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Katharine Odell Adams

katharine adams

January 8, 1954 ~ May 17, 2015

Katharine Odell Adams, age 61, died Sunday May 17 at home in Arlington, while recuperating from a surgery performed May 14. Born in New Delhi, India, she lived with her parents J. Wesley Adams and Frances McStay Adams at Foreign Service postings thereafter in London, Baghdad, Amman, Lahore, and in DC. She attended Sandy Spring Friends School in Maryland and graduated from UDC in 1985. Employed by HUD and in the travel section of the Department of State, Katharine retired in 2006.
Kathy loved animals in general, dogs in particular, and, with a special passion, the three cocker spaniels she owned one after the othera�"Penny, Taffy, and Mandy. She volunteered for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and for the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia. She and her student recently completed reading an old favorite of hers, the entire Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Reminiscing, Kathy recalled the thrill of meeting Harry Belafonte, whose music she adored. The Beatles also stole her heart, and she was a fan of Peter, Paul and Mary.
Kathy is mourned by her brothers Thomas (and wife Margaret) and Daniel, two nieces (Sarah and husband Christopher Bean; Anne and husband Michael Wilson) and a nephew (Jonathan and wife Yun Ping Chang), and other relatives and friends. She loved keeping in touch with family and friends old and new, by phone, by letter, and around a table. An informal memorial will be held June 27 in the parish hall of Saint George's Episcopal Church, 915 N. Oakland St., Arlington, near Virginia Square Metro on Fairfax Drive, at 3.00 PM (open at 2:30). Memorial donations may be made to the non-profits mentioned above:;;

Informal Memorial Service

St. George Episcopal Church
915 North Oakland Street
Arlington, VA

June 27, 2015
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

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Memories Timeline


  1. Kathy – I still think of you as the ‘girl next door’ on Mass Ave in Washington. Here’s to you, and to all of your family

  2. Dear Tom and Peggy, Please know that you have my condolences in the loss of Kathy, your sister and sister-in-law. Tom, the many "Kathy" stories that you shared with us here at the NEH spoke volumes about how deeply you cared for her. May fond memories of the times that you spent together sustain you in this period of bereavement. Sincerely, Wilsonia

  3. Kathy is deeply missed as a volunteer at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington! She knew everyone’s name and was a delight to talk to. She was a wonderful representative of the League and her community.

  4. Kathy was a dedicated volunteer at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. She was always cheerful and made all of our Friday night visitors feel welcome. Both staff and volunteers will miss her kindness and care.

  5. Kathy was a good and faithful friend to me for many years. I’ll really miss our long phone conversations. As kids we always were giggling together, and as adults we continued to laugh a lot — she had a great laugh! I’m so very sorry she’s gone. Bill and I extend our deepest sympathy to her family and other friends.

  6. Kathy was a special friend.. She had a purity of heart, warm and loving spirit.and the wisdom of an old soul..Yet she was able to preserve a child like innocence. She was Kind and .patient. I learned alot from her…such as always take time to stay in touch even when you have a full plate and nothing much to say. People need to know they matter and are valued. .Kathy was a good neighbor at Watson Place and Winston and I will .always remember .her and Mandy most fondly. Sending heartfelt condolences to all who knew her.

  7. Kathy was a wonderful volunteer at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.She was our special "greeter" and would make visitors to the shelter feel special and very welcome. Her warm and friendly presence will be greatly missed by us all. Neil , President & CEO

  8. Kathy was a lifting , mischievious joking spirit with a zest for living and being involved. She was intelligent, a great "mommy" to Mandy and a loving close daughter to her mother, caring for her frequently in the later years. It will be nice to envision them all together again. She was always available to others and was one of the warmest poeple one could meet. She will be very missed.

  9. Kathy attended Sandy Spring Friends School, and was a wonderful example of the school’s motto: "Let your life speak." We are tremendously saddened by her loss.

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