On February 26, 1936, Kathryn J. Larkins was born Jo Kathryn to Martha Hudson and Orban Hudson of Western Grove, Arkansas. She was number three of four children. Due to grave hardship and nearing starvation, her skilled father, a construction worker, moved his family from Arkansas to thriving Oakland, California, where he helped build the Oakland airport, and where the children discovered orange juice. Kathy always said she knew what it was to be rich when she gained an indoor toilet and orange juice on the table every day.
Competitive by nature, Jo Kathryn flourished in almost any competition. She won a ping-pong championship in fifth grade and a scripture memorization contest. In high school, during the late 50s, she won roller skating dance contests.
Kathy’s exquisite beauty, industry, and gregarious nature made her easy to talk to. Though her mother took the four children to a local Pentecostal church, Jo Kathryn and her sisters, fleet of foot, took to dancing at the Oakland ballroom where big bands and famous musicians regularly entertained them. She was engaged to four different boys. When she eventually lost the two great loves of her life, her parents encouraged her to marry an air force man who was handsome and good with numbers.
From that union with Thomas O. Larkins, she bore four daughters, Jennifer (Kim) Ruby, Laura (Bill) Bartnick, Linda Larkins, and Judy (Allen) West.
The vivacious young woman would have danced through life if her husband hadn’t believed dancing was sinful. Later, when she fell and broke her back, not only dancing, but also walking became painful.
The couple’s marriage was rocky from the outset, and the two settled into a bleak Colorado railroad rental. Nevertheless, Kathy answered a newspaper ad for a new family track home located on a corner of a single-family subdivision, and secured it. Thus, were her powers of persuasion. When her husband finished the basement with bedrooms, a family room, and a bath, Kathy gleefully jitterbugged in her jammies through the basement, shocking her daughter with her fancy steps and secreted stories from youth.
Even with her husband’s steady career, she had to raise her four daughters on a tight budget he set for them, cooking, and sewing homemade clothing to make them not only presentable, but also fashionable. She learned to tailor pleats and make smart looking outfits, some matching outfits for her daughters. She worked odd jobs selling cases of Pop Shop sodas, working at the Jackson Turkey Farm, and for an electric company as a bookkeeper. Later Kathy became a top seller of Home Interiors and Gifts products, praying with eyes wide open in the car before each party and paying her teenage daughters to assist her.
Kathy was not a math whiz, but she was willing to learn. She worked hard and prayed harder. She would sing, “The Lord knows the way through the wilderness.” Kathy was committed to Bible reading. At one time, she bribed her children and their neighborhood friends to memorize whole chapters of scripture by paying them with silver dollars after they successfully quoted their passages.
Newly divorced, she didn't believe she was saved because of her religion or good works, she was only saved through the mercy of God sending His Son, Jesus to die for her sins by taking her place of punishment, and overcoming death by His power to rise again. This is the God who continually uplifted her and provided hope for the future. Kathryn, having relegated the “Jo” by this time to a middle initial, excelled as a homemaker. She was a gracious hostess, an excellent cook, and seamstress.
Kathy’s obedience to Christian precepts, her hospitality to her children’s friends, her pure reputation, and her clever ability to pun around with the best wits created a steady and joyful reputation. Many friends, old and young, surrounded her because of this determination to follow God's word as her guide in life.
She was a bit of an activist regarding her children’s education, much to the chagrin of their wild hearts, but she made sure they were properly educated, if not by public schools, then private, and charter schools.
Kathy was a woman who deeply valued her friends, the support system that the Lord provided to her, Ralph and Barbara, Connie, Ken and Pat, Harold, Don and Suzy, Dan and Joy, Carol, Marie, Susan, and Susan, Lori, Mun, Shuyn Wen, Donna and Donna, Gail, and others throughout life. She delighted in each of you. She depended on your comfort, consolations, prayers, advice, and loved you dearly.
Kathy had a wonderful eye for color in fashion and decor. She learned to paint trompe-l'œil, she wallpapered and painted the walls of her own home properly, even staircases, and did the same for her friends. She dressed fashionably, landed the best buys, and looking back, her daughters liked to say she had the spiritual gift of shopping! Her gifts and energy in decorating her own home as much as helping others buy and decorate theirs on pennies amazed many. K-Mart and later, Macy’s and J.C. Penney’s should have given her stock for all her layaways over the years.
In the eighties, after trying to make a go of her marriage again, and again finding herself divorced, she began a career as a real estate agent and told no-one of her circumstances. The economy in Denver was in a downturn. HUD homes were lying vacant all over the city. She had two children still living with her, and she had to scramble and trust the Lord more than ever. She would drive to work singing, “Follow, I will follow Thee my Lord, follow through each passing day. My tomorrows are all known to Thee. Thou wilt lead me all the way.”
Through lean times as a single mother, Kathy stood firmly on the scriptures assuring her that God would be her husband and provider. In fact, all who knew Kathy would say the Lord did more than that. He spoiled her with good things, traveling, good food, fun times, a good church, and good friends. She loved to sing, “Jesus is the sweetest name I know, and He’s just the same as His precious name,” and “What a friend we have in Jesus.”
