Kathleen Lord

Kathleen “Kit” Lord died at her home in Camp Hill, Pa. on July 21. She had celebrated her 99th birthday on June 25.

She was born in Riverhead, Long Island in 1919, the daughter of Rose Reeve Jackson Lindblom and Samuel Jackson. Her father, Sam Jackson, a Long Island bayman, died in a drowning accident at sea when she was five years old. Her mother later married Conrad Lindblom. She had one younger sister, Hazel Jackson Teuber, who predeceased her in 1998. Kit was married to the late Nelville B. “Buzz” Lord, who predeceased her in 2007. She is survived by her son, Jeffrey, of Camp Hill, and almost fifty caring nieces, nephews, great-nieces and -nephews. She was a wonderful wife and a devoted, wonderful mother, who always had time for her son who loved her dearly. A friend to all who crossed her path, she will be greatly missed and always remembered.

A 1937 graduate of Riverhead High School, two years behind her high school sweetheart, Buzz, she was married when he returned from four years of service as a Captain in the United States Army in 1946. Buzz, who served in the Pacific Theater of World War II in the Battle of Leyte, was discharged in 1947, and the young couple moved to New York City, where they worked for a travel agency.

In the fall of 1950 they moved to Northampton, Mass., where they had their son Jeff, born in February of 1951. Together they became very active in both their church – the Edwards Congregational Church – and local Republican politics. Kit, always outgoing and interested in helping other people, was soon elected as the Chair of the Hampshire County Republican Women, serving while Buzz was elected to President Calvin Coolidge’s old Ward 2 seat on the Northampton City Council, and later as the Northampton Republican City Committee chairman. In 1958, she was approached to run for the U.S. Congress from the Massachusetts 1st District, but declined. She was part of a delegation of Republican women who were invited to meet with President Dwight Eisenhower in the White House to discuss issues of the day.

Her “day job” in Northampton was as the executive assistant to the Smith College English and history department. While there, she helped prepare the manuscript for a two-volume biography of New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, written by Smith’s history professor Arthur Mann. Kit served as the president of the Massachusetts Congregational Women and was a delegate to the first Uniting General Synod that formed the United Church of Christ in June of 1957 in Cleveland, Ohio. She went on to serve on the board of the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC and was frequently called to give speeches across the state.

In 1965 the Lords moved to Staunton, Va., where Buzz took a job in his beloved hotel business as the manager of a Holiday Inn. They moved twice more, to Allentown, Pa., in 1967, and finally to Camp Hill in 1969. In each instance Buzz was managing hotels, the Allentown Motor Inn and in Camp Hill, he took a Ramada Inn from an imagined project to completion. The Ramada Inn is today the Park Inn on Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg. Kit laid the cornerstone for the building.

While in Virginia, Kit served as the executive assistant to the president of Mary Baldwin College.  Once moved to Camp Hill she worked, until her retirement in the 1980’s, for the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s director of the bureau of curriculum services. In that capacity she also served as president of the Department of Education’s professional association.

Kit served as the president of the Chapel Hill UCC church council in Camp Hill  as well as being a longtime member of the council. In 1971 she was elected as the vice-moderator of the Penn Central UCC and served as a corporate member of the United Church of Christ board for homeland ministries. She also served as chairman of the ecumenical commission for Church Women United of Greater Harrisburg.

She will be buried in the Riverhead Cemetery alongside Buzz. A memorial service will be held at Chapel Hill UCC on Saturday, August 11 at 11 a.m. Her son Jeff requests that memorial donations be sent to Homeland Hospice, Unit 115, 2300 Vartan Way, Harrisburg, PA 17110.

This is a paid notice.