Katherine Fitzpatrick Thomsen Ladd passed away peacefully on May 7, 2023, at the age of 100, in Houston, Texas. Katherine was a beautiful, kind, intelligent, and gracious lady who was loved by everyone whose life she touched. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend to the many who knew her.
Katherine was born on July 25, 1922 in Waco, Texas. She graduated from Baylor University in 1944 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. While studying at Baylor, she was selected as a Chemistry teaching assistant, as part of the wartime Army Specialized Training Program, an exceptional honor for a woman in this time period. She was recruited by Eastman Kodak Company and, upon graduation, moved to Rochester, New York. Katherine met her husband, Carl Michael Ladd, working in the chemistry lab at Kodak. They were married in 1950 and joyfully raised four children. They lived in Hilton, New York until moving to Seattle, Washington in 1957, then moved to Pittsford, New York in 1963. Carl retired from Kodak in 1980 and passed away in 1982. Katherine remained in their Pittsford home (spending some winters in Houston, Texas) until 2014, when she moved to Houston to be closer to family.
Katherine was an avid gardener, golfer, reader, pianist, and photographer. She was known for her amazing dahlia garden and was awarded ribbons for many flowers that she entered in the New York State Fair. She loved to host dinner parties, with her boeuf bourguignon and flambe cherries jubilee being two favorites. Katherine enjoyed traveling, studied foreign languages, was fluent in French, and in her eighties began studying Italian. She sewed and smocked beautiful clothes for her daughters and granddaughters when they were young and made an heirloom christening gown worn by several grandchildren. Katherine loved to do the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, although she would say it took longer without Carl’s finishing touches. She was actively involved in Christ Episcopal Church of Pittsford and The Pittsford Garden Club.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl; her parents Grover Cleveland and Lila (Fitzpatrick) Thomsen; and her siblings Lucille Saunders, Alex Thomsen, William Thomsen (her twin brother) and Robert Thomsen.
Katherine is survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her children are Allen Ladd (and wife Kathie) of Greenville, South Carolina; Robert Ladd (and wife Georgiana) of Houston, Texas; Amy Ladd MD (and husband Doug Fitzgerald) of Stanford, California; and Molly Ladd Lazar (and husband Jim Lazar) of Dallas, Texas. Her grandchildren are Erik Ladd (and wife Taylor), Mary Ladd Patton (and husband Ben and daughter Violet), Dana Ladd (and daughters Elle and Ruby McClure), Laura Ladd, Ian Fitzgerald, Emily Rose Fitzgerald, Katherine Fitzgerald, and Michael Whitaker. Katherine had many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
Katherine’s family thanks the many wonderful caregivers who loved and cared for her in her later years, especially Teresa Davila, who was devoted to Katherine and whom Katherine loved like family.
A family memorial service will be held in Houston. A graveside service will be held in Pittsford, where she will be buried next to her husband.