Ford, Katharine Dorothy (nee Kern) March 29, 1930 to October 5, 2021.
In the early hours of October 5th, 2021 in her 92nd year, Katharine passed away peacefully in her sleep in the comfort of her home in Hidden Valley, Huntsville Ontario. Daughter of the late Thomas John Kern (Jack) and Jerrine Kern (Ferris). Katharine was the loving and devoted mother to Brian Douglas (Cynthia), David Alan and Gail Elizabeth; proud and beloved Grandma of Ryan Ford (Dana), Saxon Guptill, Kyle Ford, Hailey Guptill and Megan Ford; and Great Grandma to Cole and Clayton Ford (sons of Kyle). Katharine was predeceased by her siblings and their spouses, brother John Ferris Kern (Joan), twin sister Barbara Mann (Larry). Predeceased by J. Eric Ford (divorced) Katharine enjoyed the love and support from Alan Ford (deceased) (Nancy), Ron Ford (Faye) and Lynn Berdekles (Ted). Katharine will be remembered as loving Aunt to all her nieces and nephews.
Katharine will be lovingly remembered for her endless commitment to serving all her communities with graciousness, generosity and joy. After graduating from Lawrence Park Collegiate and then Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing in the class of 1952 she stayed on at Wellesley Hospital for two years before heading to England and Europe to travel with classmates. In London Katharine stayed on to study and work at the renowned Neurological Institute, Queen’s Square. Returning to Toronto in 1956, Katharine joined the nursing staff at Toronto General Hospital’s general and neurological units. During this time she met J. Eric Ford and left nursing in 1958 to start a family.
Keeping her close ties to nursing, Katharine joined the Wellesley Hospital Alumni and was active for many years in several annual fundraising activities. As her young family grew she extended her volunteering to include Sunnybrook Hospital’s Veterans Centre, the Public School PTA, Meals on Wheels, and fundraising committees for Crescent School and Havergal College. While serving on these committees she volunteered for Cubs and Brownies, school team support, even sewing costumes for school plays.
In 1975, Katharine began University part time at York University’s Glendon College and earned a BA in Political and Social Science while the volunteering continued. She volunteered at the Children’s Aid Society in Adoption Disclosures and joined the board of directors from 1982 to 1989. She completed her service to Children’s Aid in Adoption Disclosures until retirement in 1995.
One of Katharine’s deepest commitments was to the Love and Service of God through the Anglican Church. Beginning in her youth, Katharine was active volunteering in Sunday School at St Clements Church. When her young family began regular attendance at St Patrick’s Church, Katharine joined the Ladies Guild and helped lead dances, concerts, yard sales and Church Bazaars for many years. When she moved to Ajax, Katharine joined Holy Trinity Anglican Church and worked tirelessly on the campaign to rebuild the aging building. In 2004, Katharine decided to make the family ski chalet in Hidden Valley her permanent home and joined All Saints Church in Huntsville. She was highly active at All Saints participating in fundraising, Church business affairs, and hours of charitable work from knitting countless sweaters for Global Warmth to collecting as many used warm winter garments as she could for the Mission to Seafarers - Port of Thunder Bay. Another of her favourite activities was to provide rides for non-driving parishioners to Church, doctors appointments, hairdressers and even Christmas shopping. During much of this time she volunteered as a Steward to coordinate the collection and counting of the weekly offering.
In addition to Katharine’s commitment to Church, charity and community service, she also found time to enjoy the many activities that she loved. From a young age she loved camping, canoeing, swimming, tennis, skiing, traveling, sewing, knitting and embroidery and had a special love for all the family dogs - often offering to look after her children’s pets for extended periods.
While Katharine’s community presence was extensive, her most heartfelt devotion was to her family and friends - especially her children. As a role model, if any friend, family member, neighbour or sometimes even strangers were in need, there was only one possible answer - “What can I do to help?” As a mother, Katharine’s home was a favourite place for kids to gather and play, shoot hoops, or just hang out - and there were always cold drinks and snacks. Many of the children’s ski friends recall numerous times when there were suddenly 4 or more extra mouths welcomed at the lunch table or nights when extra beds were needed. Katharine was not only welcoming to the kids’ friends, she also supported her children through countless school and extracurricular activities including art lessons, sports, swimming, cubs and brownies, all while passing on her sound values.
Katharine leaves us with so many sentimental memories and has been an inspiration and support throughout all her communities in all aspects of her life, her inspiration and love live on.
In keeping with Katharine's wishes, cremation has taken place. Family and friends are invited to a visitation on Monday, October 18, 2021 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Visitation will be held in increments of 30 minutes. We ask that you please RSVP on Katharine's memorial page at www.billingsleyfuneralhome.com In keeping with Covid-19 restrictions; fascial coverings, contact tracing and distancing of 2 meters will be strictly adhered to. A private funeral service will be held on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 2 p.m. at All Saints Anglican Church in Huntsville. The funeral service will be live streamed, again, we ask that you visit Katharine's memorial page to access this event. As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations can be made to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation in lieu of flowers.