Updates for Attendees from 1960-1969
Kathleen Ann Lundeen Flippo, 4/1/42 - 3/11/14
Kathleen (Kathy) Ann Lundeen made her entrance into this world 4/1/42 on BeaverIsland to her proud parents, Florence Carlson and Adrian Charles Lundeen. Starting her life on BeaverIsland turned out to set the precedence to what she became passionate about: Life on the Mississippi River and all it encompassed. Born a River Rat, Kathy enjoyed all that the river had to offer from hunting, fishing and trapping, to canoeing through the back waters, to taking pictures of wildlife and river traffic. Her love of the River culminated with her marriage to W.P. (Pat) Flippo in 1981 that set her adventure for the River as the wife of a tow boat captain.
During high school, Kathy kept to her roots by working her summers and holidays at Sportsman Exchange in Clinton. After graduating from Clinton HS, Class of 1960, she attended MinnesotaBibleCollege in Minneapolis and worked at Dayton’s. From there she came back to Clinton and worked at the Clinton Telephone Company where she later met her husband, Bob Keding, and in 1968 packed her bags to follow him to his new job in DenverCO where their first daughter, Kjersten, was born a year later.
Work then moved the family to San DiegoCA where sister, Kristy, was born. No matter where Kathy was, she was always involved with something. While in CA, Kathy was the President of the Rebecca’s, President of the PTA, and a Girl Scout Leader for her daughters and their friends in El Cajon, CA. While there, she also enjoyed gardening, flowers, and cross-stitchery.
Kathy was also a traveler and would pack up the car, pick up the kids from the last day of school, and hit the road without a map traveling her way across the country making stops to visit family, friends, and assorted historical sites along the way. She traveled by highway, bi-way, road, back road, side road, no road, and all the while without a map. She never went the same route twice.
Kathy’s roots never left her and she must’ve pined for the River because in 1980 she left CA and headed back to the Mississippi River where she met and fell in love with her soul mate, Captain William Patrick (Pat) Flippo. They were married in 1981 and moved to Morrison, MO. While in MO, Kathy was a member of the Oklahoma Church of Christ. She also was a dairy maid at Schwinke’s Dairy Farm and knew all her ‘girls’ by their udders. While in MO, she continued her love of birds, flowers, and gardening by setting out bushels of seed for the variety of wildlife that she cataloged in her bird book. She had a quarter acre garden that she canned and stored in her giant root cellar and also shared with friends and family. She had wildflower gardens, tame gardens, hanging gardens, and the inside of the house was a garden as well. She was always ready for a game of cribbage and the coffee pot was always on for when friends and family would visit her “Cot and Cracker”. Kathy always enjoyed visitors, hosting her annual tea, and entertaining – and teaching – anyone who came to see her. She was quite the character and so much so, that Country Living Magazine even named her ‘Country Character’ one year.
With husband Pat being a towboat captain, his work schedule was 30 days on the boat and 30 days off. If Kathy wasn’t alongside him at the wheel, she kept herself busy at home. Besides keeping up with the house, wildlife, and gardens, Kathy also enjoyed cemetery surveying. She had the most complete cemetery survey records for three counties in MO: Osage, Maries, and Gasconade. Ancestry researchers would contact her often for her records. She was a local historian for OsageCountyMO and also started a photography business while there.
Missouri is also where Kathy started to develop her love of writing by authoring a column, Beyond Hope, for the Unterrified Democrat, Osage County, MO. The title of her column was not that she was ‘beyond hope’, but her home, although technically in Morrison, was closer to Hope, population 13. Kathy enjoyed plays on words.
Ever the organizer and quite detailed, for years Kathy gathered and compiled her plethora of information, pictures, and interviews which ultimately culminated in her first book: Beaver Island – an historical account of the families and life on BeaverIsland. It was such a success with overwhelming response and people coming out of the woodwork with more stories and pictures that she ended up writing her second book: Beaver Island Remembered.
All the while, Kathy continued her love of the River by joining up with Pat on many of his trips. She was always learning, always interested to know more and her ‘river schooling’ encouraged her to write her next book: Between the Saints: Louis and Paul – a towboat travelogue.
After Pat’s retirement, he and Kathy moved back to the Mississippi River to fix up her dream home in South Clinton. Finally back home in South Clinton, Kathy was involved with and a member of the Clinton County Historical Society and also a member, song leader and active in the Clinton Church of Christ. It was her return to South Clinton where she wrote her fourth book, Between the River and the Rails, South Clinton – a detailed historical account of the families and life in South Clinton, IA. With retirement came lots of road trips in their Airstream trailer towed behind the Suburban. Of course, all trips ended up along the River for fishing with friends by day and cribbage battles and laughs in the evenings.
Kathy was also involved with the Corps of Engineers and presented river programs to all of the Corps of Engineer campgrounds along the Upper Mississippi promoting the towboat industry, river life, and preservation. She received the President’s Medal of Excellence from the Corps for her work with the local river commission concerning the towboat industry. She was also instrumental in procuring a towboat for public tours during the Clinton IA Sesquicentennial event.
Ironically, after her trek from Clinton to CA to MO and back to Clinton, Kathy’s biggest challenge ever was her fight to save South Clinton from the ADM takeover. Although she fought hard, she ended up losing the battle and in the process her dream home. From there, she and Pat moved into their river front home in Albany, IL where Kathy continued her love of the river by tracking river traffic, writing a column for Tow Talkin’, promoting her books up and down the River, and watching the eagles and other birds and wildlife out her windows. She was working on her fifth book when her health declined.
Kathy WAS a towboat aficionado, River Rat, and prankster royale. She loved life and was never idle. She was a lover of books and reading and a lover of music and singing. She enjoyed playing the piano and enjoyed quilting. There was nothing she put her hands to that she didn’t give 100%. She was recognized by many because of the hats she wore and her Suburban trekking down the road. You could find her at Lock and Dam 13 watching the boats lock through and talking to everyone who was interested in the River and its industry. The River certainly flowed through her veins. Kathy was known by many and will be greatly missed.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Pat, 12/09/09, her parents, aunts and uncles. She is survived by her daughters Kjersten Keding Kenniston and Robert Kenniston of El CajonCA and Kristy Keding Munn and Ron Munn Sr. of MayhillNM; grandkids Ronnie Munn Jr., Katrina Munn, Benjamin Kenniston, Tamsjn Kenniston, and Kjelsen Kenniston, multiple cousins and close friends.
No memorial services are requested.
Michael Thiel (Bth 1962)