Kathryn's Story

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Funeral services for Kathryn Harville 83, Athens have been scheduled for 11:00 A.M. Thursday at First Baptist Church with Dr. Kyle Henderson officiating. Burial will follow at Oaklawn Memorial Park, Athens.
Visitation will be held at 10-11 A.M. Thursday at First Baptist Church.
Joyce Kathryn Thompson Harville was born March 6, 1933, the only child of beloved parents, Aggie Mae Abbott Thompson and Marvin Clemens Thompson.
She passed away June 28, 2016. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, W. A. "Pete" Harville, Jr. and great-granddaughter Lydia Kathryn Sykes, with whom she shared her name and sweet personality.
Kathryn was the proudest native of Big Rock, Texas. If you didn't know where that was, she would be happy to tell you. She grew up in Big Rock where her daddy owned a general store. She would tell about four or more kids riding to school on one mule, their version of a school bus. She was a graduate of Eustace High School, Henderson County Junior College and East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce. She first taught high school for six years in Trinidad, Texas, and then was a business teacher at Athens High School for 24 years until she retired in 1992. She treasured the many long friendships she made with fellow teachers and staff in that smoky teachers' lounge and with her many students over the years.
Kathryn must have been impressed with her first date with Pete Harville to May's Cafe because they later married on December 21, 1956. Pete was equally impressed with her and would say he married her because she had a car and a teaching job. They made Athens their home. They enjoyed traveling and she was always ready to go, it didn't matter where. Sometimes they would get to the end of the driveway and then decide their destination and whether to turn left or right.
One of Kathryn's favorite activities was feeding all the wildlife that wandered into the backyard, especially her "pet" raccoons, birds and the occasional fox and coyote. She enjoyed the various groups and clubs in which she participated throughout the years. She was a 30 year cancer survivor and long time volunteer with Reach to Recovery. She was also involved with Delta Kappa Gamma and Henderson County Food Pantry. She especially enjoyed her Cooking Club that spanned three decades and progressed from an actual cooking club to a going out to eat club. Kathryn was a member of the First Baptist Church of Athens and she cherished her Senior Ladies Class members.
Kathryn was as truly kind a person as you would ever meet. However long you may have known her, her gentle spirit, ever-present smile, laugh and upbeat personality were what you remembered. She never met a stranger and found the good in every person she met. Well, almost everyone. Her only known nemesis was the sneaky squirrel who raided her backyard bird feeder daily. We know he will miss her.
Her faith in Jesus was strong and Kathryn knew where her eternal home was.
Our precious Nana will always be loved and remembered by son, Lynn Harville and wife, Megan; daughters, Lisa Harville and husband, Scott Powell, and Leigh Ann Harville; grandchildren, Abby Gentry and husband, Joey and Gray Harville; step-grandchildren, Sam Reed and Olin Reed; sister-in-law, Molly Moore and husband, Eddie; step-sister, Nelda Danforth and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staffs of ETMC Athens, ETMC Tyler and The Hospice of East Texas. We are grateful for the support and friendship of Joyce Estridge and Anita Aguilar. We will always be thankful for the amazing staff at Arabella, every single one of you. The residents, staff, and furry friends, Peanut and Hannah, of Arabella became like family to her and we are so grateful for your love and kindness.
We especially thank all of her former students who have spotted her around town over the years and stopped her for a hug. She remembered you.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Henderson County Food Pantry 715 E. Corsicana St. Athens, Texas 75751, The Hospice of East Texas, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler Texas 75701 or the charity of your choice.
Pallbearers will be Gray Harville, Joey Gentry, Scott Powell, Buddy Crutchfield, Kevin Head and Rodney Godwin.
Published on June 28, 2016
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