Katie was born at home June 23, 1923, in the Willwood farming area south of Powell. She was the seventh child of Herbert E. and Retta H. Gillett, who had moved their family by emigrant train from Hamilton, Mo., to homestead near Powell in 1918. Her brothers were Lyle, Clarence, Elgin, Ralph, Louis, Lee, infant Allen Burdette and her only sister was Nellemay.
Katie attended school in Powell and graduated from high school in 1941. During her school years, she learned to play the piano from her older sister, Nellemay. She also played French horn in band and was active in 4-H. During the summers of high school, she made trips to Denver, St. Louis and Chicago to receive 4-H awards for her bread baking, record keeping and leadership.
In June following her high school graduation she was a delegate from Wyoming to the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C. Because of this trip, she postponed her wedding from June until August.
Katie married William Robert (Bob) Wigham of Powell on Aug. 21, 1941. They lived for a short time in San Diego where Bob worked for the air defense industry. After Dec. 7, 1941, they moved back to Powell and farmed from 1942 until 1950. Then they moved to Sterling, Colo., where they operated a successful welding and excavating business. Katie was the bookkeeper for their business and the manager of the Sterling High School Cafeteria for eight years.
While living in Sterling, Katie was a member of the First Baptist Church.
In 1973 Bob and Katie moved their excavating company to Denver and continued their business until Bob retired in 1984. They were members of Berkeley Baptist Church where Katie devoted herself to volunteer work. She served as president of the American Baptist Women at Berkeley, chairman of the Deaconess Board and the Mission Board, she sang in the church choir and taught fifth and sixth grades in Sunday school. She was also a volunteer at the Mountain Vista Nursing Home for 17 years. She served as president of the Mountain Vista Auxiliary from 1975 until 1990.
Bob and Katie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a large party in the basement of the Berkeley Baptist Church on Aug. 25, 1991.
Bob and Katie lived in Holliday Hills Village, a 55-plus retirement community in North Denver. Bob died Dec. 3, 2002, following an automobile accident. Katie attended the Holliday Hills Community Church until she moved to an assisted living facility in 2006. She finally moved to Boulder Manor Nursing Home in 2009.
Katie is survived by four children, Roberta K. Wyckoff (Reggie) of Genoa, Colo., Nancy L. Brubaker (Rex) of Denver, Thomas D. Wigham (Kathy) of Westminster, Colo., and William D. Wigham (Linda) of Greeley, Colo. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and four great-great grandchildren.
Katie was preceded in death by her husband, her brothers, her sister and all of their spouses.
A memorial service to celebrate Katie’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 14, at the Holiday Hills Community Church at 2000 W. 92nd Ave., Federal Heights, Colo. There will be a luncheon following the service. A family committal service will be held at the Mezpah Cemetery in Platteville, Colo., on Monday, June 16, at 11 a.m.
In memory of Katie, memorials may be made to the Holiday Hills Community Church.