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Kathryn Laurette Stopper

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Kathryn Laurette Stopper Obituary
Stopper, Kathryn Laurette " KATE" Kathryn "Kate" Laurette Stopper, 29, of North Haven passed away at home on Sunday, September 1, 2013, after courageously managing a long illness. Kate was born in New Haven on February 13, 1984. She was the cherished daughter of Carl and Debra (Knightly) Stopper of North Haven, CT and loving and devoted sister of Colin Stopper of Vancouver, Canada. She leaves behind many loving aunts, uncles and cousins and numerous friends. She was predeceased by her paternal grandparents, Norbert and Mary (Borisuck) Stopper and her maternal grandparents, Richard and Laurette (Lagasse) Knightly. She was a 2002 graduate of North Haven High School. She received her undergraduate degree in 2006 and a master's degree in 2007, both in music education, summa cum laude from Syracuse University. Kate was a member of Tau Beta Sigma, the National Honorary Band Sorority at Syracuse University, where she held the offices of Recognitions Chair, Vice President of Membership and President. Kate received numerous awards and honors during her college years, including membership in Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, Golden Key National Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma, Honor Society of First-Year Students, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. During her graduate years at Syracuse University, she was a graduate assistant for the "Pride of the Orange" Syracuse University Marching Band. Before her illness, she was employed as the Director of Bands for Oxford Academy in Oxford, NY. She had made her home in Norwich, NY where she was a parishioner of St. Bartholomew's Church and a member of their church choir. She was the past-secretary of the Oswego Educators Music Organization. After returning to Connecticut, she was employed as a substitute teacher for Kelly Services, working in the Hamden and North Haven school systems. She also enjoyed participating in the Southern Connecticut State University Band as a community member and audited graduate music classes at Yale University. Kate was an avid reader, loved cooking, traveling and spending time with friends. She raised thousands of dollars for the Relay For Life of West Hartford and, after being a top national fundraiser, traveled to Las Vegas for the annual OMG Summit for Young Adults With Cancer. She was a fan of anything Syracuse, especially basketball, and cherished her time at Syracuse University where she was a member of the Syracuse Marching Band and Pep Band. She loved her work and time spent with her students at Oxford Academy. She was so very proud to see their hard work culminate in successful concerts and musical achievements. Kate had a passion for conducting and one day had hoped to return to school to pursue a doctoral degree in conducting where she would one day teach at the university level and conduct a symphony. Her death has brought us profound sadness, but her life was a blessing to all of us who knew and loved her. She was truly graceful, positive and active while managing the challenges of a devastating illness. There will be no calling hours. The family welcomes family and friends for a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 11:00am at St. Rita Church, 1620 Whitney Avenue, Hamden on Saturday, September 7th. Interment will be private. Funeral arrangements are in the care of Sisk Brothers Funeral Home. In her memory, contributions may be made to: The Director, The National Cancer Institute, Building 31, Room 11A-16, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892. Please indicate your donation is to be used for research at the NCI. www.siskbrothers.com

Published in The New Haven Register on Sept. 4, 2013
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