Catharine "Kitsy" Dorothy Rikert, 83, with family by her side, peacefully passed at her home in Greenfield, Mass., on Oct. 23, 2012.
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Kitsy was born in Greenfield to parents, Dorothy (Babson) Rikert and Carroll Rikert on Jan. 11, 1929. She was raised at Mount Hermon in the North Farmhouse on the Northfield Mount Hermon campus, where her father was director of Plant & Property. She was the youngest of four children, and is survived by the oldest, Carroll Rikert, Jr. of Ithaca, NY, and is predeceased by sisters, Naomi (Minott) and Camilla (Bittle).
Kitsy attended North Gill School and Northfield School for Girls (nowNorthfield Mount Hermon) where she graduated at the young age of 16. She briefly attended Jackson College of Tufts University in Boston and finished out her schooling at Katherine Gibbs School in Providence, RI.
Her working career began at the Northfield Mount Hermon administrative offices in Holbrook Hall. Her most recent employment was as a legal secretary in Greenfield.
She was married in 1949 to Richard Kim, a Mount Hermon student, she met while working. He became an officer in the U.S. Army, resulting in Kitsy living in many other states including Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Georgia, Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Hawaii and Michigan, as well as in Germany, Japan, and Okinawa.
Upon her divorce in 1984, she resumed her maiden name and moved to Greenfield.
Kitsy is survived by her beloved cat, Sophie, and four sons, Carroll Kim and Richard Kim, Jr., both of Maui, Hawaii, and Matthew Kim and Peter Kim II, both of Greenfield, and by four daughters, Theresa Clay of Springfield, Tenn., Margaret "Meg" Kim of Schenectady, N.Y., Dorothy Shigemura of Honolulu and Camilla Hoffsommer of Millers Falls. Kitsy is also survived by 16 grandchildren (with the 17th on the way), 11 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
Kitsy enjoyed reading, gardening, sewing and cooking. She was an active participant in her children's lives. She was also an occasional free-lance writer, having been most frequently published, under various pen names, in Guideposts magazine. This comes as no surprise to those who knew her well, given her love and dedication to the proper use of the English language (a love passed on to her by her mother and grandmother).
In 1976, she joined the Worker Sisters of the Holy Spirit, an international Christian community that focuses on responding to God's call through the power of the Holy Spirit. She was a member of the chapter and also provincial of the Northeastern Province of the Worker Sisters.
Kitsy's witty sense of humor, her quick intellect, and most importantly,
her graciousness, made her a rare person in today's world, and she will be sorely missed by all who knew and especially loved her.
Private graveside services for the family will be held at Mount Hermon Cemetery in Northfield on Sunday, Oct. 28. A public reception honoring her life will follow, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the recreation room of the Mill House, 75 Wells St. in Greenfield, where Kitsy lived.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations in her memory can be made to either Hospice of Franklin County, 329 Conway St., Greenfield, MA 01301 or The Worker Sisters of the Holy Spirit (checks to "WSHS," c/o Sr. Nancy Teresa, 10500 Farley St, Overland Park, KS 66212).
Published in The Recorder from Oct. 27 to Oct. 28, 2012