×

Drake & Son Funeral Home

5303 North Western Ave, Chicago, IL

OBITUARY

Kate Whitmore

August 17, 1963May 28, 2019
Play Tribute Movie

Molly Katherine (Kate) Whitmore, scrap booker extraordinaire, English grammar expert, and world traveler died on May 28, 2019. A resident of Wilmette, Illinois, Kate is survived by her sister Diane (Max) Schanzenbach of Wilmette; brother Rick Whitmore and father Bill Whitmore, both of O’Fallon, Missouri; and nieces Casey, Rikki, and Amy; nephews Peter and Daniel; and a tribe of extended family and loyal friends. She was a member of North Shore Baptist Church. She was preceded in death on the same day by her mother, Mardelle (Don) Grimm.

Kate was born on August 17, 1963 in Columbus, Ohio, and later moved to St. Louis for the majority of her childhood. She attended the University of Missouri for her undergraduate studies, and received an MBA from Indiana University. She started her career with Boeing, and after her MBA, accepted a position with Owens Corning in Toledo, Ohio and Salt Lake City, Utah. Ten years into serving the corporate world, Kate answered another calling and served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Cote D’Ivoire. She was evacuated due to political unrest, and returned to Toledo, where she co-owned and managed The Scrapbook Place for several years. Her next career move was to work for Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and she then moved to DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. The latter brought her closer to family and her sister’s children, whom she treasured dearly. Their presence gave her so much joy!

Music played a major role in Kate’s life. One of her many passions was playing in and directing hand-bell choirs at the churches she attended. Kate also loved Broadway and supported her communities and friends by attending local performances.

She also volunteered her time and skills as an elder and church treasurer at various times. Kate completed her CPA in her later years, while under the stress of chemotherapy and radiation. She also fulfilled a bucket list—more like a vessel—of places visited, covering all of the 50 states, and creating incredible memories with friends and family around the world.

Kate set an incredible example for all of those around her. She used sweet phrases like “Oh my lands,” loved each person unconditionally as their authentic self, and gave generously to important causes especially those impacting children and women. One of her strengths was maintaining and nurturing friendships, regardless of the distance, and where her earthly journey moved her to next. Even at the very end, Kate wanted to be sure her visitors knew exactly why they were so important to her.

Through her example and love, and sometimes direct orders, she taught us all how to live, and in her recent years, how to die living.

Kate had a heart for lifting up the most vulnerable in our society. In her memory, donations can be made to North Shore Baptist Church, Chicago HOPES for Kids, or the Greater Chicago Food Depository, or another charity.

In addition to the visitation and funeral, a celebration of life will be held in honor of Kate on her birthday, August 17, 2019 in the Toledo area, hosted by Laila and Greg Ball in Sylvania, Ohio from 4-7pm.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, June 2, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, June 3, 2019

Memories

Kate Whitmore

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Cheri Presson Stillwell

June 8, 2019

Kate and I went to school together. McCluer North class of 81, but I knew her as Molly! We had a blast in marching band and also at all of the MN hockey games. She was a beautiful person inside and out. RIP Molly.

Susan Baker

June 1, 2019

Kate (we knew her as Molly) was our first baby sitter for our first born. Our kids tell us we were over protective, so that tells you how much trust we had that our baby boy was in good hands. Because we were friends of Kate’s parents we had the privilege of watching her grow and become the amazing woman her folks were so very proud of. Our sympathy goes out to Diane and Rick and all of the children Kate loved so much. May your memories be sweet and give you comfort and peace.

Ryan De Ryke

June 1, 2019

I had the honor of singing with Kate in the choir at North Shore Baptist for several years. First of all, she was an incredible musician! But beyond that, a generosity of spirit flowed through this woman that changed everyone she met for the better. And her humor!

My favorite memory is that once, when she was conducting the handbell choir at NSB (which she herself created), she had such a look of joy on her face. It was infectious. I said to her after the service, "I just love watching you conduct. The smile on your face is absolutely wonderful."

She replied, "That's because my mother taught me that when everything is a complete mess and nothing works, you should smile bigger, and people won't know the difference. It really works!"

She was so funny, kind, and beautiful. Kate, you made miracles with your sheer goodness. We love you and miss you!

Leslie Simmer

May 30, 2019

I didn't know Kate well. We sang the Brahms Requiem in a choir together a few years back, and I was so grateful to have another enthusiastic alto to prop me up. She was invariably upbeat and had a great sense of humor--an instant friend. From then on I followed her avidly on Facebook, and got to know her through her many trips, and her updates on her condition. She made an indelible mark on me, particularly with respect to how one can live life most fully. I salute her spirit, and I'm glad the universe held her for a brief time. Wherever she is now, grant her light and peace. And to all her friends and family, may you find peace in their hearts when you think of her--I'm so sorry for this great loss in your lives

Sue Wiemer

May 30, 2019

Kate was our bell choir director at Collingwood Presbyterian Church in Toledo. My husband Doug and I both rang bells in the choir and loved to see her play all the bells as in a solo. I have missed her since she moved away, but have followed her on Facebook. She was a wonderful person. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

FROM THE FAMILY

Family photo. Rick can never resist trying for a headlock.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

How we will remember Kate. Always.

FROM THE FAMILY

Trick or treating with Amy, on a cold night, shortly after her hip started hurting.

FROM THE FAMILY

Her favorite thing was to be surrounded by her (great & regular) nieces & nephews. This one is at Casey's wedding.

FROM THE FAMILY

Family photo. Rick can never resist trying for a headlock.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

How we will remember Kate. Always.

FROM THE FAMILY

Trick or treating with Amy, on a cold night, shortly after her hip started hurting.

FROM THE FAMILY

Her favorite thing was to be surrounded by her (great & regular) nieces & nephews. This one is at Casey's wedding.

FROM THE FAMILY

Always, always with the art projects. So. many. art. projects.

FROM THE FAMILY

Amy went through a stage when she wanted to put band aids on everything. Kate was always game to play along.

FROM THE FAMILY

Everyday life. Our place on a random weeknight, surrounded by her beloved niece & nephews.

FROM THE FAMILY

She liked to think that Tigger was her spirit animal.

FROM THE FAMILY

Sitting outside on the porch -- one of our favorite places to be -- and celebrating her 55th birthday.