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Story Corps

Don Zook

Don Zook was married for 48 years. He and Katherine had seven children and by all accounts, had a great life together. Katherine recently died of pancreatic cancer. In Don’s StoryCorps interview, he paid tribute to the love of his life, a woman he called, “Kitty”.

Don Zook met Katherine Louise Lawrence on a blind date. Don said Katherine had beautiful red hair and he was smitten with her smile and personality. Despite their mutual attraction, there was a challenge to overcome. Katherine lived in Houston and Don lived in Kansas City. After their initial date, Don hitchhiked to Houston to spend time with Katherine and they got to know each other. When Don ran out of money, he hitchhiked his way home. A few months later, Katherine visited Don in Kansas City and he made her trip memorable. He proposed to Katherine and they were married a few months later.

Don says “Kitty” was quite unworldly and inexperienced when they married. He says she had never learned to cook and she didn’t even know her morning sickness was an indication she was pregnant. 9 months and ten days after their wedding day, she gave birth to their first son. In time, Don and “Kitty” had seven children.

Don was a traveling salesman and was away from home much of the time, so he gives “Kitty” total credit for raising their children. He says her influence will be seen for generations to come.

“Kitty” was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1999 and died the next year. Don says despite his loss, his marriage remains alive. He says his wife’s death does not end their marriage. Don says he remains committed to “Kitty” and says he will be forever.

For more information or if you would like to tell your story to KUHF, contact Paul Pendergraft at


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