Kathryn Elizabeth Pixley

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Kathryn Elizabeth Pixley

March 04, 1942 - January 09, 2019

Kathryn Elizabeth Pixley Kathryn Elizabeth Pixley, 76, of Oneonta passed away from complications with pneumonia early Jan. 9 at Albany Medical Center.  Kathryn was born to Emma and Ole Hove, March 4, 1942, in Mason City, Iowa.  
She grew up in Forest City, Iowa, where she attended Waldorf Junior College.  There she met Edward Pixley, a speech and English teacher.  When he was drawn from the Army Reserve to active military service during the Berlin Wall crisis of fall 1961, a Christmastime visit to Fort Lewis, Washington, turned their friendship into an engagement.  After completing her B.A. in English at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Kathryn and Edward were married, and she began her career as an English teacher in Marengo and later Iowa City, while Edward completed his Ph.D at the University of Iowa.
In the fall of 1964, in the midst of a busy teaching and commuting schedule, Kathryn was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis), a malady that would plague her for the next 54 years, eventually rendering her a quadriplegic, but never daunting her positive spirit, her devotion to her family and her profession, or her thoughtfulness toward the needs and feelings of those around her.
Over the next few years, while starting a family and following Ed's career from Iowa to Colorado, and finally, in 1969, to Oneonta, Kathryn continued to teach adult education English and English as a second language, while, in her spare time, pursuing an M.A. in English, which she was awarded in 1975 by SUNY Oneonta.  Once her children were old enough, she joined the Writing Center at SUNY Oneonta where she taught for 20 years, until impaired speech from the MS forced her into early retirement in 2003.
Kathryn, besides being a trained educator, was an accomplished musician on the piano and, her primary instrument, the marimba.  Though MS inhibited her ability to perform, in teaching her own and neighborhood children to play the piano, she found a second career and for more than 30 years taught piano to a wide range of students of all ages.
Kathryn was also a devoted member and leader at Atonement Lutheran Church, where she chaired the Evangelism Committee, taught junior high and adult Sunday school, organized the coffee hour for decades and, perhaps her favorite, advised the church's very active Luther League, included directing dramatic readings and staged musicals.
Kathryn is survived by Edward, her husband of 55 years; one son, Stephen and wife Marcella of Westford, Massachusetts; one daughter, Mary McCoy and husband Alfred, of Madison, Wisconsin; four grandchildren, Joshua and Benjamin Pixley and Meg and Cyrus McCoy; one brother, David Hove and wife Ursula of Heerbrugg, Switzerland and their daughter, Ingrid and family of Freiburg, Switzerland; plus many devoted nieces and nephews and cousins.
According to her wishes, Kathryn's body was willed to the Albany Medical College for medical and student research.  A memorial service in her honor at Atonement Lutheran Church in Oneonta will be announced for a later date.  The family requests that memorial gifts be designated for the Atonement Lutheran Church accessibility fund or for the Kathryn and Edward Pixley Scholarship fund for theater and English students at SUNY Oneonta.
Published on January 10, 2019
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14 posts

Jim Johnson
Mar 07, 2019
I am so sorry! How hard it must be for you. As you make your way through the world today, you will see signs that bright times are coming!
Achim Koeddermann
Jan 14, 2019
Kathryne had an open heart for all. Her patience in tutoring students, from here and abroad, was legendary. Internationally, we owe it to her pereseverance and loving attention that students from as far away as Thailand not only learned english, but also how do teach it, and ultimatedly to love the US.
Stanfill Marcus Stanfill
Jan 14, 2019
Warmest regards to all in this difficult time. I remember visiting Oneonta with Steve back in '89 and one consistent memory of Kathryn was that she drove Steve nuts making sure he had a coat on or gloves or boots when we were heading out for the night. I remember thinking "that's just the kind of thing my mom does to me... I guess we are blessed with women who love us endlessly...."
Addell Austin Anderson
Jan 14, 2019
I remember Kathryn as a beautiful woman filled with optimism and a loving spirit. She will be missed.
Jan 12, 2019
I share my warm thoughts to the Pixley/Hove families. Kathryn educated me in the many ways we can experience life and people who are important to us. We became family when our children married and I send my warm thoughts to the family in a more than difficult time. May who Kathryn was continue to be a strength to her friends and family.
Rhondesia Jones
Jan 11, 2019
Dr. pixley
I remember how beautiful of a Soul Ms.Pixley had. When I attended Oneonta back in 1988-1991 she was always so kind and a great Educator. Ms.Pixley infectious smile will forever live on.
Dr.Pixley my prayers go out to you and your family in this time of mourning. Although I haven't seen you in so many years, you have made such an impact on my youth.
"Lady MacBeth"
Gloria Anderson-Hegg
Jan 11, 2019
Dear Ed and Family -
I wasn't able to see you all often, mainly during your visits to Bear River - but I always enjoyed our visits. Kathryn was always such a sweet and wonderful inspiration! You are in my heart and my prayers as you mourn her death and celebrate her life.
Michael (Mac) Duffy
Jan 11, 2019
Although I only had brief opportunities to get to know Kathryn, I remember being struck by how powerful and kind a presence she had. It was like coming in from the cold and standing next to a warm light. Kathryn had such an effect on me that whenever I would think about the kind of people I wanted to emulate, she was always one of them. I am grateful for the impact she had on my life and know she is now sharing that presence on a grander scale. My wife, Kate, and I send our love and prayers to her husband, Ed, and to her entire family.
Kathy Pixley
Jan 11, 2019
Have very special memories of times spent with her in Florida and at the Pixley reunions. I was always aware of how keen her mind was and what a beautiful spirit she possessed. She never failed to ask about my children and grandchildren. Thoughtfulness was a very evident part of her character. In many ways I think she was more whole than the rest of us...even though her body was impaired. I will always miss her, but most of all, will remember her. She was always in her husband‘s loving care. His love and patience shone brighter than the brightest star always.
johana and Kim Paterson
Jan 11, 2019
Katherine's warm smile and interest in us and our musical ventures each time we met . She would often ask a question that surprised and delighted us. What a lovely person -- we were honored to know her.
Joan Lambiaso
Jan 11, 2019
Ed, Steve and Mary,
I am sorry to hear of Kathryn's passing. She. was one of the most caring, generous and special people I have ever known. I have so many happy memories of times past. She was an inspiration to me and I have tried to live my life with the same grace.
Love and prayers go out to all of you.
Heather Pence
Jan 11, 2019
So sorry to hear the news of Kathryn's passing. She was such a special person and I have many wonderful memories of her. My sympathies to the family.
Andrea Wandersee
Jan 10, 2019
Dear Mr. Pixley, Mary and Steve,
Please accept my condolences during this difficult time. You are a special family, and Mrs. Pixley was an amazing woman. She was patient, kind and I will always remember her smiling.

With love,

Fred and Ruth Cleveland
Jan 10, 2019
We are better people because of Kathryn. Her compassion for others was unbelievable. Our thoughts of comfort go out to Ed and their family.