Katherine Lucille Estrada passed away peacefully and entered Heaven’s Gates at the age of 91 March 12th, 2019. She lived a full and happy life. “Kathy” was born to Daniel Mack Beech and Beulah Rosella (Bickham) Beech at home in Cybur, Mississippi, February 8, 1928. Kathy met and married the love of her life, John Curry (J.C.) Walker in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and they were married August 24, 1946. They had three children: John Richard, Janet Lee and Ronald Mack. While her children were growing up, Kathy was a stay-at-home mom busy with tasks she mastered, such as cooking delicious meals and desserts, sewing, and keeping a spotlessly clean home. A God-given talent Kathy possessed was playing the piano by ear. She could play hymns and secular music, as well. In 1987, J.C. retired, and he and Kathy moved to Bella Vista, Arkansas to continue the pastimes they enjoyed most – fishing and golfing. They made many close friends and attended the Bella Vista Baptist Church. After 50 years and 30 days of marriage, J.C fell victim to Leukemia/Lymphoma and passed away on September 21, 1996. In 2003, Kathy married Reuben Estrada. They were very happy together and enjoyed traveling, attending church and eating out. In November 2016, it was necessary for Kathy to move to St. Katharine Drexel Retirement Center in El Reno to be closer to her daughter. Reuben visited her often, but he passed away in February of 2018.
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Kathy had a warm and welcoming smile and enjoyed visiting and laughing with family and friends. She found a great deal of happiness in her grandchildren and great grandchildren, showered them with hugs and kisses and always had a cookie in the cupboard for each of them. Her lively sense of humor will be well remembered by everyone, including the aides and cooks who assisted her at the retirement center the past two years of her life. A memory the family will often recall is that of Kathy and the black Grand Piano. It sits beautifully in the dining room at Saint Katharine’s ready to entertain the residents. On February 19th, 22 days before Kathy passed away, she was seen by the aides and some of the residents making her way toward the big piano. An aide went to her side and helped her get safely seated on the piano bench. What came next was miraculous, as Kathy had not been seated at a piano for many years…she slowly and gently placed her fingers on the piano keys and began picking out a sweet sound – a song no one knew – a simple, melodic tune, nonetheless. The residents and aides broke out into applause, and Kathy smiled. During the next two weeks, Kathy made her way back to the piano several times, becoming bolder and more animated–an uplifting gift to the aides and residents who never knew this sweet lady had been holding within her the gift of playing music.
Kathy is survived by son Richard Walker and wife, Chris, who reside in Bella Vista, AR; daughter, Jan Crider, and husband Duane, who live in El Reno, OK, and son Ron Walker and his wife, Kaye, who live in Pittsburg KS. Additionally, she has two siblings, a brother, Terry and sister, Maxie, who reside in Louisiana, as well as 7 grandchildren in order of age: Melanie, Greg, Christy, Jenna, David, Katie and Garret, as well as 11 great-grandchildren: Elisha, Dylan, Drake, Dawson, Jewel, Aspen, Liam, Corinne, Dylan Lee, Pierce and Millie.
A memorial service honoring Kathy’s life will be held in the Chapel at Saint Katharine Drexel Retirement Center in El Reno Saturday, March 30 at 2:00 P.M., and in Bella Vista, AR in June, a spreading of ashes on a lake she and J.C. loved with final inurnment next to J.C. in the Bella Vista Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Smith & Turner Mortuary in Yukon, OK.