Katharine K. "Kitty" Naylor, a former educator who later worked at several Roland Park dress shops, died July 14 at Roland Park Place of complications from a fall. She was 98.
The daughter of Thomson King, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. electrical engineer who later became director of the Maryland Academy of Sciences, and Katharine Duckett King, Katharine Bowie King was born in Baltimore and raised in Forest Park.
She was 16 when she graduated from Western High School. She earned her bachelor's degree in history and sociology in 1936 from Goucher College.
"She had wanted to work in social services but did not meet the minimum age requirement of 21," said a daughter, Virginia "Ginna" Naylor of Baltimore.
In the late 1930s, Mrs. Naylor taught history for four years at the Holton Arms School in Washington. She met her future husband, Donaldson Naylor, on New Year's Eve in 1939, and married him the next year.
Mrs. Naylor taught at Girls' Latin School before joining her husband on his travels as a salesman for Crown Cork & Seal Co. During World War II, when her husband was serving with the Marine Corps, the couple lived in Cherry Point, N.C.
After the war, her husband resumed his career with Crown Cork & Seal Co., and they lived in Roanoke, Va., and Richmond, Va., before returning to Baltimore in 1956 when he was named regional sales manager at the company's home office.
He died in 1975.
Mrs. Naylor worked until she was well into her 80s at The Saville Shop and later at The Wardrobe dress shops in Roland Park.
A longtime resident of Hawthorne Road in Roland Park, Mrs. Naylor later lived at Elkridge Estates before moving to Roland Park Place in 2007.
"She was truly a lady in the truest sense of the word," said Sally Rohrbach of Harwood, who was a friend for more than 50 years.
"I went to college at Duke with Ginna, and spent endless nights at Kitty's home in Roland Park," said Mrs. Rohrbach.
"She was perhaps the warmest and sunniest person I've ever met in my life. She was welcoming, always saw the good in people and the silver lining. Family and friends were of the highest importance to her," she said.
Mrs. Naylor was an active communicant for many years of St. David's Episcopal Church, where she was a member of the Altar Guild and treasurer of the Women's Committee.
Margie Guyther, a congregant of St. David's, drove Mrs. Naylor to church on Sundays, and afterward the two women lunched, often at Roland Park Place.
"She was a longtime member of the Altar Guild and always did baptisms. She also worked every church dinner we had here and even lunches," said Ms. Guyther, a preschool teacher at St. Paul's School for Girls.
"She was loved by everyone at church. She always wanted to help and was always concerned about others rather than herself," said Ms. Guyther.
She also volunteered with the Homewood Community Corp.'s adult literacy program and in 1997 received the Mayor's Citation for her contribution to the civic welfare of Baltimore.
"Back in the 1990s, when she was in her 80s, she would drive herself to adult students' homes all over the city to work with them," said her daughter. "And she became good friends with them."
"What made her such an interesting person was her graciousness and kindheartedness that she had all of her life, no matter what came at her," said a grandson, Alec Koch of Washington. "She was always positive and kind and cared about others."
Mrs. Naylor remained an active member of the Goucher College Alumnae Association. She served as president of the Class of 1936 and played a major role in planning its 65th reunion in 2001.
She enjoyed reading, poetry, history, genealogy, and playing bridge and bingo. She also liked entertaining family and friends.
"She loved to tell stories about her ancestors, most of whom came from southern Anne Arundel County. She had a wonderful memory for the details of her family's history," said her daughter.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 30 at her church, 4700 Roland Ave.
In addition to her daughter and grandson, Mrs. Naylor is survived by two other daughters, Katharine Roath of Cambridge and Frances Douglass of Seattle; two sisters, Mary Emily Smith of Lansdale, Pa., and Margaret Warner of Princeton, N.J.; two other grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun