Kathryn Oven
1919 - 2014
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Kathryn "Kat" Thigpen Oven

Kathryn (Kat) Oven was a long time resident of Betton Hills, Tallahassee, Florida, known for teaching kindergarten at Holy Comforter Episcopal School, her love of St. Teresa Beach, and epitomizing classic southern charm and grace. Kat died Monday, May 19, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida at the age of 95.

Mrs. Oven was the widow of Hamilton S. "Tib" Oven, WWII Veteran and former building contractor in Tallahassee. The couple met while he was in college at the University of Florida and she at Florida State College for Women. They were married from 1940 - 1989.

Kat was born in Sanford, Florida on April 15, 1919, the daughter of the late William John and Frances Thigpen. After graduating from Seminole High in 1937, she matriculated in 1939 from Florida State College for Women (FSCW) in Tallahassee, FL, with a certificate in Elementary Education. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority.

Kat taught school in Sanford while Tib was in the South Pacific during WWII. After Tib completed a tour of duty as a major in the Army, they moved to Tallahassee. She was one of the founding members and taught pre-kindergarten at Holy Comforter Episcopal School for 19 years. Kat's love for teaching children can still be seen throughout Tallahassee as many of her past kindergarten children still reside in Tallahassee and have children of their own at Holy Comforter, St John's Episcopal Church and throughout town.

Kat was a long term fixture at St. Teresa Beach where she cherished hot summer days, swimming, fishing, scalloping, and happy hour on the front porch. Kat lived a full life in Tallahassee as a member of the Colonels Club, Cotillion Club, Colonial Dames, Junior League of Tallahassee and St. John's Episcopal Church. She loved playing bridge, dancing, and entertaining.

Kat is a beloved member of an extensive family and survived by her three sons, Hamilton "Buck" S. Oven, Jr. (Betsy), William Randolph Oven (Kathy Kiernan) and John Michael Oven (Frances); six grandchildren: Sabrina Oven, Audra Oven, Kathryn Oven Sutton (Tom), John Oven, Hollis Oven and Scott Hubener; and five great grandchildren, Savannah Cole, Bradley Cole, Trevor Cole, Tyler Cole and Emi Hubener. She was preceded in death by her sister Jane Ray. She is also survived by sisters-in-law Elinor Oven and Ida Oven Pugh and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Kat's beloved friend, Davisson Dunlap, graced and enriched her life when he moved to Tallahassee in 2002. They enjoyed 12 years traveling across the world and spending time with each other's family and friends. Davisson resides in Tallahassee, Florida with his family.

Her family would like to thank her care givers, Evelyn Grant, Theodore Williams, Phyllis Smith, Dwanda Smith, Melisse Blackshear for providing excellent care to Kat. They would also like to extend their gratitude to the staff at Big Bend Hospice and Clare Bridge.

A celebration of life will be held at 3:00 pm, Thursday, May 22, 2014, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 211 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32301. The family will receive friends at the church following the service.

Flowers may be sent to the church or memorial contributions made to St. John's Episcopal Church, The Alzheimer's Project Inc., Big Bend Hospice or the charity of your choice.

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Published in Tallahassee Democrat from May 21 to May 22, 2014.
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