Katherine was born August 18, 1933, passed away peacefully on May 22, 2021 while listening to classical music, one of her lifetime passions. She attended her first classical concert in 1934 at Chautauqua, NY, where her mother was performing on the Institute’s grand organ.
Born in Erie, PA and spending many of her formative years in Toronto, ON, she studied piano at the University of Toronto and graduated from Academy High School in Erie. Katherine had a Business Degree from Lakeland Community College. Katherine and her true love, Richard (previously deceased), shared 67 years of marriage together, holding hands the whole way. Her parents were Richard W. and Mary Laing Davies. Kay is survived by her sister, Hinky Davies Wilcher (Lanny) of Mineral Springs, GA and two children, Douglas Kohl (Kathy) and Nancy Kohl Schwandt, (Bill) 6 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
She and Richard moved from Erie to Cleveland in 1955 and raised their family on Cleveland’s east side. Katherine was a pioneer for women’s rights and advocacy. She worked for the YMCA of Greater Cleveland in Collinwood, Lyndhurst and Cleveland Heights until being recruited to be the first woman corporate officer & Director of Development for the Lake View Cemetery Association on Euclid Ave.
She worked her way through the ranks in the then male-dominated cemetery field and became the first woman President of the Ohio Cemetery Association. Because of her involvement with Lake View, she became a frequently sought-after speaker on topics such as Women’s Suffrage, President James A. Garfield, Jeptha Wade, and Women’s History in Cleveland, all told through the stories of those laid to rest at Lake View. Her talk “Landmarks, Landscapes & Legacies” guided listeners through the history of the Western Reserve.
Katherine – or Kay, Kay-Betty, Joey, or Katzin as she was known by the family – enjoyed playing and teaching piano, playing games, bocce, swimming and when younger, playing goalkeeper on a hockey team. She was a volunteer extraordinaire and a great example for her kids and grandkids, always giving back to the community. She was a Playhouse Square Red Coat, an officer The Kiwanis Club of Orange, YMCA volunteer, and Scout leader. She was a follower of Jesus and throughout her life engaged in ministry wherever she lived.
Family gives thanks to the staff of Ohio Living Rockynol in Akron, OH as well as the Akron General Hospice Center, where she spent her final days. A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, June 12 at The Well CDC, 647 E. Market St., Akron. Visitation at 10:00AM, service at 11:00AM. Donations in lieu of flowers, can be made in her honor to the Lake View Cemetery Association Foundation or the Lander Circle Kiwanis, 3669 Lander Rd, Pepper Pike, Ohio 44124.
Services in care of The Billow Funeral Homes and Crematory, Fairlawn Chapel, 85 N. Miller Road Akron, OH 44333.
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