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Kathy Sue Kasprisin


1954 - 2019
Kathy Sue Kasprisin Obituary
KASPRISIN, Kathy Sue Kathy Sue Kasprisin lived an extraordinary life of service, impact, adventure, inspiration, and love. She was born April 11, 1954 and passed on to her next higher chapter on Easter Sunday, April 21st, 2019. Kathy was born to Jay and Dorothy Kasprisin in Erie, PA and along with her siblings, Jay and Amy, went on to live in many cities throughout the United States. Kathy earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Auburn University, a Masters in International Development from the School for International training in Brattleboro, VT, and was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship through the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Latin American Studies to complete her thesis on rural health planning in the Dominican Republic. Her commitment to service began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador from 1977-79 during the civil war in that country. She returned briefly to the United States to lead initiatives for FEMA, Planned Parenthood, and Proyecto Libertad. She was called backed to El Salvador in 1985 as a Program Officer for Save the Children where she spearheaded efforts to vaccinate children during negotiated peace breaks between the Salvadoran military and FMLN forces. She was recruited by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to serve as Deputy Commissioner in Belize where she served from 1989-1993 and instituted numerous groundbreaking programs for children and families across the Central American region. Kathy was an exceptional athlete throughout her life and an especially accomplished triathlete. While swimming off the coast of San Pedro, Belize she was struck by a motorboat in 1993 and survived against all odds. Despite profound mobility and speech impairment following the accident, Kathy went on to serve as a VISTA volunteer in Austin, TX, Commissioner for the Austin Mayor's Committee for Persons with Disabilities, Board Member for the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and a Consultant for the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. Even from a wheelchair, Kathy pursued a life of adventure that included hot air balloons, skydiving, hangliding, parasailing, international travel and routine horseback riding and scuba diving. For well over a decade and until her last days, she swam weekly through the partnership of her dedicated swim team Brad Houston, John Vail, Jill Williams, and Stan Van Hoose. Kathy's passion, energy, determination and pure life force were an inspiration to those privileged to know her. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Townlake YMCA at www.austinymca.org, which served as a lifeline through 26 years of disability and Hospice Austin at www.hospiceausin.org that offered comfort and dignity during her final months.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on May 12, 2019
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