Kathleen “Kathy” Chernenko, 58, Kathy died on Thursday evening, March 19, 2015, at the McKenzie County Hospital, Watford City, N.D.
Kathly was born on January 1, 1957 in Pierce County Rugby, N.D. to Joe and Christine Miller. She began elementary school in Orrin, N.D., then later attended Cando Elementary School. Her family then moved to Jamestown, N.D., to pursue new opportunities where she attended Jamestown High School and graduated in May 1975.
Kathy then began her college education at Jamestown College majoring in Physical Education with a minor in Elementary Education. She finished her Physical Education degree in Valley City, N.D., in May, 1979.
She began her teaching career at Billings County School District in the fall of 1980 teaching Physical Education, while traveling to nine country schools and having many adventurous experiences with her traveling partner Rita Denning. In 1983, she returned to college to finish her degree in elementary education to seek a job as a classroom teacher.
On September 15, 1984, she married Ronald Chernenko, the love of her life or (pain in the ass depending on the day). That same fall she returned to Billings County School District as a classroom teacher and became an active member of the North Dakota Teacher Association. The following year she and Ron settled in Grassy Butte to start a family and raised two sons, Kyle and Darren.
Kathy taught in the classroom while working on the family farm and ranch until September 2009, when she was diagnosed with cancer, which she valiantly fought until March 19, 2015. Throughout her battle with cancer she consistently made a point to not let her community involvement or spirit be diminished, always aiding in annual events such as the hunter supper. Kathy also took great pride in being a member of the Catholic Altar Society and as a Grassy Butte EMS responder. While her steady contribution to the community was a great passion, it was superseded by her love of helping and teaching young students to fulfill their full potential.
Kathy is survived by her husband, Ron, Grassy Butte, N.D.; sons, Kyle and Darren, Grassy Butte, N.D.; sister, Bernadine (Gerald) Mitzel, Rugby, N.D.; brothers, Tony (Sandi) Miller, Ankeny, Iowa, Bob (Sheila) Miller, Washburn, N.D., Larry (Kathy) Miller, Gladstone, N.D., Conrad (Val) Miller, Jamestown, N.D.; mother in-law, Ruby Chernenko, New Town, N.D.; sisters in-law, Shirley (Jerry) Pennington, New Town, N.D., Denise Tibbs (Harold Hugelen), Belfield, N.D.; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Kathy is preceded in death by her father, Joseph Miller; mother, Christine Miller; niece, Nicole Miller; and other loved aunts and uncles.
Mass of the Christian Burial for Kathy were at 10 a.m., CST, on Thursday, March 26, 2015, at the Epiphany Catholic Church in Watford City with Father Brian Gross as presider. Rosary was recited at 5:30 p.m., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at the Fulkerson Funeral Home of Watford City. Cremation followed services under the direction of the Fulkerson Funeral Home of Watford City, N.D. Remembrances, condolences and pictures may be shared with the family at www.fulkersons.com.