Kathleen Marie (Bratton) Swords, 62, of Russell, Kansas, passed away Tuesday, September 09, 2014, at Hays Medical Center in Hays, Kansas.

Kathleen was born May 22, 1952, in Union City, Indiana, the daughter of William and Edith (Ebbing) Bratton.  Her father was in the military so she grew up and attended schools at military bases around the country.  She graduated from Barnum High School in Barnum, Minnesota.

Kathleen served her country in the U.S. Air Force for over seven years.  When she was 21 years old, she was one of six women Jet Engine Mechanics in the U.S. Air Force and was the first and only woman Jet Engine Mechanic in Strategic Air Command and the first at Plattsburg Air Force Base in 1973.

Kathleen was united in marriage to Leo Kent Swords on November 6, 1982, at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona.  They made their home in Chandler, Arizona, before moving to Russell in 1985.  Their union was blessed with four children: Sean, Shane, Anita and Steven.

Kathleen was a devoted wife and homemaker for her family.  She also worked several years as a cook at Biekerdyke Elementary School.  She was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church.  She enjoyed bowling, the outdoors, especially fishing and camping.  She loved playing with her children and grandchildren.

Surviving family include her husband of 31 years, Leo; her children Sean (Susan) Swords of Topeka, Shane Swords (Shevelle Swaney) of Hays, Anita Swords (Timothy Ehrlich) of Bunker Hill, and Steven (Chelsey) Swords of Russell; brother, Daniel Bratton of New Port Richie, Florida; sister, Lynetta Bratton of Russell; four grandchildren, Madelyn, Seth, Camden and Logan.  She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Annetta Louise and a brother, David Spitzmueller.

Celebration of Kathleenís Life will be held at 10:30 AM Tuesday, September 16, 2014, at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell.  Burial will follow at the Russell City Cemetery where the Russell V.F.W. Post #6240 Honor Guard will conduct military rites.  Visitation will be from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday, September 15, 2014, at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  Condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of the arrangements.


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