Kathleen S. Espin
1949 - 2020
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Las Vegas, NV -Kathleen S. Espin (Kathy), nee Nancy Kathleen Shirley, passed peacefully at her home on July 24, 2020 at the age of 71. Espin was born in Charlotte, N.C. and she has lived in Las Vegas since 1973.

Espin was a former city editor at the Las Vegas Sun, spent 12 years in resort marketing and in 1996, she started her own marketing and PR firm. She earned a master's degree in communication from UNLV in 1997 and became professor emeritus in the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism. She won an award for Outstanding Teaching by Part-time Faculty in 2003.



Since 1997, Espin served as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) for Clark County Family Court. She received Awards of Excellence from the CASA Foundation in 1998 and 2009. As a member of the CASA Foundation Board of Directors, for eight years she directed the CASA's Angel Tree program, for which she received the CASA Foundation's President's Award in 2012. She was also a widely published freelance writer, and is the author of "Kidding Around Las Vegas," a travel guide for families.

Espin was the matriarch of her family and was affectionately known as Grandame or G-Dawg. She is the daughter of Alta Ruth Hughes Shirley and Robert Malcolm Shirley, both deceased. She is survived by her brother Malcolm (Mack) Shirley, sister-in-law Phyllis Shirley, nephew Brandon Shirley, sister Martha White, brother-in-law Mark White, and sister Ann Grannan. She is also survived by her son David Espin, daughter-in-law Lisa Espin, daughter Angela Espin, son-in-law Stephen Tyler, Jennifer Ciarciaglini and her two children, Makala and Zayden, Jeannette Arcuri, and granddaughters Neila Espin, Sabrina Espin and Ariana Espin. So many more names could be listed whose lives she touched with her love and care and all are heartbroken at their loss. Her laughter, wit, humor, love, and passions live on in her children and grandchildren and in all whose lives she nurtured.

The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, please send donations to CASA Foundation of Las Vegas, https://www.casafoundationlv.org/.

Services will be private. Wednesday, July 29, 2020,

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on Jul. 30, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
August 7, 2020
Kathy was on vacation in Washington state over the Fourth of July. She was always up to something!
Jane Feldman
Friend
August 2, 2020
Cynthia House Strickland
Classmate
August 1, 2020
Maggie Mooha
Friend
July 31, 2020
Kathy was an amazing human being, obviously by her relentless pursuit of championing those less fortunate, and those seeking real life education, we were all blessed to know her and work with her. Bless her.
Valerie Moon
Friend
July 30, 2020
My sincere condolences to Kathy’s family. We volunteered together with the Sierra Club Inspiring Connections Outdoors. She was a Co-Leader on a couple of the outings I led for young people. I will miss her deeply.
Tony Fountain
Friend
July 30, 2020
My deepest sympathies to Kathy's family. She was a wonderful person we worked together for several years. I will miss her wit, her laughter, and her kindness. She will be missed by all those she touched and those are many. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.
Mary Ann Burns
Friend
July 30, 2020
My condolences to the family, friends and associates of Kathy. She was a wonderful and kind person. Always with a warm smile and something nice to say. She was professional and personal. The world needs more people like Kathy Espin.
David Gravatt
July 30, 2020
For nearly fifteen years I was fortunate to work with Kathy Espin at UNLV. She was a kind, generous, talented, highly professional individual, and a friend. Her passing is a great loss for the UNIV community and for the entire Las Vegas valley
Tom Burkholder
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