THIESSEN, Kathy Moorhead – On the morning of September 21, Kathy Moorhead Thiessen died peacefully in her home in St. Stephen with family by her side, just as she wanted. She was 61 years old.
After been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer on December 2, 2019, Kathy received terrific support from the Charlotte County Cancer Society and St. Stephen’s Extra-Mural nurse program. Various treatments allowed her to live actively for many months (quilting, sewing and tending her garden) and she didn’t linger long with pain or debilitation, having only spent a week in the hospital bed (on loan from the Cancer Society).
Kathy worked tirelessly to make the world a better place, serving communities around the world. After studying for two years at Winnipeg Bible College (now Providence), Kathy got married and began studying at Grace Hospital in Winnipeg, graduating as an RN in 1981. She worked as a nurse in Churchill and Flin Flon, Manitoba, before giving birth to daughters Janelle (1984) and Katrina (1987).
Kathy worked as a group home parent in St. Stephen from 1988-89, as a La Leche League leader in the St. Stephen area and later in Germany and Edmonton, as part of a social service program for families in crisis in Edmonton and in a variety of roles at the London Mennonite Centre in London, England, all while home-schooling her daughters right through Grade 12.
In 2010, Kathy trained to become a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). From early 2011 until the spring of 2016, she spent half of each year in Iraqi Kurdistan, standing with the Kurdish people struggling for human rights and safety. Back in Winnipeg, Kathy became a member of CPT’s Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Team from the spring of 2016 to the spring of 2019, standing in solidarity with North American Indigenous Peoples and advocating for decolonization. During her eight-plus years with CPT, Kathy was active in committees and in countless roles, including being a regular delegation leader, trainer and church speaker. Her work impacted the lives of many and she will be dearly missed. In the spring of 2019, Kathy returned to the St. Stephen area she so loved.
Kathy is survived by Vic Thiessen, her partner of 42 years, daughters Janelle Thiessen van Esch (Laurens) and Katrina Forget (Paul), beloved grandson Willem (son of Janelle and Laurens), sisters Jane Moorhead Farmer (Darrell) and Becky Moorhead Hyska (Blayne), brother David Moorhead (Juanita) and father Lorne Moorhead.
Kathy’s body was prepared for burial by her family and in her home as she requested. Her burial took place on the morning of September 23 at St. Stephen Rural Cemetery.