She worked from 1979 through 2006 as a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker and ReMax Masters, and as a broker with Metro Brokers. At the top of her game had 40 contracts on her desk in one week, earning many awards. When she hit a rough year and a half, and was trying to decide whether, in her mid-fifties, to try a different industry, she asked the Lord to show her clearly what to do. The next morning, her devotional reading landed on the passage telling her to, “finish the race, run the race well.” She was determined to obey, and after she sold a mini-mansion to the CEO and his wife as their first home in Denver, a large corporate account opened up to her with their firm. Afterwards, she sailed through to retirement.
Mom loved beauty. She always said there is no better place to live than Colorado. She had loved the California coast and beach, but she adored her view of the snow-capped mountains and the fairytale blue skies in Colorado.
A woman real estate agent working in a downturned economy was difficult, and Kathy deeply desired to be loved, but the Lord protected her, gave her loyal friends, and helped her excel. She worked very hard, fighting through fear and insecurity, wanting to do it right. God blessed the work of her hands and blessed many, many returning customers through her honesty and efforts on their behalf.
Although much of what was required to raise teenagers as a single mom felt overwhelming and ever-changing to Kathy, she knew how to give thanks to the Lord for her family’s many blessings. Though extremely busy, Kathy loved her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and often hosted the holidays at her house. She pulled out the Uno or Scrabble games for a good family fun night. She taught her family what she knew of the Lord. She doted on her grandchildren and became an extra parent for them.
Kathy’s gift of knowledge allowed her to share her light in discipling and teaching other women about the Bible and about Christ, especially in their time of need. She could do this because of her own experiences. The great grandchildren, Tristan and Jack, regularly visited her by phone, computer, or in person.
Nearing retirement, Kathy became active as a board member at Colorado Homeless Families, now BeyondHome in Arvada, Colorado, an organization actively involved in saving children's lives and young struggling mothers. A wonderfully inspirational memoir has been written about that ministry called KEEPING UP WITH GOD.
She was active again as a board member at Preston Ranch Ministries on the eastern plains, a ministry run by Bob and Ellen Korthuis after they retired from managing Camp Id-Ra-Ha-Je. She worked beside her daughter, Laura Bartnick, helping many children be fostered long term by large families in large homes. Kathy raised money through her Bible study friends and realtor associates to decorate the rooms of many children.
Many thought that Kathy was probably a wealthy woman when in fact, she had a wealthy Father God, and a generous heart and a conviction to help people and grow the kingdom of God. Notably, her heart was often stirred to help with various ministries. She was frugal and honest, generous.
Because of her poor eyesight, she retired from real estate early after paying off her home, and again lived frugally with dignity. Kathy was not a reader of many books, until her daughter, Linda Larkins, set her up with audio books, then she loved listening to good stories.
Kathy's many friends knew that she would stand by them and listen to them and pray continually for them. She would help them practically whenever she could, and isn't this the true definition of intercession, being willing to do it yourself when you are able to meet a need?
We liked to say that Kathy was from the land of fun. She loved having a good time. She loved musical theater and eating out and her many real estate awards that garnered her occasions to travel. She would have loved many other good things in life, including more travel if she didn't have to endure her bad back. She was not immune to family suffering either. So many misunderstandings and secrets came with living a single life were not as easy to negotiate as she longed for them to be. Nevertheless, one of the songs she often burst out singing was, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word, just to rest upon His promise, just to know, ‘thus sayeth the Lord’. Jesus, Jesus, How I trust Him. How I’ve proved Him over and over. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, oh! For grace to trust Him more!”
She loved her instant black coffee, but later in life, enjoyed being spoiled with full-cream coffee. And, even when her eyes grew dim and she couldn't see color anymore, her kids and grands would help her along playing Skip Bo, and calling out the colors for Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan. She was willing to try any new game her grandson, Elliott, presented.
Like her mother, Kathy began to have congestive heart failure in 2016, and she had another heart event in 2017 which slowly brought her down.
She kept her sorrows, a hand of cards, close to her chest and kept praying for the Lord's intervention. As always, she was determined to live by her own means and by doing as much for herself as possible, but it became increasingly difficult to live in her own home without an aid and a chauffeur. One daughter moved in for some time to help and another daughter chauffeured and kept finding renters who would contribute and notify her should an emergency happen. Finally, when Kathy moved in with her daughter Laura and son-in-law, Bill, she never regretted letting go of her burdens. Christ’s riches that He makes available to us are not primarily material but spiritual with tangible benefits.
Kathy’s Achilles’ heel was that she was not always wise about human nature, her own, or another’s, and she was easily influenced when someone gained her trust. She believed for many years that repentance was key, but apologies to others can complicate matters.
Today, she would advise, if you have a blind spot and have been shamed because of it, or wronged someone else because of it, don’t ignore the wrong or blame others for your misunderstandings. Keep your questions and thoughts in the light and keep accounts short, so as not to give the devil a foothold by short-sightedness or being self-serving raht than Kingdom oriented. Take care of your human foibles as soon as possible.
