Kathleen Marjorie Hitsman, age 95 of Tacoma WA passed away peacefully at home due to complications from a broken hip and heart issues on May 20th, 2023, surrounded by her adult children, daughter Judith Mittelstaedt, and sons Les Hitsman, Richard Hitsman and Terry Hitsman. Kathleen was born at home on December 23rd, 1927, in St. Michaels ND to Ragnar and Freda (Moore) Nelson. After completing 8th grade Kathleen helped on the farm at home and then at age 15 moved to Devils Lake ND to strike out on her own. Her working life started at a café in Devils Lake ND., this is where she met the love of her life, Harold Lloyd Hitsman. Kathleen and Harold were married on February 18th, 1946, and moved to Sheboygan WI. It’s here in Sheboygan, where Kathleen and Harold gave birth to their 5 children Judith, Les, Howard, Richard and Terry. Sadly, preceding her in death were her husband Harold Hitsman on Feb. 11th, 1968, and son Howard Hitsman on September 6th, 2020. Kathleen’s working history continued in Sheboygan where she was employed at Park n Shop grocery store as a checker and a meat cutter. During the summer of 1969, Kathleen and her four sons were off on a summer long road trip to visit relatives in Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington and Oregon, with most of their time being spent in Tacoma WA. At the end of Summer, Kathleen said to her boys do want to live here or return to Wisconsin? Kathleen and her boys decided to make the change and stay in Washington.
After renting a home from Kathleen’s brother, Dale Nelson for a short time, Kathleen purchased her home at 8802 East “F” St. and began work at The Book King bookstore. After working at Book King for several years and working as the Manager for the last few years until they closed, Kathleen went on to open her own bookstore calling it Family Books.
After retirement Kathleen had more time to focus on other passions, like being a member of the Lakewood Moose lodge where she was a very active member, holding many positions, being on the Board of Regents, hosting Bingo nights, recording Sec./Treas. and always helping in the kitchen, basically Kathleen held every position in the Moose lodge except for chaplain. Kathleen also enjoyed playing Pinochle or Poker with several groups of friends, sometimes playing 3 to 5 times a week. It was not uncommon to see Kathleen at BJs bingo hall, especially if she had visiting siblings here from North Dakota, however probably one of the most important things in her life was her family. Not only her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren but her siblings. Kathleen’s siblings in the Tacoma area started meeting for coffee hour everyday over 30 years ago and Kathleen rarely missed a time to sit and converse with her family and friends. Her faith was extremely important to her as well, while her children were young she never missed making sure that they were in church and Sunday school every Sunday and later in life when she couldn’t make it to church on Sundays she would watch hours of TV church services on Sunday. One of her famous sayings was “I take one day at a time and put it all in the hands of the man upstairs”
Please join us for a Celebration of Life service to be held at Edwards Memorial 11020 South Tacoma Way, Lakewood WA, 98499 on Monday June 12th at noon with a Ceremony and potluck luncheon at Lakewood Moose lodge #1865, 4220 109th St. SW Tacoma WA 98499 following the service at Edwards.