Katherine “Kathy” Frances Troy, 73, passed away peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her family on Friday, June 21, 2019, after suffering from ALS.
Kathy leaves behind her two children, Julie (Frank) Doud and Brenda (Fred) Holmen; her grandchildren, Nick and Kate; her sisters Jean Merfeld and Pat (Mike) Weiss; and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband, M. Frank Troy, parents Bernard and Frances (Kelly) Merfeld, brothers Dan (Janan) Merfeld and Pete (JoAnn) Merfeld.
Kathy was born on Aug. 29, 1945, and was raised with her siblings on their family farm near Marble Rock, Iowa, where they enjoyed many visits with their cousins. She was a lifelong learner, a stickler for correct grammar and never missed an episode of “Jeopardy.” She graduated high school from Immaculate Conception Aspirancy in Dubuque, Iowa, and joined the Order of St. Francis for a brief time as Sr. Mary Dacian. She went on to graduate from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in piano.
Kathy was truly an amazing woman. Music was her passion and she loved new technologies and animals, especially her cat Charlie, who filled her life with love for the last 10 years. She enjoyed all genres of music, especially pipe organ concertos.
After marrying Lee Olsen in 1969 and settling in Stillwater, Minn., to raise her family, Kathy taught piano out of her home. Later, she earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin in River Falls and started teaching middle school mathematics at St. Croix Catholic School in Stillwater. She started the first computer lab at SCCS which launched her IT career where she made great improvements using her VBA coding skills.
After her divorce from Lee, she accepted her first IT position at Artist Graphics in Roseville, Minn. Later, she moved to Vernon Hills, Ill., for a developer position at Hewitt Associates in Lincolnshire, Ill., and married Frank Troy.
After Frank passed away, she moved to Rochester and later retired from Hewitt Associates. After her retirement, to fulfill her need for learning new technology, she accepted an IT Technical Specialist position at Mayo Clinic’s Biochemical Genetic Laboratory in Rochester and retired after five years at age 71.
She was an active member of the choir at St. John’s the Evangelist church and proudly supported the alto section.
Kathy continued to love anything with the latest technology and utilized her Apple watch and Amazon Alexa until her last day of life.
She touched the lives of many with her caring and kind spirit. In death, she hoped to continue to help others by donating her body to Mayo Clinic for research.
Kathy’s family would like to thank the staff at Mayo Hospice and Homestead for the excellent care that she received.
Memorials are preferred to ALS research.
The memorial service for Kathy will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 28, at St. John’s the Evangelist church in Rochester.