Kathleen Ann “Kippy” Mansfield Redman, 71, passed away Feb. 2, 2019.
How do you tell the story of a woman greater than life? Here is our attempt to capture the essence of Kippy and put into words. This is our story of our mother, sister, Nana, friend and beautiful loving person.
Kippy was born on June 16, 1947, in Spokane. She was born into the loving Irish family of John and Mary Mansfield. The second child followed by five more siblings to make a total of seven. Kippy spent the majority of her formative years in Great Falls. After graduating from Central High School in Great Falls she attended Gonzaga University. During her time at Gonzaga she met Paul Rumelhart. They married and moved to the Seattle area. Kippy graduated from Seattle University with a degree in social work.
Kippy had four children, Sean Rumelhart, Shannon McKeon, Ryan Rumelhart and Erin Rumelhart. In 1978, she relocated to Libby. Libby provided many lifelong friendships for Kippy. In 1989 Kippy married Jim Redman. With this marriage Kippy gained two stepsons, Jimmy Redman and David Redman. Together Kippy and Jim shared 11 grandchildren, each of which held a special place in her heart.
Kippy loved with her entire being. She was vibrant and illuminated from deep within her soul. Her life was filled with people and relationships that she cherished and held dear. She had a smile that would light up any room and often was the first person to get out on the dance floor. Music was a big part of her life. When thinking of Kippy, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Jerry Jeff Walker, Eva Cassidy, Bette Midler all provide the soundtrack to her life.
Kippy was a strong advocate for the vulnerable and less fortunate, dedicating her professional life to high risk teens and developmentally delayed adults.
Kippy’s greatest joy was her family. She loved Jim, her children and her grandchildren with the entirety of her being. She lived through and shared many adventures with her children. Traveling to see each of them, whether it was in Europe, Alaska, Seattle, California, Indonesia or other parts of Montana. Kippy wrote the most beautiful heartfelt letters to everyone. She kept a journal throughout many years of her life. Her journals are now her children’s most prized possessions.
Around 2009, Kippy’s health began to slowly slip away. She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. She fought a long courageous battle, caring for all of us along her way. In the latter stages of her disease, she continued to gift her family with many important life lessons. She taught us:
The gift of time. Give your most precious asset to those you love —your time. Give it wisely and give it graciously, as the return for giving your time comes back to you in countless ways.
The value of being present in the moment. Live in the present, as it is the only part of time that we truly have. Do not let a moment pass without allowing yourself to soak it all in. Breathe it in, breathe it out. Travel and experience all moments this life has to offer. Life is a miraculous show if you allow yourself to see it.
Family is the one true love. Spend time with those you love. Call, write, and show up. Hold on to your family with both hands. Love without measure. Celebrate together and suffer together. This is where life is truly felt and spent in community with our loved ones. Together we can face all odds and together we can share all of life’s marvelous blessings.
The importance of grace and patience. Allow for grace in all situations; it will remove all of the negative aspects of the unknown. Be patient and have faith that all things will be as they should be. Both courage and bravery come with grace and patience.
Listen to music and get up and dance. Howl at the moon and sing for the stars. Celebrate and allow your soul to dance with the sound of music. Music heals and dancing is a beautiful expression of your spirit. And never ever sit out the opportunity to dance to “Who Let the Dogs Out,” “Wonderful Tonight,” and “Unknown Legend.”
She is survived by her children and grandchildren, Jimmy Redman (children Kayla Redman); Sean Rumelhart (wife Candi, children Lydia, Seamus and Hannah); Shannon Rumelhart (Ryan Brown); David Redman (Kristin Redman, children Denton Redman); Ryan Rumelhart (wife Amy Busch); and Erin Rumelhart (Jeremy Morigeau, children Bella Spencer, Kyra Spencer, Brody Kline, Evan Kline and Eva Kline); siblings Maureen (husband Bill); Pat (wife Mary); Shelia (husband Bill); Dan (wife Paula); Mike (wife Margo); Meg (husband Tim); and many nieces, nephews friends and family to numerous to count but not forgotten.
Kippy is reunited with her husband and favorite dance partner Jim. She was preceded in death by her loving parents John and Mary Mansfield and several dear friends.
The family requests in lieu of sending flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association www.act.alz.org or simply give the gift of your time to your family and loved ones.
To leave condolences, please visit Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home web site at www.jgfuneralhome.com.