Born and reared in Miami, FL, Wirkus received her BA in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MA in Guidance and Counseling from Webster University. Kathryn served in the United Stated Air Force for 27 years on active duty, the Guard and Reserve components, serving in various capacities as an education & training and personnel officer.
Following retirement from the USAF in 2006, she began a second career as a Colorado State Veterans Service Office, and as the Colorado Women Veterans Coordinator. She was chair of the planning committee for the first Colorado Women Veterans Conference 2011 and the subsequent Resource Fair 2012. In 2010, she founded the Women Veterans of Colorado (WVOC) a Colorado non-profit organization, where she serves as president. The mission of the WVOC is to serve Colorado women veterans and assist in their transaction to civilian life, to provide assistance in preventing homelessness, and to assist in obtaining education and suitable employment, as well as to connect women veterans with each other.
Ms. Wirkus currently serves as Constituent Services Representative for Congressman Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, with responsibility for military, veterans, NASA and aerospace issues.
Her papers and oral history interview are included in the Betty Carter Women Veterans Historical Project in the University Libraries at UNC Greensboro.