Kathleen Ann Bechtel, age 72, of Manhattan, died July 19, 2021, at the Good Shepherd Homecare and Hospice House.

She was born January 5, 1949, in Elmont, New York, the daughter of Francis Joseph and Catherine Bernice (Clare) Barnwell, and moved to Manhattan in 1974.

Kathleen graduated from Mineola High School in Garden City Park, NY, earned her bachelors’ degree from Fredonia State University in Fredonia, NY, and her ESL Certification from Kansas State University.

She was an elementary school Spanish teacher for USD #383 (1987-2006, retired) and taught

French, Spanish, and Russian at Monsignor Lucky High School, as well as elementary school Spanish in the Manhattan Catholic Schools (1985-1987). During her fight with cancer, her proudest achievement was the authoring and self-publishing the children’s book ‘A Puzzled Gracie’ with proceeds donated to the Mayo Clinic of Rochester Minnesota. Upon beating cancer, Kathleen had plans to write additional children’s books to share her teachings in perpetuity.

Kathleen was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church and a choir member who also played the organ for Mass. She was also a member of the Pilot Club of Manhattan, The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, and P.E.O.

On August 7, 1971, in Mineola, NY, she was married to Donald Bruce Bechtel. Dr. Bechtel survives of the home. Additional survivors include their two sons: Michael Bechtel and his wife Catherine of West Des Moines, IA, and Ryan Bechtel and his wife Kimberly of Olathe, KS; three grandchildren: Anna Grace, Macy Elaine, and Trent Robert; and two siblings: Patricia Mulligan (Thomas Mulligan) of East Northport, NY, and Robert Barnwell (Kathryn Barnwell) of San Diego, CA.

A Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, August 5 th , at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church with Father Frank Coady as Celebrant.

A Parish Vigil will be held at 6:00 P.M. Wednesday, August 4th, at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church. A visitation will follow the Vigil in the Utopia Room at the church.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at www.ymlfuneralhome.com.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either the Mayo Clinic Foundation for Proton Beam Radiation Center, Little Apple Pilot Club, or St. Thomas More Catholic Church. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

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