Kathy Ann Joannides (Swegle), age 67, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, lost her 4-year battle to ALS and passed away on Saturday, May 13, peacefully in her home in Cheyenne. Kathy was born on July 1, 1955, to Charles E. and Shirley J. Swegle in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from Galesburg High School in 1973. In Galesburg, she met the love of her life, Tim Joannides, and moved to Tucson, AZ in 1981 and then to Cheyenne, WY in 1983. Kathy married Tim on July 6, 1985, in Cheyenne and was thrilled to become a stepmother to Chris, Angela and Nick Joannides.
Kathy eagerly started her college degree in Cheyenne at Laramie County Community College where she graduated with a High Distinction honor (3.7 GPA or better) with an Associate of Arts Degree in 1987. She was nominated for Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges from 1987-88. Kathy was on the President’s Honor Roll and received an Honors Scholarship to the University of Wyoming.
In December of 1987, her son Andrew was born. Kathy continued her studies at the University of Wyoming and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She earned Arts and Sciences Honors for Academic Excellence in 1990 and 1992. She was also a member of the Golden Key National Honors Society. After graduation, she decided to stay home and raise Andrew full-time.
During this period, she began her passion for volunteerism. She helped with Andrew’s Boy Scout troop, helped at Hobbs Elementary School, and helped coach soccer for the Cheyenne Soccer Association. Kathy was an avid sports fan; she loved the Denver Broncos and the University of Wyoming sports programs.
Kathy was a two-time breast cancer survivor. As of 2023, Kathy was 26 years cancer-free!
Kathy proudly volunteered with the DePaul Hospital Guild and the United Medical Center Auxiliary (served as President from 1995-96). Kathy assisted with “Home Away from Home,” “Race to Win Against Breast Cancer” and the American Cancer Society.
She also served on the Laramie County Community College Foundation Board from 1997-98 and the United Medical Center Foundation board from 1997-2008. Kathy co-chaired the United Medical Center’s Davis Hospice Campaign while she and Tim co-chaired the Laramie County United Way Campaign from 2010-2013. Kathy worked for the Montessori School of Cheyenne in 1983 and Cathee’s Candle Cupboard during the holiday season of 2001 and whenever she wasn’t volunteering.
Kathy was very active in the Greek Orthodox Church with the Daughters of Penelope since 1985, serving as past District Governor and past Chapter President. Kathy was a founding member of the Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church of Cheyenne and served on the Fundraising Committee and Philoptochos. She was also a member of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Cheyenne and was past Parish Council member and President. She was active in the following parishes: Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Tucson, AZ; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Casper, WY and Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Rock Island, IL.
Kathy loved photographing sunsets, growing flowers, birdwatching, and the family dogs. She always dreamed of having horses. She loved to travel and visit her family in Illinois, visit their home in Tubac, AZ and indulge in different cultures around the world. Kathy was an avid golfer, and she was a member of the Cheyenne Country Club, Green Valley Country Club in Green Valley, AZ, and the Old Baldy Club in Saratoga, WY. She participated in the Cheyenne Country Club Women’s Golf Association, Fore & Score, and the FE Warren Air Force Base Ladies Golf Association.
Kathy was preceded in death by her mother Shirley Lester, father Charles Swegle, sister Teri Swegle, stepmother Marilyn Swegle, father-in-law Louis Joannides and mother-in-law Jennie Joannides.
She is survived by her husband Timothy Joannides of Cheyenne, WY, children; Andrew (Brittany) Joannides of Cheyenne, WY; Christopher (Betsey) Joannides of Fort Smith, AR; Angela (Tim) Johansen of Harlem, GA; Nickolas (Courtney) Joannides of Scottsdale, AZ, and seven (7) grandchildren with whom she loved spending time; Alicia Turner, Jarod Turner, Sophia Schamber, Isabella Joannides, Bailey Arquitt, Oliver Joannides and Elijah Joannides; Kathy’s sister, Susan (Rick) Welty of Galesburg, IL; brother Charles Thomas (Sylvia) Swegle of Springfield, IL; niece Megan Welty; nephews Adam (Debbie) Welty, Jonathan Swegle (Courtney Jackson), Eric (Marie’lyn) Swegle, 5 great nieces and 1 great nephew.
Kathy is also survived by her stepbrothers Randy (Debbie) Wilson of Galesburg and Scott Wilson of Bloomington, IL; stepsister Candi (John) Moulton of Galesburg and 4 nieces and nephews. Kathy’s sister-in-law, Katina (David) Joannides-Erlandson of Beaverton, OR; sister-in-law Susannah Mihail of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; nephews Paul and Reed Erlandson. Her Uncle Dale Page of Peoria, IL and several cousins.
Kathy’s visitation will be held Sunday, May 21st from 3:30pm-5:30pm at the Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church in Cheyenne with a Trisagion service at 5:30pm. The funeral will be held on Monday, May 22nd at 2:00pm at the church and the burial will follow at the Mountain View Memorial Park on North Yellowstone Road. A reception for all attendees will be held afterwards at The Gallery at the Metropolitan Downtown in Cheyenne at 4:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested all memorial donations be made to the Land and Building Development Funds of the Holy Apostles Orthodox Christian Church of Cheyenne or the Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Tucson, AZ.