Kathryn A. Dircz Memorial Fund

"Often it is the happy childhood memories that help us get through difficult times later in life."

Kathy grew up in the Town of Wheaton, Chippewa County, enjoying all this great community had to offer. Her fondest memories were playing outdoors, seeing wildlife, and visiting Irvine Park Zoo.

Her "soul mate" and partner for more than 22 years, Michael Boyle remembers that when things got difficult along the road of life, Kathy always recalled those happy childhood memories which helped her focus on what was most important to her in life.

In her twenties, she underwent treatment for what became a life-long battle with breast cancer. Following treatment, she was cancer-free for nearly 25 years before her cancer returned in 2011. She spent the next 12 months enduring multiple surgeries, more chemotherapy, and radiation treatments --all while working full time. She once again received cancer-free status in 2013. Sadly, in 2017 cancer returned and metastasized. Kathy died on August 9, 2019, at age 62.

In spite of her illness and the constant threat of its return, she never let it slow her down. Kathy had a smile that lit up the room and an unceasing work ethic. She had a successful career in the surety bond business, becoming Vice President, Surety, for Kraus-Anderson Insurance in Minneapolis, where she was employed for 29 years. Her experience and dedication earned her a reputation as one of the Midwest region's surety bond industry experts.

It was important to Kathy that children have opportunities to create happy memories, especially if they are involved in being outdoors. To help fulfill Kathy's dreams, Michael created this fund in her memory. 

Grants from the fund will support nature-related activities and programming in Chippewa Falls and the Village of Lake Hallie to engage youth in outdoor experiences.

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