BEREA — Kathryn Grace “Katie” (Kerrigan) Carter, 97, died at her home on Jan. 6, 2010, of natural causes due to old age.
She was born March 28, 1912, at home on Sugar Street in St. Louisville, Ohio. She was youngest child of Zona and Bill Kerrigan. She graduated from Utica High School in Utica. She was known by all as being kind and caring. Her life motto was, “My day is complete. I heard a child laugh.”
In 1952, Katie helped found the Starlight School in Newark, for children with mental and developmental disabilities. She was responsible for getting all the funding organized and state grants. After the school opened, her son, Billy, did not meet the state eligibility guidelines. Undaunted, she opened Starlight Country Day School for children who did not meet state funding eligibility. Katie had the opportunity to be on two game shows, “Queen for the Day” and “Strike it Rich,” and with her winnings she was able to purchase outdoor playground equipment at her school. She remained active with 40 years of service to individuals with disabilities and mental retardation.
Katie loved to play cards, especially euchre and bridge. She enjoyed visiting shut-ins and supported many charities such as Habitat for Humanity, Doctors without Borders and St. Jude’s; any that helped children. She also enjoyed watching “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.” Katie was an avid Cleveland sports fan, loved the Browns, Indians and Cavaliers. She loved to watch people go to the training camp in Berea from her home. She also loved to read.
Katie was a longtime member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in St. Louisville and the oldest member (since 1956) of the Teheran Grotto in Newark, where she served as past president of the Ladies Auxiliary and her husband, Bob, was past monarch.
She is survived by her granddaughter, MaryAnn Scarborough of Apple Valley; three great-grandsons, Jerry II, Justin and Jacob Duvall, all of Apple Valley; many nieces and nephews; her caregivers, nephew, Ed Smith of Berea, and niece, Harriet Schenk of Cleveland.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert A. “Bob” Carter, in 1986; a daughter, Molly Carter Hill; a son, Billy Carter; her parents, Bill and Zona Kerrigan (nee Forgrave); a sister, Berneice K. Smith; and a brother, John Kerrigan.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church in St. Louisville in late June 2010. Inurnment will be at Evans Cemetery on Hornshill Road, Berger Hollow in St. Louisville. Her legacy was that of giving selflessly and in death she donated her body to the OSU College of Medicine for research.
Memorials may be forwarded to St. Paul Lutheran Church, 37 S. Main St., St. Louisville, OH 43071; Starlight School, 116 N. 22nd St., Newark, OH 43055; or to Hospice Services of Southwest General, 17951 Jefferson Park Road, Middleburg, OH 44130.
Arrangements were handled by Busch Funeral Home, Fairview Park, Ohio; www.buschfuneral.com.