived by her beloved son Allen J. Toth (Kayla Chompff) of Knoxville, TN; her sister Maryellen (Larry) Lachanski of Brunswick, OH; and her brother Patrick J. (Rene) Willow of Akron, OH. Also survived by loving in-laws, nieces, nephews, and a host of longtime friends, most dear to her were those she held close. In her latter years, she enjoyed her daily conversations with her loving brother Patrick and was unconditionally loved and cared for by her son as the two had become partners in strength after the loss of their husband and father. Once Kayla brightened Allen's life, Zoe Chompff became the granddaughter she always wished for and the two became inseparable, sharing endless knowledge, stories and laughter. Kathleen will also be ever loved and missed by her feline companion of 15 years, Rooty Tooty. Respected and loved by those she loved and always a person of strength, caring and kindness, Kathy would want to be remembered by family and friends for dedicating her life to helping others. Her untimely loss has been crushing to all who knew her near and far. A memorial celebration of Kathleen's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider the needs of the family.