Katherine (Kitty) Louise Kirsch, died on March 29, 2020 in Milton, Georgia. She was 90 years old.
Kitty was born in July of 1929 to Horace and Katherine (Schwindt) Olewiler in Leola, PA. She was the daughter of a minister and, in her lifetime, married two more. Kitty and her first husband, Charlie (Shook), were wed in February of 1951, having four children during their marriage: Karen Ludwick (Rick), Cyndia Shook (Lucy Sullivan), and Jeffrey Shook (Belinda). In 2001, she married Charlie Kirsch who took her on travels around the world and gave her another opportunity in life to fall in love. He sadly died in December of 2001 from a brain tumor, but, every night thereafter, Kitty would “say goodnight to Charlie” before going to bed. Kitty is survived by her children as well as three grandchildren, Ryan Burke (Aileen), Bryana Shook and Danielle Shook. Her brother, H. Newton Olewiler, also survives her. She was pre-deceased by her eldest son, Steve, in 1979.
Kitty was far from your typical housewife and mother. She helped supplement the family income by teaching piano and voice lessons, two specialties of her time at Westminster College in Maryland as a young woman, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. She was blessed with a superlative soprano voice and was featured in the Nashville Metropolitan Opera’s version of Mozart’s opera Cosi Fan Tutte in the early 1960’s. She also was a paid soloist for a synagogue while her family lived in Nashville, and, later in life, was a featured soloist in Handel’s “The Messiah” at Christmas services. Kitty was also an avid learner of self-improvement methods and workshops that helped her better understand herself. Her journey was always ongoing.
After the unexpected death of her second husband, Kitty moved from Columbus, Ohio to Roswell, GA, to live near her son, Jeff and his family. Jeff provided her with the loving care and attention she needed in order to maintain her quality of life. She enjoyed 17 years in independent living, but, as her health deteriorated in the past year, she resided at the Phoenix Assisted Living in Milton, GA, where she received excellent, compassionate care. Our family is deeply indebted to all of them, particularly Louique, her aide with whom she felt very connected and safe.
No tribute to Kitty would be complete without sharing some of her favorite things in life: Turner Classic Movies, The Golden Girls, Domino’s Pizza (Extra Cheese and Onions), Butter Pecan ice cream, and, most of all, her beloved lobster bisque at a local restaurant in Roswell. Yes, she was a “foodie” and passed this fondness on to all of her children.
A memorial service which our mother has insisted should be a “celebration” in her honor, will be private due to current public health precautions. Memorial donations can be made to Golden Rule Hospice, 4080 McGinnis Ferry Rd STE 602, Alpharetta, GA 30005.
It will come as no surprise to those who knew Kitty’s love of the ocean, that she asked that her ashes be scattered at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts where she spent many vacations with her daughter, Cyndia. She was truly “in her element” when she was around the water. In many respects, her spirit is already there within every wave. Goodbye, Mom. We love you.
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