Katharine Byrnes Davies, 89, passed away on May 19, 2020, after a lengthy and valiant struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Kathie was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on January 9, 1931, to the late Leo Joesph and Kathleen Carey Byrnes. After graduating as valedictorian of Saint Margaret’s School, she attended Wellesley College outside Boston. After completing a degree in Zoology, she accepted a position with Parke-Davis in Detroit, Michigan. She soon met her future husband Walter Griffith Davies, Jr. whom she married on June 15, 1954.
After the birth of their first child, the family moved to Walter’s hometown of Chattanooga. Settling on Signal Mountain, she became an active member of St. Augustine Catholic Church. Kathie dedicated the next 20 years to growing and nurturing a large and loving family. Having 12 children in 15 years, she was the consummate homemaker who enjoyed cooking, sewing, knitting and even the occasional game of tennis when time allowed. Her philosophy of life was stated in a 1970 Christmas newsletter: “We are grateful for the many blessings we have received, and we find pleasure in the varied, but ordinary, duties and activities that form the pattern of our life.”
After her youngest child started kindergarten, she took a position with Chattem, Inc. and worked there until her retirement in 1996. She was then able to travel extensively with Walter and also enjoyed dedicating her time to numerous charitable causes and loved doting on her grandchildren.
Katharine was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and her brother, Jim Byrnes.
She is survived by her children, Griff (Karen), Mark (Tina), Anne, Barbara (Jerry Dausman) Claire (Charles Blaylock), Katie Abrash (Allan), Martha Leiper (Mike), Laura Haynes (Billy), Joe (Maria), Helen Schwab (Jim), Sarah Lanese (John), and Jim (Ruth), 26 grandchildren, one great-grandchild and her sister, Barbara Marcus of John’s Creek, Ga.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Augustine Catholic Church on June 27, at 11 a.m., followed by interment at the columbarium on the church property. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.
To view services on facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/pg/staugustinecatholic/videos/?ref=page_internal.
A special thanks to the dedicated caregivers at Alexian Heathcare and to Hospice of Chattanooga for their kindness and support.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Katharine’s name can be made to St. Augustine Catholic Church, Notre Dame High School, Hospice of Chattanooga or Alzheimer’s Association.
Arrangements are by Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, Tn. 37415, www.lanefh.com, 423 877-3524.