Mrs. Kathryn June Bohannon

Kathryn June Bohannon sought and brought beauty to her world before she left it, and us, on April 9, 2020.
She came into this world in 1940 in an unpainted sharecropper house in the middle of a cornfield in Denton, Georgia. She refused to breathe until the doctor dipped her alternately in hot and cold water, wrapped her in a quilt and laid her next to the fire. When she finally came to life, kicking that quilt off, there was very little that could stop her from dreaming big.
In her search for beauty and contentment, she created a sweet life surrounded by traditional southern plants nurtured in her postage-stamp yard, art she painted or collected on her travels, and a lively, extended family sprouting from her three daughters: Cathy, Jan and Cindi… and their children and grandchildren.
She told us how her mother, Janet Julia Mims Bohannon (deceased 1999), talked about her wanderlust: “If ANYBODY came by going ANYWHERE, I was ready to go!” Her mother also said that as a youngster, our Mama would rather be playing baseball or climbing trees than being hugged. And away she’d go.
Some of her favorite trips were to Scotland and Ireland with her devoted friends Cathie D. and Jackie C. Her 46-year friendship with Sharron A. included shenanigans as they traveled and participated in Toastmaster speeches and art classes. Her friends were her mainstay: the trio she formed with Barbara J. and Jeynelle S. from high school meant they only lost touch when death separated them. She also spent her contented days buoyed by her friends Wynell C., Linda H., Sheryl Y., Lynnette L. and countless others.
The defining moments of her life came when her father, William (Bud) Bohannon, died unexpectedly one month before she graduated from high school, when she became a mother (and then a grandmother), when she retired from civil service after 32 years on the Air Force base and, tragically, when she suddenly lost her daughter, Jan, in 2018.
Our Mama had 27 cousins on the Bohannon side of her family, and they were tight like siblings. Her kinfolk, now scattered across the U.S., brought her joy and sustained her from the time they all grew up going to Eureka Baptist, the family church in Hazlehurst, Georgia. In fact, in her later years, cousins Vivian and Donnie made regular visits, bringing homemade goodies and replacing light bulbs when needed.
No one could make divinity candy with pecans like our Mama. No one. She was expected to bring divinity to all family and holiday gatherings, even teaching her cousins how to make it at one of many family reunions in the north Georgia mountains.
Speaking of the mountains, she was a mountain person, preferring cooler weather, taller trees, and cozier cabins to any seaside frolicking. She also enjoyed playing the piano and flute, spending time focusing on nature, and enjoying the beauty found in art, music, movies, and books. She was a huge part of her grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s lives. She also enjoyed the little things, the kindnesses, the special moments: corny jokes, texts from her great-grandson Dylan, baby birds in a nest on her patio, her Camilla bush blooming, and calls from her family and friends.
For someone with so much enthusiasm, dying in the middle of a global pandemic seems an especially cruel fate, with no family by her side, only doctors and nurses to tend to her. But they did a great job of being there for her when we could not. And it makes sense that a woman who, as a newborn, had to be coaxed by a doctor to breathe should be helped through her final breaths by a doctor.
Our greatest comfort is knowing her dear friend Jackie C, a nurse, was able to see her while in isolation on her final day, giving her a warm, friendly, familiar smile and gentle wave, and receiving both in return. Thank you, Jackie, for every single thing you and Cathie D. have done for our Mama, and for us.
This sweet, gentle, Southern Lady will be missed by her daughters Cathy (Gary) Miller and Cindi (Brent) Brown; her grandchildren Donnie McGuire, Jaime (Sven) Burrell, Shawn (Megan) Davenport, James Coleman, Hillary Miller, Garrison Miller, and Luke Miller; and great-grandchildren Pacely Mae Davenport, Kenna Lee Davenport, Mary Margaret Davenport, Dylan Riley Burrell and Ella Maya Burrell; her brother Richard (Sandra) Bohannon, and her sister Pam (Roger) Wimberly, and all of her lovely nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.
We will celebrate, with gusto, our Mama’s wit, love, and appreciation of all things beautiful later, when it’s safe for family and friends to gather together again.
Details will follow.

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