Katherine Leyva

Katherine Sullivan Leyva

1970 - 2020

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Obituary of Katherine Sullivan Leyva

Katherine (Kathie) Sullivan Leyva, age 50, entered into rest on October 12, 2020. She was a devoted mother and North Star to Cory and Maya Leyva; daughter of Gerald Frank; sister to Amanda (Jason) Oliphant, Neal (Andrea) Frank; sister to Siobhan (Blake) Leger, and Peadar Sullivan; loyal ex-spouse of William Leyva; special someone to Clayton Merson; and aunt to Lillian, Owen, Murray, as well as Samuel, Clayton, Declan, and Torin. She is predeceased by her loving mother Kyle Frank and her biological father James Sullivan.

Kathie spent most of her life in Tucson, AZ. She often reminisced of several glory years in L.A. and a few child rearing years in El Paso, TX. She earned diplomas from Salpointe Catholic High School (1987), California State University San Bernardino (1992, Communications Major), and was a few credits shy of a Masters Degree in Education. Kathie was a TUSD technology teacher for many years working mostly in challenging middle school settings. She was proud to be an educator, and was vocal about Arizona’s need to improve public education and teacher support.

Kathie bonded with family and friends through her love of music. As a child she adored Disco, Olivia Newton-John, roller skating, and all of those combined into Xanadu. Hall and Oates, Madonna, and Prince carried her through high school. In college she was finally able to showcase her musical prowess as Vinyl Child, a DJ on her L.A.college radio station. In her 20’s and beyond, Kathie found solace in Joni Mitchell, Earth Wind and Fire, and Jamiroquai.

Kathie was enamored with her Irish heritage and dreamed of visiting Ireland someday. She enjoyed watching cooking shows on television and making nice meals for her family. She loved every canine companion in her lifetime from Samantha to ZZ. She was passionate, intelligent, strong-willed, and witty. She never missed an opportunity to express how much she despised cilantro. Kathie made us laugh, she made us cry, and we loved her more than she ever knew.

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