Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kathryn Pilkenton (McCord) passed quietly from this life on August 21, 2010, at her residence in Tallahassee Florida, at the age of 91. A lifelong resident of Southwest Missouri, she was born at the McCord Ranch near Crane, Missouri, to Fred and Lilly McCord on December 2, 1918.

Kathryn is survived by her son, Ronald Pilkenton, Eagle Rock, Missouri, daughter, Kathy Pilkenton and partner Sue Sturgeon, Tallahassee, Florida, daughter Patrice Heller, Durango, Colorado, daughter Pam Summerlin, Tucson, Arizona, and grandchildren Andrew Pilkenton, Melissa Castro, Cass Heller, Zack Heller, and Emily Rypkema as well as great grandchildren Delilah, Rosario and Weston, a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones. Kathryn was preceded in death by her loving husband and champion fiddler Derril Pilkenton in 2000. Following his death, Kathryn moved to Tallahassee, Florida, to be near Kathy and Sue. During her time in Tallahassee, she made many friends at Cherry Laurel and at Broadview Assisted Living.

A graduate of Crane High School and Missouri State University (Southwest Missouri State Teachers College) in 1941, Kathryn taught General Business and Secretarial Practice for years in the Southwest Missouri schools of Crane, Carthage, Carterville, and retired from the Joplin School System where she won numerous awards for the publishing of the Joplin high school yearbook. She was an avid quilter, crafter, ceramics/china artist, and musician, playing the piano in church, school and with her husband. The "chimes" that she and Derril made ring throughout the world. After retirement to Lone Pine Retreat on Table Rock Lake, Missouri, Kathryn and Derril attended many music gatherings in Missouri,

Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. She was beloved by her many students and colleagues who continue, to this day, speaking of her with love and affection about her caring nature as well as the encouragement and courage that she gave them to accomplish their dreams.

Kathryn's ashes will be returned to Missouri for interment at the Crane Memorial Cemetery where her family and husband are resting. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to your local Hospice organization, the Hospice Foundation of America (www.hospicefoundation.org/) or to the American Heart Association (www.heart.org/).