Our friend, wife, mother, and community leader has passed on from this world. Kathryn Wehrlen Graeter was born in 1949 and took ease from her battle with cancer on Sunday, June 16, 2019 at age 70. Kathryn brought life, love, spark, and commitment to everything she did and everyone she knew. She was passionate about gardening, farm animals, quilting, horseback riding, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and cooking. She will be missed by all.
Kathryn was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts and later in her childhood moved to Utica, New York. She was raised by her parents Harry and Bess Wehrlen alongside her older sister Susan Wood (William) and younger brother David Wehrlen (Christine). In her post-college years she lived in the Washington DC area during the formative early ‘70’s in which she met John. In 1975 Kathryn and John moved to Madison County in western North Carolina where they thrived in the local community. Kathryn will be lovingly remembered by her devoted husband of 43 years, John, their three children, Amanda (Shannon), Gabrielle (Eric), and Jesse (Ellie), and her beloved granddaughter Aniela.
Kathryn raised a family and worked outside the home as a paralegal, program director, and pre-school teacher. In 1997 she co-founded Mountin’ Hopes therapeutic horseback riding center in Mars Hill, NC. This non-profit provided therapy and recreation for children and adults with disabilities. She helped raise 100’s of thousands of dollars to purchase a farm and build specialized facilities so Mountin’ Hopes could serve our community.
In 2000, after 20 years of living on their farm in Walnut, NC, Kathryn and John moved to Hot Springs. They became active members of the Friends of Hot Springs Library, recently leading the fundraising to purchase and equip a new library. This spring Kathryn received the NC Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service for her work with the library.
Kathryn’s family extends their appreciation to the many friends and community members that have provided support over the past year, as well as the caring staff at Cancer Center of WNC, CarePartners Hospice/Solace Center.
The service in Celebration of Kathryn’s Life will be held Saturday July 20th at 2:00pm at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mars Hill, NC. All are welcome, reception following.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of Hot Springs Library, PO Box 175, Hot Springs NC, 28743.