Obituary of Katelyn Marie Thomas
April 09, 1997 – Chicago, Cook County Illinois
December 29, 2022 – Calgary, Alberta
Katelyn Thomas, of Calgary, AB, passed away Thursday, December 29, 2022, at the age of 25 years.
Katelyn was born in Chicago, Cook County Illinois, on April 9, 1997. She moved to Medicine Hat, AB, in October 2000. Shortly after moving to Medicine Hat, Katie was diagnosed with AML (Leukemia) and her family temporarily moved to Calgary for nine months so she could be treated at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Katie received a matched unrelated Bone Marrow Transplant in June 2001. In 2003, her family permanently moved to Calgary, AB.
Katie had an aptitude for music. She enjoyed listening, learning, and playing a variety of instruments. She tried cello, piano, and guitar but really found herself enjoying the French horn. She had many fond memories of band trips and band camps during junior and senior high school. She even got to travel to New York City! She went on to play her French horn in our local community orchestra after graduating from Centennial High School in 2015.
During Katie’s senior year, she had a desire to become fluent in French so she participated in a French exchange program where she went to high school for a few months in Grenoble, France! She met so many lifelong friends and lovingly referred to her host family as her second family.
Katie had a love of all animals; she began working at age fourteen in her stepfather’s veterinary clinic in Okotoks. Working as a receptionist quickly drew Katie out of her shy and quiet shell, leading her to make many good friends during her many years of working at Elizabeth Street Pet Hospital and SAVE.
Katie attended one year at MRU, general studies before deciding to take a year off to work and pursue her passion of travel. She spent four months travelling solo throughout Europe visiting family and friends, all while making new friends along the way. Katie visited many countries and took a plethora of amazing photos to document her many great adventures. From a young age, Katie had a passion and an amazing eye for photography. We are so grateful for her beautiful documentation of the beauty around her, no matter where she was.
Katie graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Environmental and Conservation Science, with her Major in Land Reclamation in April 2022. She also attended Olds College where she received her Land and Water resources diploma in June 2019.
Katie accomplished much through her short life and was particularly proud of graduating with her degree, landing her dream job at Vertex, and beginning her life of adulting. She also loved her leopard gecko Abbey and her beloved bunny Casper.
Katie had a love of the outdoors, in particular camping and hiking. She also loved her menagerie of pets. She was so creative and artistic. Katie was also an avid traveller and has been to so many wonderful and amazing places in her short life. She particularly loved her many trips to Maui, Hawaii with her family. In Katie’s downtime, she enjoyed every single episode and season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, reading a card from her favorite deck of daily affirmation cards, and keeping a gratitude journal.
Katie’s favourite saying was “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an AMEN! – RuPaul”.
She will be most remembered for her kind spirit, sense of adventure, love of nature and conservation, to which she dedicated her life to.
Katie is survived by her father Todd (Gwyneth) Thomas of Calgary, AB, mother Vanessa (Pavol) Liska of Priddis, AB, her loving sister Brooke Thomas of Calgary, AB, and her two stepbrothers, Juraj and Matus Liska of Calgary, AB.
Katelyn is also survived by her paternal grandparents Bob and Rita Thomas of Medicine Hat, AB; uncle David (Erin) Thomas of Calgary, AB, step-grandparents Janet Fayjean and Walter Stadnyczuk of Victoria, BC; step-uncle Cameron Nelin of Whitehorse, Yukon, step-aunt Jillian (Mike) Fargey, step-grandma Elena Liskova, of Lucenec, Slovakia, uncle Gary (Heather) Wright of Medicine Hat, AB, uncle Todd (Betty) Wright of Medicine Hat, AB, and numerous cousins and friends.
Katelyn was predeceased by her maternal grandparents Gail and Gary Wright, of Medicine Hat, AB; as well as her maternal and paternal great-grandparents.
Oh Katie, how we will miss your laughter, light, and bright smile. You will live on forever in our hearts.
A Celebration of Katelyn’s Life will be held on Friday, January 13, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at McInnis & Holloway (Deerfoot South, 12281 – 40th Street SE, Calgary, AB) with reception to follow in the Hospitality Center of the Funeral Home. Family and friends who are unable to attend in person are invited to join Ms. Thomas’s service streamed live (see below) on the day of the service. For those who are unable to view live, a recording of the service will be posted. Condolences, memories, and photos can also be shared and viewed here.
If friends and family so desire, donations can be made to The Canadian Cancer Society in memory of Katie and in her sister's honor.
In living memory of Katelyn Thomas, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes.
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