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Kathryn Marie (Sutton) Strickland, 78, of Emmett, Idaho, passed away peacefully January 7, 2023, surrounded by her family. Kathy was born July 18, 1944, to Cecil and Wanda Sutton in Council, Idaho. She was raised in Ola, Idaho, with her five brothers where there was much love and even more shenanigans in their young lives.
Kathy started taking piano lessons when she was eight years old and continued with them for seven years. As her brothers began to learn more fiddle tunes, they decided Kathy needed to learn to play guitar. She took just a few lessons and before long she was able to keep up with them on the “Orange Blossom Special.” She also decided to try her hand at the fiddle and taught herself to play. She became very skilled at all three instruments. Kathy and her brothers competed at many fiddle competitions throughout the Northwest. Perry, Larry, and Kathy performed together at the World’s Fair in Seattle, Washington, in 1962. At the Old Time Fiddlers Contest in Weiser, Idaho, Kathy and her brother Larry performed trick fiddling. They won second prize in their event and were featured in a 1963 issue of Life Magazine.
Kathy attended Emmett High School and graduated in 1962. After graduation she moved to Boise where she attended Boise Secretarial School and was then employed by a mortgage company in Boise. While in high school, Kathy met Larry Strickland of Emmett, Idaho, and they were married on April 10, 1965. They made their first home in Payette, Idaho, where Kathy worked at a local bank. In March 1970, Larry’s work took them to Rupert, Idaho. They purchased bare ground and worked hard to make it their home. In 1973, they moved back to Emmett purchasing sixty acres of bare land on the Emmett bench and once again worked hard to build the home that would become the ranch where they raised their kids and created a wonderful life together.
In 1976, Kathy and Larry purchased a power line construction business, and both worked tirelessly to successfully run Strickland Powerline Construction. In addition to helping with the business, Kathy worked side by side with Larry on their ranch raising cattle and farming the land. Kathy loved flowers and planted beautiful flower gardens and trees wherever she lived.
Kathy was truly talented at documenting family ancestry and spent a lot of time working on genealogy. She worked countless hours documenting the history of the Ola Cemetery and was recognized by the Idaho Historical Society in 2012 for the books she had compiled.
Like her beloved mother Wanda, Kathy enjoyed sewing. She sewed countless pearl-snap western shirts for Larry and the girls, as well as countless matching dresses for the girls. Later in her life she made numerous beautiful quilts for her daughters and grandchildren.
Kathy poured selfless love into raising her three daughters. She supported them in their many activities, driving them to and from music lessons, 4-H meetings, and any other activity they were involved in. One of her greatest joys was being a grandma and spending time together as a family. They enjoyed many camping trips together in High Valley, cattle drives, and family vacations. Kathy is survived by her daughters Christina (Paul) Walters of Meridian, Janice Skinner of Meridian, and Loretta (Kirk) Johns of Emmett; grandchildren Tessa and Kaitlin Walters, Jordan and Kyrsten Skinner, and Sawyer and Reagan Johns, her brothers, Vernon (Lois) Sutton, Larry (LouAnn) Sutton and Allen (Sharon) Sutton, and numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, and Aunt Fernie Stover. She is preceded in death by her husband Larry Strickland, parents Cecil and Wanda Sutton, and brothers Perry Sutton and Roger Sutton. A graveside service will be held Saturday, January 14, 2023, at 11:00 am at the Ola Cemetery. The service will be followed by a gathering at the Ola Community Hall. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Ola Community Center in care of Judy McCaulou.