Kathryne Lorraine (Gleason) Boroughs, a devoted Christian, loving mother, and tireless supporter of young women, passed away on Monday, June 19, 2023, in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 78. She leaves behind a legacy of faith, compassion, and service that will be cherished by all who knew her.
Kathryne was born on August 22, 1944, in Palm Springs, California to Archie Gleason and Frances (Edwards) Gleason. Her early years were marked by a series of moves as she, along with her siblings Shirley (Gleason) Ruff, James “Jim” Gleason, and William “Bill” Gleason, journeyed from California to Kansas, then Wisconsin, and settled in Duncanville, Texas.
It was in Duncanville in her middle school years that her passion for music began to blossom. Kathryne found her place in the band, playing the clarinet and saxophone. In sixth grade, she became the first middle school student to perform with the Duncanville High School band, and in her freshman year, Kathryne's dedication and skill took her to the state competition, where she qualified to represent her school.
She was also a self-taught pianist and her creativity, talent, and love for art extended beyond music. She loved painting, sewing, cooking, needlework, ceramics, flower design, cake decorating, candle making, and various other artistic endeavors. Her passion for music and the arts permeated her life, enriching the lives of others and leaving a lasting impact on those who had the pleasure of hearing her play or witnessing her artistic creations.
Kathryne graduated from Duncanville High School in 1962 and married Robert Leon Berndt shortly afterward. They adopted a baby boy, Robert “Robbie” Penn, in 1965 and a girl, Kristi (Penn) Wells, in 1970.[a][b]
Kathryne's deep love for her children was a cornerstone of her life and she found immense joy in being actively involved in their lives. When Robbie and Kristi were young, Kathryne participated in school activities and events, often lending her helping hand to the school band and guiding Sunday school lessons at church. She wholeheartedly embraced her role as a parent volunteer, making a significant impact on the lives of not only her own children but also their classmates and friends.
One cherished memory was Kathryne's enchanting portrayal of the "pumpkin fairy" as a room mom for Kristi's second-grade Halloween party. Her creativity and enthusiasm brought smiles to the faces of the young children, leaving a lasting impression and creating memories that would be treasured for years to come.
At the young age of 26, Kathryne experienced a profound loss when her beloved husband, Leon, passed away due to a heart condition. Left to raise their five-year-old son and 16-month-old daughter, Kathryne faced adversity with unwavering determination. Although she did not possess a college degree and had no work experience outside of the home, Kathryne's commitment to ministering to the needs of others with the love of Jesus guided her through life's challenges. She knew God had a plan for her.
A couple of years later she married Jake Thomas “Toby” Penn. He battled diabetes and was sick for several years before he passed away, leaving Kathryne as a widow for a second time. Despite these trials, her resilient spirit remained unshaken.
She later married Melvin Boroughs and wholeheartedly embraced her role as a pastor's wife, deepening her commitment to and enjoyment of serving and teaching young women. She and Mel served in churches in Nocona, Holiday, Brownsville, and Wichita Falls, TX where she became the Director of WMU (Woman’s Missionary Union) for the Wichita Falls-Archer Baptist Association.
In 2005, at the age of 61, she founded the Christian Women's Job Corps (CWJC) in Ellis County. CWJC is a nonprofit ministry that provides women with tuition-free training in computer literacy, resume writing, financial management, communication skills, and much more. Through CWJC, the Lord used Kathryne and her colleagues to transform the lives of hundreds of women by empowering them with career readiness training, interpersonal development, and improved confidence and self-worth.
Kathryne's legacy extends to multiple generations. She was adored by her eight grandchildren—Robert, Ryan, Rebecca, Ally, Randi, Anthony, Victoria, Reagan—and eight great-grandchildren—Ivy, Kellen, Hazel, Brixton, Ruxley, Coraline, Cooper,[c] Willa—who will forever cherish the love, guidance, and wisdom she shared with them. Her nurturing spirit, warm smile, and kind-hearted presence brightened their lives and left an indelible mark on their hearts.
Above all, Kathryne found solace in her Christian faith and the love of Jesus. She drew strength from her relationship with God, finding comfort in His teachings and exemplifying His love through her actions. Her unwavering faith was a beacon of hope to those around her, and she will be remembered for her steadfast devotion to sharing the good news of salvation with everyone God placed in her path.
Kathryne Lorraine Boroughs will be deeply missed, but her spirit will continue to live on through the lives she touched. Her selflessness, resilience, and commitment to empowering her children, grandchildren, and hundreds of young women will forever inspire future generations to make a difference in the world. As we mourn her passing, let us also celebrate the extraordinary life she lived and the immeasurable impact she had on the lives of others.
A service will be held on Tuesday, June 27 at 3 pm at Midlothian Funeral Home to honor and remember the remarkable life of Kathryne Lorraine Boroughs. Family, friends, and all whose lives she touched are invited to attend and pay their respects to a woman who truly made a difference.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Christian Women's Job Corp (CWJC) of Ellis County in memory of Kathryne. This will ensure that her legacy continues to transform the lives of women in need, just as she did throughout her life.
May Kathryne continue her work for the Lord in eternity, and may her memory be a blessing to us all.