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Katherine Whiting Rae, 101

posted: Jul 28, 2015 9:06 pm | Comments (1)

Katherine Whiting Rae passed away in peace on July 14 at Connecticut Hospice.

At age 101, she was surrounded by her loving family – gathering from Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut—during her final illness.

Katherine Whiting (later Rae) was born at 291 Edwards Street in New Haven, on March 17, 1914, to John D. Whiting and Meredyth Gouch Whiting of that address. Mr. Whiting was a well-known artist, illustrator, and author. Meredyth Gouch Whiting was a poet, and daughter of Frank Austin Gouch, then chair of the Chemistry Department at Yale University. Katherine attended Smith College, which she left in 1936 to wed William Douglas Rae, then recently graduated from the Yale Divinity School.  She faithfully accompanied him in his long ministry at the First Baptist Church of Bloomington, Indiana.  The Reverend Rae was a crusading liberal, racially integrating his church as early as 1949, and campaigning against Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. In 1968, Rev. Rae had been appointed to teach the practice of the ministry at Yale Divinity. The couple purchased a home in Hamden, just before he died suddenly at the Cleveland Clinic. Katherine Rae subsequently resided in greater New Haven from that year until her death in 2015.

Katherine Rae was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great grandmother for more than half a century. She was also an avid and skillful Scrabble player. She is survived by her son Douglas of New Haven, her grandson Hugh Rae of Glen Rock, N.J., her granddaughter and namesake Katherine Rae-Chu of Brookline, Mass., and her granddaughter Kimberley Rae McFerron of Denver, and granddaughter Lisa Rae of Silverplume CO.  She is also survived by thirteen great grandchildren, ranging in age from the one year old McFerron twins (shown with Katherine in the photo)  to several young adults. Katherine was an active advocate for many liberal political causes, and a devoted supporter of President Barack Obama. During her later years, Katherine was faithfully attended by Julie Hensler-Young of New Haven.

A memorial service is planned for September in New Haven.

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posted by: wendy1 on July 30, 2015  8:36am

This amazing gal became my friend and I am proud of it.  At 100 she read, she wrote (her bio), she drove, and she thought very progressively.  She was a “lefty” like me.  I have met few people who were as open-minded as Katherine or as lady-like.  She was well-mannered, well-dressed, and well-spoken (nothing like me), had a great sense of humor and of justice (for all).  The only TV she watched was C-SPAN.  During her well-educated life she saw a century of mankind’s most violent upheavals and most rapid cultural/tech changes.

My last “date” with her, I drove her tiny car and snuck onto Lighthouse Beach with it and we sat on a bench huddled together under a blanket on a breezy afternoon looking at the Sound (2014).  I will always remember.

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