Kathryn E. Gwaltney, 81, of FortBranch, formerly of Evansville, passed away on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 at DeaconessHospital.
She was born on February 29, 1924 to Andrew “Bates” and Margaret Dean Hickrod and grew up in Ft.Branch.
She was valedictorian of her
class at Ft.BranchHigh
went on to obtain a degree from Indiana University School of Business in 1944.
While at IU, she was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority. She began her career
with Sears Roebuck and Co., as a management trainee in 1944 in Indianapolis. During 1945, she was sent to Sears’ national
personnel office in Chicago as a human resources trainee. In 1946, she became the
Group Personnel Manager of the Sears store in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1948, she came back to Evansville and was named the Group Personnel Manager for the
Evansville Sears store located downtown at Fourth & Sycamore, which was the
first retail store for Sears. When Sears moved out of downtown and relocated to
Washington Square Mall, she moved also and continued her career as the Group
Personnel Manager. She loved her work and was very proud of her association
with Sears for over 25 years and the colleagues she worked with during those
years. During her career, she hired over 4,000 people. She retired from Sears and
Roebuck in 1973. As a result of her accomplishments, she was invited to join
the Evansville Personnel Association, which made her the first woman member.
She also appointed as a member of Mayor Frank McDonald’s Human Relations
committee, and the American Business Women’s Association. She was also very
active in her community, her church and she loved golf. She was the former
President and Board member of the Princeton Country Club Ladies Golf. She also
enjoyed serving as the former President of the Ladies Golf Association at Oak
Meadow Country Club. She played in many tournaments with her husband, Robert
“Tab” Gwaltney and developed many friendships with
fellow golfers. She was very active in her church, the First United Methodist
Church of Ft. Branch, where she was a former trustee, and President of the
United Methodist Women. Her church was a big part of her life. Her community
involvement included the CD Chapter P.E.O., The Tourists Literary Club, a
charter member of the Morning Etude Music Club, the Lady Elks, PsiOte Xi Sorority, Gibson
General Hospital Pink Ladies (lifetime member), and a former Board Member for
the Evansville Raintree Girl Scout Council for 6
years. She also thoroughly enjoyed her bridge clubs and Tripoli club.
She was a wonderful mother
and is survived by her daughter, Karen S. Helmerich
of Evansville, son-in-law Wilbur J. Helmerich
III, and two grandsons, John Conrad Helmerich and
Andrew Dean Helmerich who were the joy of her life.
She was preceded in death by
her husband of 45 years, Robert “Tab” Gwaltney, and
her parents, Margaret Dean West Hickrod and Andrew
Friends may call for
visitation from 2 p.m. until Sunday,
June 26, 2005, at Stodghill Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at on Monday, June 27 at the FirstUnitedMethodistChurch at the corner of Vine & Main Streets in Ft. Branch, IN with Rev. Tarrell Thompson
officiating. Burial will be held at Walnut Hill cemetery in Ft.Branch.