Kathleen (Kathie) Ellen Zanto (Kuntz) passed away on Nov 2, 2023, after a courageous fight with a terminal illness. Kathie was born Feb. 7, 1946, to Robert (Bob) and Mary Louise (Lou) LeVitre in San Francisco, California. She was the oldest of five siblings: Kraig, Kyle, Kelly and Kryss.
Kathie graduated from Helena High School and went on to attend Montana State University in Bozeman. She married John W. Van Steenvort in Helena on Aug 11, 1966, and welcomed three sons, Jon, Jason and Jadin. Kathie often said, “My greatest achievement in life were my three boys.” She was driven to love them with all her heart, raise her family the best way possible and live life to the fullest. She loved skiing, boating and taking the four-wheelers out for a spin. Kathie worked on the family ranch and spent many summers at the family cabin on Canyon Ferry Lake. Throughout her life Kathie learned how to work hard and play hard. During this time, she cherished having her best friends Dick and Linda Cortright and their three kids — Kim, Charlie and Ty on these adventures.
On December 14, 1994, Kathie married Larry Zanto (LTC Ret. U.S. Army) which resulted in a modern day “brady bunch”. They blended Kathie’s children with Larry’s three children Lori, Lance, and Becky. Larry and Kathie’s love was solid and strong, which showed through their many adventures and adversaries. Together the pair would light up a room. Their charisma resulted in many dear friends throughout Montana and Arizona.
Kathie had a love of camping which resulted in Larry and Kathie spending many summers at Lakeside. Later in her life she found her way back to Canyon Ferry Lake and summers at Kim’s Marina. Kathie’s final summers were spent camping more remotely and a trip to Yellowstone National Park just weeks before her passing.
Kathie is survived by her sons Jon K. Van Steenvort (LTC Ret. U.S. Army) (Jennifer), Jadin K. Van Steenvort. Her stepchildren Lance Zanto (Lynn}, Lori King (Roger) and Becky Bannon (Jolene (Jo) Sestrich). Her siblings Kraig Kuntz, Kyle Kuntz (Denise), and Kryss Kuntz. Her grandchildren Kiersten Van Steenvort, Kade Van Steenvort, Stella Van Steenvort, Scarlet Van Steenvort, Shae Talley (Shane), Leigh Zaugg (Lauden), Rachel Pilcher (Braedan), Kasey Chovanak (Taylor); and great grandchildren Leila Zaugg, Aidan Talley and Liam Pilcher. Kathie’s loved nieces and nephews Kasey Kuntz (Lauren), Kolten Kuntz (Hayley), Josh Kuntz (Kara), Justin Kuntz (Christy), Kailey Kuntz. Kathie is also survived by her lovable spoiled pug Lola.
She is preceded in death by her mother Mary “Lou” Kuntz, son Jason Van Steenvort, brother Kelly Kuntz, father Robert “Bob” Kuntz, and her husband Larry Zanto. Anyone who knew Kathie would know this list would not be complete without mentioning her beloved pets that went before her.
A Graveside Service is set for 3:00 p.m., Friday, November 17, 2023, at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery, Fort Harrison. A Celebration of her Life will follow in the lower level of the Ramada Inn formerly Jorgenson’s.