Eileen “Kitty” Rose Rydholm passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 2, 2021 at Center Avenue Health and Rehab Facility, Fort Collins, Colorado. She was 95 years old.
The family will hold a Celebration of Life to honor Kitty at a later date.
Eileen Warfield (Rydholm) was born on February 12, 1926 in her grandmother’s bedroom in Arlington, Kansas. Born to hardworking wheat farmers Eva (Walborn) and Harold “Harry” Warfield, Kitty was the second of six children.
In 1944 she graduated from Pretty Prairie High school. To say Kitty was a trailblazer, would be an understatement. She wanted out of Kansas, and fast; she bought a Ford, left a trail of dust behind, and never looked back. California bound!
In California, Kitty joined the Civil Service and went to court recording school. Young, tenacious, and brazen she moved to the other side of the world and worked in Korea, Japan and Iceland. She was a woman that went by many names: Eileen, Kitty and Miss Melody. In Iceland, by day, she was known as the secretary to the Commanding General in Keflavik AB. By night, she was known as Miss Melody, the nightly DJ on the base radio station. She was small in stature, but had big dreams.
Kitty/ Miss Melody met a young, striking officer on base- Dean A. Rydholm.
Soon after, Dean got orders to Presque Isle, Maine. An engagement ring later, they wed in Maine on November 10,1955.
Kitty relished being an officer's wife and a family ensued. Their first son, Scott, was born at Tyndall AFB in 1957. Derek was born at Johnson AFB, Japan in 1961. Mitchell, born at West Point, NY, in 1965. Kitty ruled the raucous roost, Dean continued his Air Force career.
From 1968-1969 Dean flew in Vietnam. Kitty and the boys moved to Derby, Kansas, to be near family. In 1972, the family made their final move from Hill AFB, Utah, to Fort Collins, Colorado, when Dean retired from the military. Kitty consumed herself in the boys’ lives- she volunteered in the schools, was an avid supporter of every sport, ski club- you name it, she was there.
Kitty remained active for many years, playing golf, driving her sporty white Mazda RX7, reading, lunching with friends, traveling and attending the Lutheran Church. She loved music, dancing, painting, singing and playing the piano. Those who knew her well, knew that her commanding manner, quick wit and feisty attitude were always a source of entertainment. She fiercely loved her boys and family above all else.
Kitty is survived by her husband, Dean Rydholm; three sons, Scott, Derek (Linda), Mitch (Shana); five grandchildren, Spencer Rydholm, Meagan Belflower (Garren Belflower) , Madeline Rydholm, Emma Rydholm, and Alexander Rydholm; two great grandchildren, Aidan Belflower and Everett Belflower.
Kitty was cremated and will be interred in Byron, Illinois, next to Dean’s family at a later date.
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