Kathleen CHANIK

November 3, 1952August 18, 2021

Kathleen M. Chanik, 68, passed away unexpectedly at home in Fairfax, VA on 18 Aug 2021. Born in Glendale, CA on 3 Nov 1952, her parents were Gerald and Dixie Foster. Kathy excelled in school, with a special interest for anything musical and definitely had a gift of musical talent. By the time she graduated from Crescenta Valley High School in 1970, she sang, played the guitar, banjo, piano, and organ.

In 1973 she became a Navy Nurse after graduating from Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing. She was stationed at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA. During that time she met and married her husband, Marty, a Navy pilot, in July 1977. Kathy left the Navy after five years of service to pursue her passion, music.

Kathy became a professional harpist, playing and performing despite the moves required by her husband’s naval career. One of the highlights of her career was performing for several years in the Dunes Hotel’s Dome of the Sea room in Las Vegas in the mid to late 1980’s. Kathy was an active member of the harp community and enjoyed traveling to conferences and gatherings, where she made many friends. She was a member of the American Harp Society, the Folk Harp Society, and the Washington Area Folk Harp Society. While her primary instrument through the years was the harp, she also enjoyed her harpsichord.

Full of life, able to light up any room the minute she walked in, Kathy also enjoyed the many relationships she developed as a Navy spouse. Her smile, her sense of humor and her practical approach to the challenges of life in the service made everyone want to be around her and just made everyone’s day a little better.

She is survived by her husband, Marty, her sisters Sue (Dave) and Cindy, her loving sisters and brothers-in-law, and nephews and nieces. She will be missed greatly, but will be a guiding light in our lives forever.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Kathy Chanik on 21 Sep 2021, from 1 to 3 PM at the Army Navy Country Club, in Arlington, VA. The venue will be an outside covered patio, with an inside room as back up for foul weather.

All are invited. Request a response as soon as possible (two weeks from now at the latest) if you plan to attend in order to ensure sufficient space, food, and drink is available. Please reply to with the number of planned attendees. We do understand if your plans should change.

Dress will be coat and tie, with an option to smart casual should you desire.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Kathleen CHANIK

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Audrey Muldoon

September 17, 2021


I was so sorry to hear of Kathy's passing. She was beautiful and talented. You are in my prayers.

Audrey Muldoon

Dennis Gillespie

September 3, 2021

Marty, I never had the pleasure of meeting your beautiful Kathleen, and it has been a long time since we saw each other. I am so very saddened at your loss. My nightly prayer list for shipmates and our Navy Family gets longer it seems daily. Be assured both of you are in my thoughts and prayers. Regards. Dizzy

Larry Myers

August 31, 2021

We are so sorry to hear of Kathy's passing. Please accept our sincere condolences. Carol and I are local. If we can help you in any way, we are here for you. Prayers.

Beth Kollé

August 31, 2021

Kathy was one of the best harpists I have known, with perfect technique. She could play anything she wanted to play on either the concert harp or lever harp. Her lively sense of humor was a delight.

At a harp retreat near Seattle, she asked to play my Dusty Strings FH36 bubinga, which she loved to play and kept trying to trick me into agreeing to sell to her. She placed the harp near a window, started to play, and came to a stop when she noticed a fine web full of baby spiders tucked into the bass string levers at the top. With her usual aplomb and dry humor, she called me over to show me and said, ‘So…do you play this harp much, Beth?’

It was always a joy to see Kathy at a harp gathering. She loved to play, to visit and joke with friends, and to share her beautiful music. We will all miss her.

Jim and Nancy McGarrah

August 31, 2021


So sorry to learn of Kathy's passing. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Jim and Nancy

Tom Reid

August 31, 2021

So sorry for the loss of your beloved Kathy. Even though you loved each other and shared a great life here on earth, I firmly believe she has gone on to a better place. Just think, she'll be there, playing the harp for you, when it's your time to go and join her.

Wes Bergazzi

August 30, 2021

Marty-My sincere condolences on the loss of Kathleen. A full life well lived with great friends and great memories!

Bless you!

Wes Bergazzi

Bill Short

August 30, 2021

May I offer my sincerest condolences to Marty and family? May our God please provide you all with the comfort that only He can. Many members of our "73 Power Prayer Team" join me in this word of sadness and prayer. Amen.

PS Dr. Ade Dillon is unable to communicate personally via this means and asked me to please convey to Marty his similar sentiments.

Saori Nystrom

August 30, 2021

I was so saddened to know Kathy's passing. I met Kathy in our Navy community when we were in Bremerton, Washington. I was excited to find out that this Mrs. Admiral plays harp and at the same time I was nervous meeting her. Kathy was so friendly and down to earth, as soon as we met she made me feel at ease right away! Later on I learned that we both moved to Virginia and being involved in the same harp community. Kathy was always fun to talk to. I'll miss her kind heart and friendly smile. My sincere and deep condolence to Kathy's family.

Sue Richards

August 30, 2021

Kathy was a fun, generous, kind person with a dry wit and down to earth sense of humor that the harp community loved. We will miss her very much. In a friendly rivalry to learn Irish tunes, she always won. Her playing was sensitive and beautiful, and her passion for buying harps was legendary. She often paid for scholarships and support for promising harpists, helping the harp community generously.
We almost always met up at the back of the concert hall and started laughing with, "can you believe this?" I say that to you now, Kathy. "Can you believe this?" Miss you.