Local Obituaries

Katherine Wilson, Cynthiana Renaissance woman, dies at age 103

A photo from the 1940s of Katherine Wilson in her Red Cross uniform. 
Wilson served in the Red Cross during WW II.
A photo from the 1940s of Katherine Wilson in her Red Cross uniform. Wilson served in the Red Cross during WW II.

Katherine Wilson, a woman of many interests who traveled the world during a lifetime that lasted more than a century, died Wednesday at Cedar Ridge Health Campus in Cynthiana.

She was 103, and her birthday was in less than a week.

At various points in her life, Miss Wilson could be described as a librarian, writer, portrait painter, athlete and duplicate bridge player.

Miss Wilson would become interested in something, do it until she got it right, then move on to something else, said her niece Kay Allen Wilson of Lexington: "She could do most anything and loved doing it, and just had fun. She always had great stories to tell."

Miss Wilson was born Jan. 10, 1908, in Harrison County. She graduated from Cynthiana High School in 1926 and from the University of Kentucky in 1930.

After studying library science at Columbia University, she worked as a librarian at Cynthiana High School; the Wall Street accounting firm Deloitte, Plender and Griffith; and Adelphi College on Long Island. She helped establish the armed forces library at Fort Knox.

During World War II, she was an American Red Cross worker at various places in Europe. She witnessed the Battle of the Bulge.

She managed a gift shop on a cruise ship from Buenos Aires. She also ran a tea room back home in Cynthiana for a while.

At one time, Miss Wilson was a columnist for the weekly newspapers The Cynthiana Log Cabin and The Cynthiana Democrat, which were owned by her family.

Miss Wilson put together This Old House, a book of photographs and history of old homes in Harrison County, now in its fourth printing.

Once a student at the Art Students League of New York, she painted portraits of her friends' children.

An athlete throughout her life, Miss Wilson played on her high school girls' basketball team, and she swam and played tennis in her younger years. She played golf until she was about 90, her niece said.

During several summers, Miss Wilson took local children to a Salvation Army camp in Ohio. She organized a club for senior citizens called the Thursday Club — a place for seniors to participate in arts and crafts, have lunch, or just sit and talk.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Cynthiana Presbyterian Church. Visitation will be after 9:30 a.m. Friday at the church. Drake-Whaley-McCarty Funeral Home in Cynthiana is handling arrangements.

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