Kat Oropeza, 59, passed away January 22, 2018 following a valiant battle with lung cancer.

Born March 18, 1958 in Helena, Montana, Kat grew up in Sheridan, graduated from Sheridan High School and returned to her hometown following service in the United States Air Force.  She worked for the United States Forest Service for nearly three decades, retiring in 2015.  Her proudest professional accomplishment was her work with the fire program within the Forest Service.


Kat appreciated the beauty of the natural world, especially the Bighorn Mountains and the Medicine Wheel – which was a special place for her and her husband, Nick.  She also loved music – both playing it and simply listening.

Kat cherished her six grandchildren, and loved spending time with them collectively, and one-on-one, with special “Nana Saturdays.” She also was a focused and engaged spectator when any of her grandkids were playing sports.


Beyond a love for her family and friends, Kat loved animals – especially cats – and was a proud co-founder of the Sheridan Second Chance Cat Rescue.


Kat is survived by her husband, Nick and a son D.J. (Amy) Bowman of Idaho Falls, Idaho and daughter Cassie (Cory) Rehder of Dayton. She also leaves behind her mother, Dorcas Ward of Sheridan; sister Tamra (Dustin Whistler) Ward of Denver, Colorado and grandchildren Xander, Caydon, Zoe and Garen Bowman and Megan and Hailey Rehder.  Kat’s father, Jim Ward, passed away in 1999. Kat’s heart was large, and her family extended beyond those who were directly related, including Wendy (Mike) Watts and her daughter Autumn Satterlee, and Jason (Kayla) Rodriguez and their children Anya, Jessie, Alex and Mia.


A celebration of life will be scheduled for July 14, 2018.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Second Chance Sheridan Cat Rescue, 945 Werco Avenue, Sheridan, Wyoming 82801 or the Muddy Paw Prints Food Fund, 748 N Main Street, Sheridan, Wyoming 82801.  Online condolences may be written at www.championfh.com.  Arrangements are under the direction of Champion Funeral Home.


Sheridan & Johnson County Obituaries