Katharyn "Kat" Stanish

Date of Death: 
Sunday, March 29, 2020

Katharyn "Kat" Stanish, 28, passed away on Sunday March 29th, 2020 in Chicago, IL after a courageous and tireless battle with addiction for over 14 years. They (preferred pronoun) were born in Libertyville, IL on November 25th, 1991 and grew up in Lake Zurich, IL. A member of the Lake Zurich High School Cross-Country team, Kat graduated from Lake Zurich High School, class of 2010, and was actively working towards an Associate of Arts Degree in anticipation to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Therapy and one day use their creativity and passion to help others in recovery in a therapeutic setting. From a young age Kat was exceptionally artistic and creative and continued to express themself through artwork of drawing and pottery. With a genuine heart and spirit for service and a willingness to help support and empower others, Kat was an active member of many organizations, including Young People of Alcoholics Anonymous (YPAA), Inner Sense Healing Arts Collective (ISHA), and Black and Pink -an organization supporting LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive inmates. As a member of the queer community, Kat was passionate about promoting the respect and equality for people of all demographics. Kat was whole-heartedly committed to recovery and sought refuge in spirituality and yoga practices. When Kat wasn’t at a meeting, teaching recovery yoga, creating art, working part-time serving at Le Pain Quotidien, tutoring pottery and art, bike riding and running, or helping inmates get back on their feet, Kat could be found in nature and spending quality time with loved ones. Kat was an incredible and loving support to family, friends and community members and had an extraordinary energy and heart that was truly heart-warming and special. Anyone that knew Kat was always touched by their gentle and loving kindness and goofy humor. Kat will be deeply missed and cherished by so many, but Kat’s light, love and beauty will continue to inspire those whose lives Kat so beautifully touched.

Beloved daughter of Michael (Sheilah) and Larissa Kleronomos; loving sister of Natalie Stanish and John (Elizabeth) Belcher; dear niece of Mark (Maggie) Stanish and the late Donna Stanish; fond granddaughter of the late Albert and Nina Stanish and Lubov Babeno; cherished step daughter of the late Janet Stanish; fond cousin of Jeff (Kay) Stanish, Jeffery Jr., Joey, Cameron and Madeleine; dear aunt of Bennett Belcher.

Due to present day health concerns, all services are private. There will be a memorial service scheduled at a later date upon cancellation of state and local restrictions.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial donations may be made to Inner Sense Healing Collective Arts (ISHA) (please put in link to website--- https://www.innersensehealingarts.org/donate) and Black and Pink (website link ---- https://www.blackandpink.org/donate ). Please click below to offer a message of condolences to the family and sign the online guest book.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 12:00pm


Becky and Rex Harrison
With deepest sympathy for your loss.
Karen and Mike Orzech
Mike and Sheilah: We send our condolences along with hugs and prayers. May you always keep her memories close in your heart.
I was graced with the opportunity to volunteer alongside Kat at Black and Pink. Their heart, spirit, and openness were so tangible. Sharing the same space as them was an absolute gift. I was comforted the other day, talking to another mutual friend of ours from Black and Pink who said, “It’s hard to grieve Kat because every time I think about them I can’t help but smile. Every memory I have with them is so abundantly joyful.” I think this friend really well encapsulated the light that Kat brought to the communities that they touched. I am so sad to know that I won’t get to witness that incredible light again. To the Stanish family, my love is with you at this difficult time. I am so sorry for your loss, and for the circumstances that prevent you from grieving in community at this time. Though we haven’t met, you are at the forefront of my thoughts these days. Thank you for sharing such an incredible being with the world.
Brittany Rothe
A great, loving a d courageous person Kat certainly was. They are and will be missed. Thank you for your standing devotion in helping people. Farewell honey, I miss you!Q
Brittany Rothe
A great, loving and courageous person Kat certainly was. They are and will be missed. Thank you for your standing devotion in helping people. Farewell honey, I miss you!
Barbara Stevens and Paul Cowan
So sorry for your loss. You’re in our thoughts and prayers.
Barb spaulding
Dear Mike and family. There are no words to explain the tragedy or loosing a child. I am so sorry for your loss.
Olivia O'Brien
Olivia O'Brien Katie, I'll always love you & I'll miss you very much. Im sorry we weren't in touch more these past couple of years- I'll never forget you. You got me through high school. I don't know where I'd be without you.
Praying for God’s peace to surround you during thus difficult time. Mike and Lisa Riefesel
Tony and Kathy
We are sorry for your loss. Can’t imagine loosing a child. Our prayers and love are with you and your family.
Jacqueline Bevan
I am so very saddened to hear that Katie has left you all. She was very special to me while she was a student in my art classes at LZHS.. She was a very talented artist and was beautiful inside and out. May she rest in peace.
Caitey Foley
I am overwhelmed with grief after hearing about the loss of Katie. I haven't had a best friend like her since the day we parted ways years ago. She was passionate, beautiful, artistic, loving, and deserved so much more than she ever gave herself credit for. We went through so many hard times together as teenagers and I will never forget the fun and hilarious moments we shared. I only wish I could speak to her again and let her know how much she had touched my life. I can only hope she is finally at peace and no longer has to suffer. My thoughts and love go out to her family. Always remembering you Kaystan and hoping to see you again one day.
I've typed and re-typed what I want to say several times now, but nothing feels like it quite captures how vibrant and impactful of a person Kat was. I guess I mostly just want to share how personally touched I was by Kat's warm spirit; it was a true gift to be around them, because they were *so deeply present* in life. Their ability to connect with just about anyone was powerful to witness. Kat: Your Black & Pink family loves you so much! You'll forever have a space with us here, even if it looks a little different now.
Lisa Snipes
Kat, knowing you was one of my greatest joys. You inspired me and so many others in recovery to be better, to be more, to be true to ourselves. Seeing you in life made me smile, now the memory of you will.