Katherine Lynn Horn, 37, of Mount Tremper
passed away peacefully with her husband and family at her side on January 20, 2014. Katie was born November 12, 1976 in Hornell, the daughter of William and Mary Scheer Smith. From an early age she was a source of love, strength and support to all that knew her.
Kate grew up in Western New York and attended Alfred-Almond Central School where she was a precocious student and standout varsity level swimmer. She completed both her undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Teaching at SUNY Cortland where she met her future husband, Menachem. After spending some time traveling the country, her profession led her back East to teach at Mary Ellen Henderson and H.B. Woodlawn Middle Schools in Northern Virginia, where she developed her unique teaching style of strengthening reading skills and creating effective readers.
In 2010 Katherine brought these experiences to Margaretville Central School where she was a dedicated and respected tenured teacher. Kate had an infectious enthusiasm for her students and would always go out of her way to find relatable literature to capture the individual student’s imagination, believing students must value reading for information and pleasure alike.
Her expertise was in classical and contemporary young-adult fiction, counting Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Matilda among her many favorites. Outside of the classroom, her fire and spirit energized Margaretville’s drama club, Scitamard, where she served as an advisor for three years. Her passion for literacy and lifelong learning was displayed through continuing education classes at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, as well as her involvement with the National Reading Association.
Katie appreciated the beauty of nature and the great outdoors, spending much of her free time and summers hiking with her husband in the Catskills, through portions of the Appalachian Trail, along the National Mall in Washington, DC, and in the many treasured U.S. National Parks out West. Additionally, Kate was a recreational runner and member of the Onteora Running Club, and could always find solace after taking a run around the Ashokan Reservoir.
Kate’s home was a great source of pride and she spent many hours tending to the beautiful flower and vegetable gardens around her home. All of these outdoor activities go hand-in-hand with her love of animals, which include the family dogs Buck, Sabrina, and Sandy, as well as a rescued one-eyed cat named Hitch.
Throughout her five-year battle with cancer, Katie endured unimaginable struggles, but always maintained her radiant smile and a strength that buoyed those around her.
Through the ups and downs, she always expressed an interest in others, showing concern and providing humor to family and friends, as well as the doctors and nurses who helped care for her. Her positive no-nonsense attitude and determination was indeed an inspiration to us all.
In August, 2013 Kate and Menachem were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Eleanor (Ellie) who brought much joy into their home. Kate radiated love for Ellie and cherished her role as a mother.
In addition to her parents and husband, Katie has two sisters, Jen Smith and Julie McGill, as well as 12 nieces and nephews.
The Horn and Smith families would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the entire Margaretville Central School community for their love and support during Mrs. Horn’s time of need. Your many cards and thoughtful gestures were a great source of strength and comfort for Katie and her family.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Katie will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. at the Emerson Resort, Route 28, Mt. Tremper. Arrangements are under the guidance of Mark Wilsey at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home, 87 Main Street, Phoenicia.