Kaye Louise Stiff, MD, 59, passed away peacefully on Nov. 22, in Westminster, Colo. after a short illness.
Kaye was born in St. Paul, Minn., on June 6, 1954 to the late Quentin C. and Dorothy Mae Stiff. Kaye’s formative years were spent in Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin where she graduated as valedictorian from Prairie du Chien High School in 1972. Kaye excelled in most academic subjects but developed a strong interest in the physical sciences and music including the piano, string bass and voice. Later she would sing in Episcopal Church choirs in Wisconsin and Colorado. At Lawrence University she added Russian language studies to her academic repertoire while completing her pre-med requirements before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry cum laude in 1976. While At Lawrence, Kaye met Craig Horlacher, to whom she was married for 12 years.
Kaye attended Medical School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with her MD in 1980. After moving to Denver, she completed her residency and internship in Internal Medicine at Presbyterian-St Luke’s Hospital. After residency, Kaye worked in several urgent care clinics in the Denver area and completed a yearlong assignment at the Miner’s Hospital in Raton, N.M. In 1987 Kaye started her private practice in Wheat Ridge, Colo., where she was affiliated with Lutheran Medical Center. During her years of private practice, Kaye was respected and well known for her skillful and empathetic patient care – a trait likely developed from her own experience in dealing with chronic illnesses. She was also well known for her encyclopedic knowledge of sports trivia and loyal supporter of the Denver teams.
Due to personal health reasons, Kaye took early retirement from medicine in 1993. Subsequent years were spent traveling and raising her daughter Katelyn and an array of household pets. Her family and friends will always remember her calm strength and resilience in working through the chronic and debilitating pain of rheumatoid arthritis.
Kaye was preceded in death by her sister Michele Cutts. She is survived by her daughter Katelyn Anne Stiff of Golden, Colo.; her brother and sister-in-law Russell and Sue Stiff; her brother David Stiff all of Minneapolis, Minn.; and by her sister, Judith A. Sanchez of Chicago, Ill. She is survived by several nephews and nieces including Dana Stiff of Apple Valley, Minn., Julia Braun of Norwood Young America, Minn., Mathew Sanchez of St. Louis, Mo., Nick Sanchez of Rockford, Ill. and Robin Creech of Atlanta, Ga. She is also survived by seven grand nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held at Calvary Episcopal Church, 1320 Arapahoe Street, Golden, Colo., on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 2:30 p.m. with internment of ashes in the Church’s columbarium.
The family requests that memorial donations be sent to Adoption Options, 13900 East Harvard Avenue, Suite 200, Aurora, CO 80014 (303-695-1601; www.adoption-options.com/about/donate. This is a non-profit organization that assists families with the placement and adoption of children. To donate on-line, go to the Colorado Gives website coloradogives.org and search for the “Adoptions Options” tab.