Kathryn Gillespie Huntington passed away at Peabody Retirement Community, North Manchester, on Monday, May 4, 2020, where she had resided for the past 16 years.
She was born in Rochester on Sept. 8, 1920, to Perry Warren Gillespie and Margaret Metzger Gillespie and was raised on a farm outside Kewanna.
She graduated from Kewanna High School in 1938, attended Manchester College (now University) in 1938-39 and 1939-40, and received her Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Purdue University in 1942. She earned her Master of Teaching degree from Indiana University in 1952.
She began her teaching career in Walkerton, but feeling left out of the war effort and owing to her sense of adventure, she proudly enlisted and served as a Lieutenant in the WAVES from 1944 to 1946, stationed in San Francisco, where she monitored shipping communications in the Pacific. Her military service was a source of great pride for her.
Upon her discharge from the WAVES she worked at Bendix Home Appliance Test Kitchens in South Bend in 1946, then resumed teaching in the public schools in Tefft and Bremen.
She married John T. Huntington of Mt. Ayr on Aug. 15, 1948. She moved with him to New Britain, Conn., in 1957 and thereafter devoted the next 40 years to volunteer service. She was the Director of Weekday Religious Education at Trinity United Methodist Church in New Britain where she also served as President of the United Methodist Women. She served as a First Aid Instructor for the American Red Cross, and was an active member of the New Britain YWCA where she served on many committees including President of the Board. At Central Connecticut State University she served as President of the Faculty Wives Club and on the board of Campus Ministry. She was a board member of the Women’s Club of New Britain.
Her hobbies included sewing, crafts, music, reading, bridge, and travel. She and her husband visited the countries of Italy, Mexico, Spain, England, Scotland, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. They toured Alaska and many other places in the U.S. They participated in the Friendship Force in Italy, and in Elderhostel programs in England and the U.S. She was actively involved in the life of the Peabody Retirement Community as a member of the Peabody Entertainers, and as a pianist for worship services.
She is survived by her devoted son: Mark (Karen) Huntington, North Manchester; two grandchildren: David Huntington, North Manchester; and Erin (Jason) Abell, Farmington Hills, Mich.; two step-grandchildren: Garrett and Oliver Labuda; two great-grandchildren; and former daughter-in-law: Cheryl French, North Manchester. Kathryn’s husband preceded her in death in 2005.
A memorial service will be held at Peabody Home Memorial Chapel, North Manchester, at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Peabody Caring Circle, Alzheimer’s Association, or Manchester University.