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Kathleen Childress (Guthrie) Harrison

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KATHLEEN CHILDRESS (GUTHRIE) HARRISON died peacefully in her home surrounded by the love of her family on November 10, 2008. She was born on March 25, 1921 in Newark New Jersey, the daughter of Iva and Gaston Childress. The family moved first to El Paso where her siblings were born, then to Fort Worth and eventually Houston. She attended Lanier Jr. High and San Jacinto High School before perusing her BFA in Music at Southern Methodist University (class of 42). She returned to Houston to marry Robert S. Guthrie Sr. and raise their three sons. Known professionally as Kay Guthrie she launched a career singing locally, eventually performing in major venues with performing arts groups including Theatre Inc., TUTS, Houston Grand Opera, and the Houston Symphony Chorus. She was best known for her work in the Episcopal Church singing in the choirs of Trinity, St. Stevens, St Marks, St Johns and St. Martins. For over twenty years she served as choir director at St Marks and was a fixture at the annual Diocesan Choral Festival. In 1962 she started her second career teaching Kindergarten at Condit Elementary where she taught for over 20 years and was named City of Bellaire teacher of the year. During that period she returned to school at the University of Houston receiving a Masters in Education. She was active with her sororities Sigma Kappa and Mu Phi Epsilon and for many years active with Tuesday Musical Club. In 1978 she married Mosher Steel Executive Tyler T. Harrison. After retirement she traveled extensively and forged many lasting friendships throughout the country. She is preceded in death by her parents, Iva and Gaston Childress, her sisters Betty Childress Parker and Dorothy Childress Bonnie, and her husband Tyler T. Harrison. She is survived by her sons Robert S Guthrie Jr. of Livingston, TX, Charles Lee Guthrie and wife Wen Li of San Jose, CA, and Thomas H. (Thom) Guthrie of Houston, five grand children and one great grandchild, many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from six o'clock until eight o'clock in the evening on Friday, the 14th of November at Geo. H. Lewis and Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston. A celebration of her life will be held at eleven o'clock in the morning on Saturday, the 15th of November at Trinity Episcopal Church 1015 Holman at Main Street. Pall bearers will be her grandsons Charles Guthrie, Stephen Guthrie and Richard Guthrie, Thom O'Brien, Thomas Thompson, Dick Krueger, Bobby Meehan, and Dr. David J. Braden. Burial will be at Sunset Memorial Park, 1701 Austin Highway, San Antonio at two o'clock in the afternoon on Sunday, the 16th of November 2008. In lieu of flowers the family requests donation to The Moores Opera Center, c/o The Moores School of Music, Room 120, University of Houston 77204-4017 or the Capital Campaign at Trinity Episcopal Church 1015 Holman, Houston, Texas 77004. Her family would like to thank the staff and residents of Belmont Village for making the last years of her life a wonderful adventure. We would also like to thank Professional Caretakers and particularly Patricia Gray and Ora Williams for their loving assistance. In addition we would like to thank Silverado Hospice for easing her passing to a greater life.

Published in Houston Chronicle from Nov. 13 to Nov. 14, 2008
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