December 28, 2020
Katherine Jane Kimsey was born in Sparta, TN, the second of six children of Bessie and James Ottie Kimsey. Graduating from high school in 1941, she then attended Tennessee Tech on a music scholarship, majoring in engineering, followed by work at the Oak Ridge nuclear plant in 1943 to do her part in the on-going war effort. Employed there first as a draftsman assisting in creating designs for streets and buildings in this new top secret war production city, she soon transferred to the uranium materials section, serving there as a production floor supervisor overseeing the extraction of materials used in the production of the atomic bomb. In 1946, Katherine returned to her education, this time at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she received a music scholarship and was a member of the UT “Pride of the Southland” marching band for three years. It was here at UT that she met her future husband, Phillip Lee Secrist and following her graduation in 1949, the two married the same year. Together they had four children: Phylis , Barbera , James and Scott . After Phil’s graduation from UT in 1952, the family moved to Ft. Benning, GA, where Phil served a two year military obligation during the Korean War. Katherine obtained her teaching certificate from Auburn University in 1954, and the family moved to Atlanta where Phil and Kay began their teaching careers. In 1969, Katherine earned a master’s degree in math education at Emory University and continued her teaching career in Marietta until her retirement in 1986. From 1988-92, Katherine was the first lady of Cobb County while Phil served as Chairman of the Cobb County Commission. The two were active in the World War II Roundtable and Cobb Landmarks for many years and completed restorations on several historic buildings in Cobb County, notably the Marlow and Stanley houses in downtown Marietta and their pre-Civil War home in west Cobb where they lived for more than forty years. Katherine’s love of travel was fulfilled with trips to Russia, Germany, France, England, Mexico and many locations in the United States. Road trips by car, train and bicycle, were a favorite pastime for the couple throughout their 50 years together. Katherine is survived by her sister, Sarah Reynolds, four children, twelve grandchildren and eight great grandchildren and will be missed by all who knew her. A memorial service will be held at a later date soon to be announced.
Katherine Jane Kimsey was born in Sparta, TN, the second of six children of Bessie and James Ottie Kimsey. Graduating from high school in 1941, she then attended Tennessee Tech on a music scholarship, majoring in engineering, followed by work... View Obituary & Service Information
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