KATE HARRIS (1948 - 2016)

  • "I am so grateful I got the chance to meet Kitty through her..."
    - Nancy Rossi
    - Dr Sara Packard
  • "Kitty was a year behind me at St Tims - when she arrived at..."
    - Tina West
  • "Your mother use to ride a great pony we had called Mighty..."
  • "My deepest condolences to you and your family. Kitty was a..."


Kate "Kitty" Webb Harris died peacefully on March 5, 2016 at her beloved home in Shelburne, Vermont, surrounded by her children. Kitty was born on January 3, 1948, the eldest daughter of Kate and Harry Webb, whose family founded Shelburne Farms and the Shelburne Museum, and a granddaughter of Electra and J. Watson Webb and Kate and B. Brewster Jennings. Kitty graduated from Hollins College, writing her thesis on the novels of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and spending a year in Paris to study French literature, history, architecture, and art. Prior to Hollins, she attended St. Timothy's School, and later served on their Board of Trustees. Her great love was opera, which provided the soundtrack to her life. She served on the Metropolitan Opera Guild Board for 30 years, and was a Board member of the Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts. In 1974 she married George Harris, a bloodstock agent, and they remained together until 1996. She is survived by her son, Jonathan Harris, an artist; her daughter, Amanda Herzberger, a photographer; Amanda's husband, Jeffrey; and their daughter, Norah. In her final moments, Kitty was looking out the window at the trees and the sky, listening to her favorite opera, Parsifal, and being held by her children. A gathering to celebrate her life will be held in Shelburne this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shelburne Farms.

Published in The New York Times on Mar. 9, 2016