Katherine Kuykendall French (1952-2022) drove a school bus for 17 years


Photo: Crystal Hamilton

Katherine Lee (nee Kuykendall) French, 70, of South Beloit, drove a school bus for 17 years,  most recently for First Student Charter in Rockton. For 5 years, she lived in Florida and worked for Disney World and Busch Gardens. She volunteered at Honeymoon Island in Dunedin FL and Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Kathy was on the committees for On The Waterfront for over 20 years and the Rockford Airfest for 5 years. She was a former member of the Rockton Lions Club. She enjoyed genealogy, having traveled the United States to document relatives.

Kathy died Friday, July 8, 2022 in Javon Bea Hospital after a brief illness.

Kathy graduated from Hononegah High School in 1970. She was born April 18, 1952 in Aurora, IL, the daughter of Ronald N. and Aleitha M. (Christianson) Kuykendall.  She attended Rockford Business College. Kathy married Jerry C. French on August 11, 1979 in Rockford, IL.

Survivors include daughters Debra Chamberlain and Fran (Bill) Close; son Mike (Darla) French; daughter Crystal (Chris) Hamilton; 16 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; brothers Robert Kuykendall and William (Sandy) Kuykendall; and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents and husband.

A memorial ceremony will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at McCorkle Funeral Home - Rockton Chapel, 767 N. Blackhawk Blvd, Rockton, IL with Pastor Scott Gibson. A memorial visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to time of ceremony. After cremation rites, her final resting place will be Haldane Cemetery in Foreston, IL.

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