Kathryn A. “Kay” Duchene, age 80 of Faribault, MN passed away on Monday, January 10, 2022 at her home.
Kathryn Ann, the daughter of Wendell and Bernice (Stine) Sterling was born on January 29, 1941 in Faribault. She attended Faribault High School and graduated with the class of 1959. After high school Kay attended Rogers and Benners School of Cosmetology in Minneapolis and received her license to be a Cosmetologist. She worked with at the Beauty Spot in Minneapolis and then joined Elvira Payant in Faribault before starting her own salon, the Beauty Nook. Kay owned and operated her business for over 51 years. Kay enjoyed competing in hairdressing competitions and won first place in the Minnesota Cosmetology Assn. competition several times. She was elected twice as Minnesota State Cosmetology President and served in other board positions over the years. She received the Vera Slater Medallion, Minnesota Cosmetologist of the Year, Outstanding State Officer and Committee Chairman awards.
On October 12, 1961 she was united in marriage to Gerald Duchene at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Faribault.
Kay served on the Faribault City Council for 22 years. She ran for the position to get better recreational opportunities for kids and was successful in helping with the BMX Track, Faribault Hockey Arena, Soccer Complex and enhanced parks and playgrounds. Affordable housing for seniors and keeping Faribault affordable for all were also very important to Kay.
Kay enjoyed spending time with her family and especially her grandchildren. She also enjoyed reading and genealogy. Besides her City Council work, Kay was a member of the Faribault Booster Club, Senior High Advisory Council, Vo-Tech Advisory Council and the Minnesota Cosmetologist and Hair Fashion Committee’s.
None of the above would have been possible without the love and support of her family. Kay lived by the belief that we should leave this world a better place than when we came and that family, religion and kindness to others is what makes life worthwhile. Her best accomplishment was her marriage of over 60 years to Jerry, her children, grandchildren and the love and closeness of her family.
She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Jerry Duchene of Faribault; by her children, Wendy Jo Aaker of Faribault and Peter (Dina) Duchene of Orange Park, FL; by her grandchildren, Anna Aaker of Faribault, Jordan Duchene of Jacksonville, FL, Aubriana (Hunter) Vatela of Green Cove Spring, FL, Dorian Duchene, Kyslen Duchene and Blythe Duchene all of Orange Park, FL; by her in-laws, John Thayer of Owatonna, MN, Cheryl Sterling of Faribault and Linda Giles of Rochester, MN and by nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, son-in-law, Skip Aaker, sister, Karen Thayer, Godchild, Sara Kaye Voigt, brothers and sisters-in-law, Jerry and Mary Kaye Sterling, James “Jim” Sterling, in-laws, Florent and Dorothy Duchene and brother and sister-in-law, Walter and Barbara Duchene
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at the Church of St. Patrick in Shieldsville with Fr. Tom Niehaus officiating. Interment will be held at the Maple Lawn Cemetery in Faribault. For those unable to attend the service will be livestreamed through a link found on Kay’s obituary page.
Visitation will be held at the Parker Kohl Funeral Home & Crematory of Faribault on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and at the church on Saturday for one hour prior to services.
The family prefers that memorials be directed to Faribault Hospice Foundation and the Faribault Ice Arena in memory of Kay.
The family would like to give a huge thank you to Allina Hospice, Tom and his team for the wonderful care they gave to our loved one.