Kathy’s brother, Carl Hudson (Lois), her sisters, Sue Whitaker, and Loana Nesbit, and her dear niece, Gwendolyn Craycraft, predeceased her. Surviving, are her daughters and her beloved granddaughter, Sophia Jackson (Rob), with their two children, her precious grandsons, Elliott Quant Larkins and Thomas O. Larkins, her granddaughters Vanessa Ruby Forse (Jonathan), and Charissa Ruby.
She was surrounded and cared for by those who loved her most in her final homegoing and died with dignity and love in her bed early on January 10, 2023.
Kathy praised the Lord for caring for her every need throughout life and allowing her to flourish so that she could help care for those entrusted to her. She wanted to convey to her beloved children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren the following profound truth.
The unsearchable riches of Christ are mentioned in scripture to provide salvation to everyone who believes (John 3:16; Romans 1:16). We may be the worst of sinners, yet Jesus can forgive us and transform our lives (Romans 12:1–2). The blessing of the living person of Christ is the gift that truly keeps on giving as we are changed, by God’s Spirit, into people of love, happiness, peace, with patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23, CEV). These gifts are the controllers of rich relationships and personal integrity. They provide for most of the goodness and wealth life has to offer.
King Solomon was a man of great riches and wisdom, and his fame spread throughout the known world. King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth” (verse 23). Yet, for all that, Solomon’s riches were not unsearchable. They could be quantified; the gold bars could be counted, and he had no inexhaustible supply of silver. Besides that, Solomon’s riches were only the temporal treasures of this world. Jesus is “greater than Solomon” (Luke 11:31). The treasures of Christ are inexhaustible, they are unsearchable, and they are forever.
The phrase unsearchable riches of Christ comes from Ephesians 3:8–9: “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things” (ESV). The Greek for “unsearchable riches” is translated “boundless riches” in the NIV.
In her final days, kept praying for her family and friends. She often listened to the song, He Giveth More Grace written by Anne Johnson Flint as sung by Don Moen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=905DEs06g64
1. He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
2. When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
3. Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father loves thee and thy load will upbear.
Chorus: His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
God will give us what we need out of His unlimited riches - Philippians 4:19. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
She was comforted in 2021 by a vision of Jesus coming to embrace her. She wrote the only prose ever to pass through her pen in 2021, pictured below.
Let's celebrate with Kathy Larkins in her homegoing. She is finally with her One True Love, Jesus, who paid the ultimate price to give her everlasting life with Him.
LIFETIME OF CHOICES
FATHER GOD MADE US AFTER HIMSELF, WITH CHOICES.
HE CHOSE TO MAKE US AFTER HIS IMAGE
HE CHOSE TO MAKE A BEAUTIFUL WORLD FOR US
HE CHOSE TO HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH US HIS CREATION
HE BUILT INTO US THE RIGHT TO MAKE CHOICES
HE CHOSE TO GIVE HIS ONLY BELOVED SON FOR US
HIS SON CHOSE TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR US
HE CHOSE TO WALK WITH US AND SHARE HIS SPIRIT WITH US
THE CREATOR CHOSE TO GIVE US A LIFETIME OF CHOICES
WHICH WILL I CHOSE?
LIFETIME OF REGRET!
A LIFETIME OF SERVICE ONLY GOD WILL BLESS?
WHAT WILL I CHOSE . . .
I CHOSE YOU LORD, I CHOSE YOU.
MY ENEMY SAYS COME, IT WILL BE FUN
YOUR WORD SAYS IT'S WRONG. . .RUN!
TEMPTATION EVERYWHERE. . .BUT
I CHOSE YOU LORD, I CHOSE YOU.
Kathy Larkins -2021
Ephesians 3:16-21 The Passion Translation (TPT)
And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power. Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life. Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God! Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you. Now we offer up to God all the glorious praise that rises from every church in every generation through Jesus Christ—and all that will yet be manifest through time and eternity. Amen!
Ephesians 3:16-21 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)
that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Paul delineates some of these riches in Ephesians 1:7–14: redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, the knowledge of the mystery of His will, the message of truth, the sealing of the Holy Spirit, and the guarantee of our inheritance.
What a friend we have in Jesus! https://sdahymnals.com/Hymnal/499-what-a-friend-we-have-in-jesus/
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit;
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In his arms he’ll take and shield you;
You will find a solace there.
So, praise Him, praise Him, because like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children.
Ephesians 3:14-19-20-21 The Message (MSG)
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
In Memorial, please consider making a gift to one of the three ministries:
GREENWOOD COMMUNITY CHURCH
5600 E Belleview Ave, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
PRESTON RANCH MINISTRIES (Entity #19881012272)
https://opengovus.com/colorado-business/198810122728747 Weld County Road 75 ½
Roggen, CO 80652
Arvada, CO 80006
The family has planned for Memorial Services on what would have been Kathy's 87th birthday, February 26, 2023 at Greenwood Community Church, three o'clock in the afternoon.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Kathryn J Larkins, please visit our Tree Store.