Kathryn (Kathy) Jean LaDuke

Sparta /
| 12 Jan 2021 | 03:54

Kathryn (Kathy) Jean LaDuke passed away on Jan. 7, 2021, after a prolonged battle with COVID-19. She was 68.

Kathy was born on June 1, 1952, in Annapolis, Md. She grew up in Liverpool, N.Y., and moved with her husband, Richard LaDuke, to Clifton, N.J., to seek careers in teaching. They later moved to Lake Tamarack in Stockholm, N.J., a place that they have called home for 40 years.

Kathy is survived by her husband, Richard; son Robert, his wife, Carrie, and their sons, Riley and Henry of Sparta, N.J.; and daughter, Dona, her husband, Nathan, and their daughters Colette and Nina of Watsontown, Pa.

She was predeceased by her mother, former World War II flight Nurse Jean Nann; stepfather, Jack Nann; and stepbrother, John Nann.

Kathy was a constant volunteer working to enrich the lives of the children in her community. Starting out as a tee-ball coach, to a Cub Scout den mother, and then onto youth cheerleading coach. Her true passion for volunteering shone brightest whenever she was doing anything for her lake community that she loved. Along with a group of others she helped reestablish the Lake Tamarack Swim Team in the mid-1980s. This team has been able to give children and parents in the lake a sense of community and friendship that still endures today. In addition to the swim team, Kathy helped found other social events within the lake to encourage that sense of community year-round. Stand outs include Camp Night at the ball field, the Fall Pig Roast, and the Christmas Tree Lighting.

Professionally, Kathy graduated from Brockport State University in 1974 as a Health Education Major. Her career as a teacher started at the Madrid-Waddington School in Waddington, N.Y., and after a few years moving on to Clifton High School in Clifton, N.J. She took time to raise her own children and later returned as a long-term substitute teacher at Hardyston Elementary School in Franklin, N.J.. She would finally land a full-time teaching position at Jefferson Elementary in Succasunna, N.J., where she worked with friends and colleagues for 19 years.

Personally, Kathy was a proud Syracuse resident and always supported the Syracuse Orange. She enjoyed her vacations in Long Beach Island, N.J., Hawaii, and in Largo, FL. She could be found kayaking in the summertime or walking her dog Harley while greeting neighbors. She loved trips to New York City for Broadway Shows or something as simple as staying local and browsing garage sales with friends. She spent many years having fun with her grandchildren, from teaching her grandsons to ride a bike, to trips to amusement parks and showing them the best of life at the lake.

There will be no funeral services, a memorial celebration is being planned for a later date during the summer of 2021.