Katherine Berry Boyd Lawson Blakeman

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Katherine Berry Boyd Lawson Blakeman, July 22, 1919 - April 06, 2013. A world traveler known for her sense of humor and love of life, "Katie" Blakeman died Saturday morning at Arden Courts Memory Facility, Louisville. Her last 24 hours were probably the best she had known in several months. Her grandson, John, had moved her into Arden Courts just the previous day and they had spent a very happy day together. Katie was delighted with her new room; she had slept well, eaten a hearty breakfast, and was dressed in her favorite yellow outfit. Returning to her room, she decided to have a nap before attending a craft workshop. When one of the aides went to get her about an hour later, Katie didn't wake up. Her death, while a sadness to her family and friends, was a blessing; she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's a year ago, and as the disease marched inexorably forward, Katie's mind slid backward, as she lost the names of those she held dear. In having to leave her home of 40 years and her highly valued independence, Katie was not, as her grandson, John, noted, a 'happy camper'? and constantly tried to run away from the assisted living facility where she first went to live. Even there, despite her propensity to get her suitcase packed every morning to "go home" - and making it through the door on more than one occasion, she was loved by the staff for her "spunk" and "spirit." When Katie's mental deterioration became more acute, she had to move into a facility that offered more care, but she still never stopped trying to "go home"! Katie was an inveterate and exuberant traveler; to visit her home was to see the world through the souvenirs she brought home. Her favorite mode was cruising - two or three a year for many years - to all parts of the globe. Her last trip was in October 2011 when at 92, she spent two weeks visiting ports in the Eastern Mediterranean. Katie loved showing off her passport with all its stamps and got upset when some officials said there was no need to stamp it! Her favorite cruise line was Princess, "Because they treat me like a Princess;" generous to a fault, she often treated members of her family to trips. Known by everyone from her friends to her great granddaughters as "Katie," she was born in Sharpsburg, KY, the third of four children, where her father was involved in the tobacco business; the family later moved to Lexington where Katie attended University High School and the University of Kentucky. She later joined the Women?s Army Corps, and Katie credited the year she spent stationed in Japan as whetting her love of travel. After her discharge from the Army, Katie returned to Louisville where she attended the University of Louisville and was a social worker until her retirement in the mid-1980s.
Survivors include her daughter, Lyle Lawson (Gordon Jaynes) of London, England; her son, Kenneth Boyd Lawson of Lexington; two grandsons, Damon Boyd Lawson (Diane) of Chicago and John Clark Lawson of Frankfort, and two great granddaughters, Amelia and Madelyn Lawson of Chicago. She was preceded in death by her son, 1st Lt. Stanley Garfield Lawson who was a casualty of the Vietnam War; her first husband, John C. "Jack" Lawson, and William Blakeman, her second; her parents Adelaide and William Boyd, two brothers William Boyd, Jr. and Scott Boyd, and a sister, Adelaide Boyd, who died in childhood of scarlet fever. No funeral is planned, but a memorial service will be held later in the year. Expressions of sympathy can be made to Shelbyville V.F.W., P. O. Box 25, Shelbyville, KY 40066 or Alzheimer's Assc., Greater Ky. Chapter, Kaden Tower, 6100 Dutchmans Lane, Suite 401, Louisville, KY 40205. Arrangements by Shannon Funeral Home.

Funeral Home
Shannon Funeral Service - Shelbyville
1124 W Main St
Shelbyville, KY 40065
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Published in The Sentinel-News from Apr. 9 to Apr. 16, 2013