Kathleen Clarke "Kitty"
October 6, 1928 – April 10, 2018
Kathleen (Kitty) Clarke, age 89, of Dripping Springs, Texas, died April 10, 2018.
Our beloved Kitty was a kind, generous, thoughtful, fun loving, smart, honest and loving person throughout her life. The most important parts of her life were: family, friends (furry and human), church, homes, gardens, career, community service, travels around the world and family beach vacations.
She was born on October 6, 1928, to Robert Grier Clarke and Garnette Lily King Clarke in Graham, Mason County, West Virginia.
Kitty grew up on a dairy farm along the Ohio River on land that had been in her family since before the Revolutionary War. She was one of six children. In high school, she was President of her Junior and Senior classes. In 1944, at the age of fifteen, she entered The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She married a fellow student, Lt. Ralph R Waters, in 1947 and they each earned their BS in Education in 1948. Ralph was recalled to active duty in 1951 during the Korean conflict and remained in the USAF until his retirement in 1969. They had five children.
In 1959, they were transferred to Bergstrom AFB in Austin, Texas. They were recruited at that time by a young priest, the Rev. Malcolm Riker, to join a small group of families interested in starting a new mission called St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. They were newly confirmed Episcopalians who were excited to be a part of that effort. St. Matthew’s celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008.
Kitty earned her Master’s in Education Counseling from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1965. One of her most treasured experiences was being assigned as the first teacher to integrate the Murfreesboro school system in 1966 during the Civil Rights Movement.
In the early 70's, she was employed as a social worker in a children’s home in Columbus, Indiana to counsel children who had been removed from their parents' care. She also worked as a social worker in the local school system. She helped organize a program in the school system to keep pregnant students in high school. It was one of the first of its kind in the state. The program still exists today.
Her family moved back to Austin, Texas in 1972. She was hired as one of the counselors in the newly built LBJ High School. She remained there for fourteen years. She finished her counseling career at Del Valle High School.
When a Supreme Court ruling made military pensions not community property, Kitty was instrumental in having a law passed to give former military spouses a share of their husband’s benefits. In November 1981, she gave testimony before a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee to discuss military personnel and compensation. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) was initially enacted in 1982. On September 9, 1982, President Reagan signed into law an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill for 1983.
After almost thirty years as a school social worker and high school counselor in Tennessee, Indiana and Texas, she retired in 1994. Since then, Kitty was enjoying her family, traveling the world with her daughter Jan, gardening, cooking, reading, studying religion and doing crossword puzzles. She also wrote her memoirs and beautiful poetry.
Kitty was active in many different organizations throughout her life. In college, she was a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority. In later years, she was a Stephen's Minister (laypeople trained to provide care to people experiencing a difficult time in life). She also became a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was involved in Stonecroft Ministries as an inspirational speaker sharing her faith with other women. While living in Canton, Texas she was Clerk of the Work for the expansion of St. Justin’s Episcopal Church.
Preceding her in death were her parents, her son Geoffrey R Waters, her brother Robert Grier Clarke, Jr., her sisters Marie Clarke Roush and Lucy Clarke Kaylor, her husbands, Lt. Col. Ralph R Waters, James M. Cotton and Bob R. Hubbard, and a grandson Asa Ferry. Surviving her are two sisters Marjorie Clarke Walburn and Ellen Clarke Forbes, a sister-in-law, Elizabeth Dresel Clarke, daughters Melanie Clarke Bigelow, Jan Waters Tolces and husband Kenneth Tolces, Martha Louise Waters, Kathleen (Kaye) Beebe and husband Scott Beebe; honorary daughters Sandi Tolces, Sharon Phillips, Kimberely H. Livingston, Deborah Ellington and Joyce Rehfuss (also her daughter-in-law).
Her beloved surviving grandchildren are John Prince, Kimberly Snyder, Megan Snyder Morales, Jonathan Smalley, Ashley Bigelow Ramsey, Matthew Waters, Brian Bigelow, Morgan Waters and Stuart Beebe. Her beloved great grandsons are Chase Dyas, Atticus Ferry, Hudson Morales and grandson on the way, Wyatt Morales.
Her beloved nieces and nephews are Amy Roush, Alice Humphreys, Anne Reed, William Forbes, Dr. Greg Clarke, Kathy Kaylor, Jack Kaylor, Jill Walburn and Col. Stephen Walburn.
Interment will be at St. Matthew's Memorial Garden, Austin, Texas. Memorial donations may be made to organizations helping children in need.
Kathleen Clarke "Kitty"
December 17, 2018
To the large family of love ones. Please accept my condolences and may God grant you peace
and comfort as you grieve.
April 20, 2018
Kitty and I were in the first EfM class at St. Matthew’s. We all loved her and she was such a gift to us. We are heartbroken. She loved life. Her family meant the world to her. We will miss her so much.