Kathleen L. Frisby


Kathleen L. Frisby


Kathy Frisby
Kathy Frisby

Kathy Frisby met life with a strength that inspired others. It was in that strength that she found the courage to end her remarkable 5-year-long medical battle with glioblastoma brain cancer and embrace the promise of her faith.
Kathy was born in Forsyth, Montana, the eldest of three children born to Louise (Lekse) and Lloyd Eide. From the time she was a little girl, Kathy loved to dance. Her first job was teaching dance in a Billings Parks summer program. She also taught baton at Lincoln Jr. High School to young girls, one of whom would grow up to be one of her caring nurses at Sweetwater Retirement Community.
Kathy graduated from Billings Senior High in 1966 as class valedictorian. Among her other academic honors, Kathy was selected to attend a summer program at the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. She attended Eastern Montana College (now MSU-Billings) where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She began her professional life as a junior high math teacher in Maryland and Billings.
Kathy met her life’s dancing partner, Tom Frisby, at a Burroughs Corporation training program at which they were both beginning work as computer programmers. Over more than 40 years, Kathy and Tom raised two children, started one business, bought and ran another, gardened, cooked, and stole the spotlight on the dance floor together.
In June of 2011, just weeks before both Kathy and Tom were set to retire, Kathy was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor. With great personal fortitude and with the support of Tom, family, and friends, Kathy wrote her own survivor’s story. During those five years, she was a caring mother, a loving grandma, and a true friend to so many, including others waging their own battles against cancer.
Her legacy includes cherished hand-knitted “Grandma Kathy blankets” that she made for her own children and grandchildren and the babies of family and friends. They will continue to bring happiness to others, and just as Kathy said that knitting them brought her comfort and closeness to her own mother who taught her to knit, their warmth and softness will be one of the things that keeps Kathy’s memory so alive for others.
Kathy and Tom’s family would like to express their thanks to the doctors, exceptional nurses, and wonderful staff at Frontier Cancer Center in Billings, who cared with such skill and affection for both Kathy and Tom over the last five years. Dr. Benjamin Marchello, a mutual friend of Kathy and Tom’s since high school and their oncologist until his retirement, is owed a special thank you for the care and support he provided Kathy and Tom as patients and as friends. The family is also deeply grateful to the neuroscience team at Stanford University, led by Dr. Lawrence Recht and Dr. Steven Chang, who set Kathy on the best possible path forward by providing her initial treatment in a clinical trial. This summer, the wonderful nurses and aides at Sweetwater Retirement Community in Billings, RiverStone Hospice, and Synergy Home Care gave Kathy a security and peace for which she and the family are very appreciative.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in Kathy’s memory to Billings First United Methodist Church, the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University, or the charity of your choice.
A celebration of Kathy’s life will be held on Thursday, September 15, 11:00 a.m., at Billings First United Methodist Church, 2800 4th Ave N.
Kathleen is preceded in death by her husband, Thomas F. Frisby, who passed away earlier this summer, and her mother, Louise (Lekse) Eide, and father, Lloyd Eide. She is survived by Tammy Frisby (Graham Mather), her daughter with Tom Frisby; Richard “Rick” Karp, Jr., her son with Richard Karp, Sr.; grandchildren Cory Karp, Jack Frisby Mather, and Stella Frisby Mather; her sister and brother-in-law Sandy (Eide) and Dennis Anderson, and her niece Lisa (Anderson) Norby (Justin) and nephew Dennis (Sonia) Anderson; her brother and sister-in-law Mike and Dino Eide, and her niece Heidi Eide and nephew Scott Eide. She is also survived by a host of wonderful Lekse relatives and by a strong support net of friends, in whom she found great enjoyment and comfort into her final days.

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3 thoughts on “Kathleen L. Frisby”

  1. Words cannot express the sadness for all of us that were lucky enough to know Kathy and Tom. I met her when I was a friend of her brother Mike in the early 60s. Both her and Tom were incredibly kind and wonderful people that are greatly missed.

    Jim McCall

  2. So sorry for your loss. Your parents were wonderful people and always had a smile on their faces.
    They had a love for each other, that some never experience.
    It was always nice to see them on my mail route. Sorry I will be unable to attend funeral.

    There retired mail carrier

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