We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Kathryn (Kate) Santillan on June 18, 2023. She was born December 17, 1960 at Ft. Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia. She later moved to Las Vegas, Nevada with her Mom, Dad, and younger sister. Kate considered both her parents, Beatrice and Robert Shepard, to be extremely hardworking. She inherited her father’s love for music, and her mother’s amazing cooking and baking skills as well as sewing. From all her siblings, she learned to live freely, unapologetically, and to always try new things.
She moved to Sacramento in 1986 and met her husband, James Santillan, in 1988. Together they built a beautiful and fulfilling life. As a couple, they would road-trip wherever and whenever they could. Driving to places like Canada, Mexico, Montana, Virginia, and New Mexico, just to name a few. Together they built a successful life and worked extremely hard to retire at the age of 55 to enjoy more of life. They had five daughters in total (two from a previous marriage) and seven grandchildren, with whom she absolutely adored and loved to spend time with.
She spent her retired life hanging out with friends and family. She participated in many meet up groups where she met new people and tried new things like Tai Chi. Kate loved to travel and try all the local cuisines, she especially loved to visit the not so popular tourist sites around the country. She enjoyed walking, hiking, running half-marathons, reading, and spending time with her family. Over the last few years, she learned the making of canned goods, disaster preparation, vegetable gardening, sewing, and quilting.
Kate was selfless and devoted to her family and friends. She made it a point to make sure everyone around her was cared for and happy. She was an exceptional host, and you would always feel welcomed in her home. She would go out of her way to help people and she was faithful to the Lord.
Kate is survived by her husband, James, five daughters, Marisa, Amanda, Beatrice, Christina and Susie, seven grandchildren, Alyssa, Evan, Uriah, Jayden, Scarlett, Olivia, and Valentino, her mother, Beatrice Shepard and her siblings, Richard “Rick” Shepard, Nancy Shepard Brown, and Janet Walker. Although her soul may no longer be on earth, it lives on within each of us who have been blessed to experience Kate’s love, support, and kindness.
The funeral service will be Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at St. Mary Cemetery and Funeral Center, 6509 Fruitridge Rd., in Sacramento. Viewing will be at 9 AM, followed by a Mass at 10 am, with the burial to follow. A celebration of Kate’s life will occur after the funeral service and the Santillan family invites friends and family to join. The celebration of life will occur at the Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Blvd., in Sacramento.