Kathleen Elizabeth (Laake) Wilks was born January 31, 1936, in Hobson, Texas, to Herman and Elsie (Kunkel) Laake and died October 7, 2012. At the age of three, the family moved to San Antonio. She attended Huff Avenue, St. Leo’s Catholic, and Gerald Elementary schools, going on to Harlandale Junior and High schools, graduating in 1953. She married Wilfred Otto (W. O) Wilks (a graduate of Burbank High School in San Antonio) on June 10, 1956, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in San Antonio. Four children were born to this union. She worked for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. from 1953 to 1958, and part time between the births of their children. The family moved to Abilene, Texas, in 1969, back to San Antonio in 1972, and finally to Austin in 1976 (the Manchaca area).
Kathleen returned to work full-time for Southwestern Bell Telephone in Austin in 1977. She handled the “State of Texas” blue page listings for all the senators and representatives as well as all the rest of the departments, and enjoyed a wonderful relationship with all those she met (in person and over the telephone). She retired in March of 1998 with 29 1/2 years of service.
She was a member of the Manchaca Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years, serving as secretary for 10 years. She was a member of St. John’s and Bethany Lutheran churches. She was also a member of CWA Local #6132.
Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws, Hugo and Elizabeth (Franz) Wilks, brothers-in-law Jay King and Harvey Jauer, and her son-in-law, Michael Nimitz. She is survived by her devoted husband, W. O, and their children, Kathy Nimitz, husband Gregg Mathis, daughter Sara and son Graham of Pflugerville; Chuck Wilks and wife Eunice and their children Matthew, wife Tara and children Lauren and Megan of Kyle, Jacob Wilks of Austin and Diana and husband Lee Colon of Buda; Gary and wife Cindy and their children Jenna and daughter JaLea, Blake, and Brandon of Austin; and Debbie Schrader and husband Wayne and their children Clayton and Christy of Austin and many other relatives and friends.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, 2012, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Austin. In lieu of flowers, Kathleen’s wish was for donations to be made to the American Diabetes Association or the American Cancer Society.