Obituary: Kathleen (Rector) Fillmore

9/16/44 - 11/27/23
Kathleen (Rector) Fillmore
Posted at 9:58 AM, Dec 05, 2023

Kathleen (Rector) Fillmore passed away on November 27, 2023 in the company of her family, including her granddaughters via FaceTime. She was born on September 16, 1944 to Tillie (Bucko) and JR Rector, the youngest of three children. She was born in Louisiana, but spent most of her life in Montana. Kathleen’s brother Ray was six years older and Sister Sandy was 4 years older than she. They adored their little sister and looked out for her. Especially Sandy, who was devoted to Kathy and cared for her at the end of life.

Kathleen was preceded in death by Brother Ray. Kathleen is survived by her husband Ron Fillmore whom she married in 1992. The couple lived most of their marriage in Great Falls, and often spent time at the family cabin in Benchmark, MT. The cabin was built by her grandfather in the 1940’s and later sold by the family after five generations had enjoyed its primitive charm and spectacular views.

The site inspired the artistic tendencies of her Mother Tillie Severson, a landscape artist, brother Ray Rector, an architect and sister Sandy Dust who is known in western and contemporary art circles. Kathleen was an artist in her own right. She dabbled in mixed media painting, needlework and weaving. Kathy passed that creativity on to her daughter Stephanie (Esterby) Lawrence and her granddaughters.

In her professional life, Kathy worked in accounting, keeping books for many businesses in Great Falls during 40 years of residency. Fourteen years ago she moved to the Oregon coast for health reasons and to be near her sister. She loved the weather and scenery there. She was often joined by Stephanie and her two beloved granddaughters, Kayla and Lauren King. She enjoyed beach combing with Kayla, searching for agates. Two family reunions were held in Oregon, attended by relatives from Oregon, Montana, Idaho and California. The family is grateful to have spent that time with Aunt Kathy.

Kathy was known for her sardonic humor and tough demeanor, surprising from such a composed and pretty woman. She loved to play board games, cards and was a champion at darts. In later years she and Lauren watched game shows and horror movies together as well as playing cards and games. She was an avid reader of Stephen King. You might say she was his biggest fan.

On her softer side, Kathy was devoted to her family and treasured pets. She was always accompanied by an adorable, curly-haired dog. Kathleen is dearly missed. She will be remembered for her smile and fun-loving spirit.