NEWPORT NEWS - Kara Jarrett Haigler, 79, died Sunday, October 13 after a long bout with Alzheimer's. Kara (Kitty) was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Kitty was the oldest of five children and the first in her family to graduate college. She grew up in Thomasville, NC and graduated from Women's College, UNCG. Upon graduation in 1956 she joined NACA (now NASA) as a mathematician and met the love of her life George W. (Billy) Haigler. They were married in June 1959 and settled in Hampton, VA. Kitty remained at NASA until her son William was born. A few years later she would give birth to a daughter Kathryn. She stayed home with her children until they were school age, at which point she reentered the workforce as a school teacher in the Hampton school system and later returned to NASA until her retirement in 1996. She was an active volunteer in her Church and a member of various civic organizations. Kitty enjoyed gardening, fitness and nutrition, and her investment club. The success she had in her investments brought her the great joy of being able to assist her five grandchildren in their college educations. William, her son, has two children Erik, a graduate student at Virginia Tech and Scott a junior at Virginia Tech. Kathryn Tkac, Kitty's daughter, has three children Stephen, a graduate of James Madison University, Jennifer a senior at Virginia Tech and Allison a sophomore at Appalachian State University. Kitty was her happiest when she was spending time with her grandchildren, and cheering for them at their numerous sporting events. She is survived by her husband of 54 years Billy; son, William and his two sons Erik and Scott Haigler and their mother Karen; daughter Kathryn and her husband Steve and their children Stephen, Jennifer, and Allison Tkac; as well as her three sisters Sandy (Jim), Emille (Jonathan), and Brenda (Gene); and brother Steve. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, October 16, from 6:30-8:30 at Peninsula Funeral Home, a funeral service will be held Thursday, October 17, at 11:00 am at the Funeral Home officiated by Pastor Fred Guy, with burial to follow in Peninsula Memorial Park. The family would like to thank the staff and caregivers at Mennowood for the loving care they provided over the past four and a half years and to Hospice for their recent support and care of Kitty. The family requests memorial donations to The Mennowood Foundation at 13030 Warwick Blvd. Newport News, VA 23602.
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Peninsula Funeral Home
11144 Warwick Boulevard Newport News, VA 23601
Published in Daily Press from Oct. 15 to Oct. 17, 2013