1959 - 2014

She was always smiling. Perhaps it was the southern California girl that she never really left behind, or maybe it was a result of working at Disneyland right after college. She was always glad to see you, had something funny to tell you, and could make even the mundane things in life interesting and amusing.

She saw the humor in everything. The details are a bit hazy, but she once rang a peal wearing an ill-considered undergarment. Several members of the band found it extremely challenging to concentrate on the ringing. When the ringing finished, she unbuttoned her shirt so that everyone could see the troublesome article of clothing.

Your correspondent owns a pair of pink, sparkly sneakers. (Much to Kathryn’s amusement, it’s my mother’s fault!) Kathryn proudly wore Chuck Taylor canvas hightops (the latest and greatest when she and I were young). But she just had to borrow my pink, sparkly sneakers. With a twinkle in her eye, she told me that it would embarrass her daughter no end if she wore them. Even worse, her daughter already thought that ringers were dorks, and the pink, sparkly sneakers would seal the deal. We were both guilty as charged!

You could always count on her. This past spring, a clapper broke during a peal in Frederick. She happily volunteered to help put the clapper back in after repairs, and somehow managed to make a miserable task both fun and funny.

She was equally happy standing behind someone, ringing something elementary, or challenging herself. Being supportive and positive came naturally for her. Ringers on all levels enjoyed ringing with and learning from her.

She was devoted to her family. While living in DC, she flew out to California monthly to help her parents. She and her sister had finally gotten them moved into a retirement community and their house sold when Kathryn passed away. She was equally devoted to her friends. We talked, laughed, and commiserated endlessly about our parents getting older, trying to help them help themselves, and dealing with the inevitable difficult conversations and situations.

Kathryn was born in the Los Angeles area in 1959. She and her husband moved to the Atlanta area in 1991, and she learned to ring in Marietta, GA in 1996, serving as tower captain, ringing master, and secretary over the years. She represented the North American Guild on the Central Council from 2008 to 2010. In 2012, she and her family moved to Alexandria, VA, and she began ringing with the Washington Ringing Society. With this move, her ringing life came full circle, as her first quarter inside was at the Old Post Office in 1998. She also rang in the first peal by an all local band in Marietta, and was in many winning striking competition bands representing North Georgia or Marietta. She is survived by her daughter Claire, husband Tom, sister Cheryl, and parents Jared and Marilyn.

I would like to thank Bob Aldinger, Rob Bannister, Matt Brown, Mary Clark, Ed Donnen, Paula Fleming, Linda Huntington, Sally Karkula, John King, Bill Kollar, Carleton MacDonald, Sue O’Neill, Mary Platt, and David Porter for their contributions to this article. [Photo used by kind permission of David Porter.]


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Central Council of Church Bell Ringers