BY PETER HANCOCK
Kim Banning-Bohmann is being remembered more for how she lived than for how she died.
“For me, it was just the connection we had as sisters,” Karin Feltman, of Lawrence, said.
Kim’s younger sister laughed openly as she recalled their relationship. “I always said that I could hear her face, meaning we could just give each other a look and know what each other was thinking. That caused us some trouble sometimes, like it would make us laugh at inappropriate moments. It was particularly bad at church because I would be up front singing, facing everyone, and she would be looking at me from the congregation, and I could just hear her face.”
Banning-Bohmann died Monday after a long battle with a rare disease, scleroderma. She was 52.
Scleroderma is defined as a group of rare, progressive diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues. It has no known cause or cure.
Last year, Banning-Bohmann began experimental stem cell therapy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Her battle with the disease was documented in a series of stories in the Journal-World in 2010 and 2011.
“She was a pretty lively gal,” said Mike McGrew, a longtime friend and high school classmate. “She had lots of energy, lots of friends, had a very strong personality and strong will. That’s why it’s even more disconcerting when someone who had that strength of character is overcome by something as rare as this is.”
Banning-Bohmann was a 1978 graduate of Lawrence High School. At St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, she and Feltman helped coordinate the Family Promise program, which provides shelter in area churches for homeless families.
Banning-Bohmann is survived by her husband, Glenn Bohmann; her children, Blake Bohmann, Brett Bohmann, Ryan Banning, Morgan Banning and Cameron Bohmann; siblings Donna Passero, of California, Wayne Feltman and Jack Daniel, both of Texas, and Karin Feltman; and her father, Harry Feltman. She was preceded in death by her mother, Sonia Stofkooper.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 5700 W. Sixth St.