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 Mary Kathryn “Kate” <I>Gunning</I> Beaver

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Mary Kathryn “Kate” Gunning Beaver

  • Birth 8 Mar 1920 Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana, USA
  • Death 19 Mar 1991 Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana, USA
  • Burial Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana, USA
  • Memorial ID 32003468

Kate was one of four children of Lea and R. Arlene (Dunning) Gunning. She was born March 8, 1920 in Kokomo, Indiana and raised there. She was a member of the Christian Endeavor of the Union Street Friends church. The local newspaper mentioned that she was elected treasurer in October 1936; she was 16 years old at the time. She made honor roll at Kokomo High School.
The local newspaper also covered a special event in her life in March 1938: Katherlne Gunning was pleasantly surprised at her home, 609 West Monroe street, Tuesday evening, by a group of friends in honor of her eighteenth birthday. She received many lovely gifts. Decorations favors were In recognitlon of St. Patrick's day and this idea was further suggested in the table centerpiece, a wishing well from which the guests drew their fortunes. Games and contests featured the Entertainment, prizes going to John Beaver and Paul Hooker. Refreshments were served by Mrs. L, O. Gunning and Miss Norma Gunning. Others present were: Ruth Hooker, Sally Recs, Frank Rldenour, Jeanne Thomas, Howard Darrough, Helen Darrough, Bob and Evelyn Barnett, Ralph Mills and Betty Thompson.
Kathryn married John Beaver less than four months later. The couple had 5 daughters and 3 sons. Her last two daughters were born after the deaths of her first two daughters. When eldest daughter Joan died at 18 years of age, Kate took Joan's two babies to raise. The strain was too great and Kate had a heart attack. She and Johnny let family members adopt their two granddaughters.
Kate's first three children had been born at home; however, problems with her son Larry's birth left him with slight brain damage. Her remaining children were born at St. Joseph's hospital in Kokomo. Later, Kate was instrumental in setting up a school for children with special needs called Bona Vista.
She loved books and could be found reading one in her favorite chair.
Diabetes caused her medical problems, escalating in her final years to having her legs amputated. She died shortly after her 71st birthday in Kokomo. She is buried in Crown Point Cemetery. Her tombstone has an open book over her name. The reverse reads: "Roads go ever on and on - feet that wandering have gone - turn at last to home afar - look at last on meadows green - and trees and hills they long have known"

Memories of Mary Katherine Beaver By R.L. (Becki) Beaver:

My mother was a unique individual. Three words best describe her; fortitude, convictions, and perseverance. She could put someone in his or her place and, not merely use intellectual language, but also without even a hint of profanity.

One of her biggest fears was of heights. We, the family, went on vacation to the Smokey Mountains and nothing would have it but she HAD to go to the top of the highest mountain; Pikes Peak I think? She put on the best clothes she had, red lipstick and a chic looking black beret she loved and climbed onto the railing of the roadway. Beneath her all you could see was down! Somewhere I have a picture of her doing this. It really describes her determination and resolve.

She was not known for having a temper but when she did get mad, which I only remember a handful of times, take heed and run, do not walk, with a light step! I recall hiding beneath the kitchen table while she chased my brothers about with a broom once. Howbeit, she was much too gentle of a soul to have ever hit them with it even if she could have caught them. She did get her point across though and they were behaved for a time after that.

Mom loved reading, walking outdoors, and trees. On vacations she was always up before sunrise; off walking and taking in all of natures beauty and charm. She could tell you what type every tree was, when it bloomed and what it looked like in each season.

She was well read, very intelligent, and quite knowledgeable about many subjects. Because of her avid appetite for reading and knowledge she could discuss many subjects at length. Some came as a bit of a surprise to me because she was a reserved, soft-spoken, backward little Quaker woman. She was a woman of her sincerity - she only wore dresses, that I recall, because she believed they made her more lady like, she didn't swear, almost never touched any alcohol, and whole heartedly believed in the convictions of - To thine own self be true. This was my mother, a Blue Spruce standing proud and true in a vastness of Palm trees.

Family Members


  • Created by: Margie von M
  • Added: 6 Dec 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32003468
  • Margie von M
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Kathryn “Kate” Gunning Beaver (8 Mar 1920–19 Mar 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32003468, citing Crown Point Cemetery, Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Margie von M (contributor 47028174) .