Mrs. Katherine “Kathy” Louise Toner Hitchens, of Elizabeth Township, died Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in Burlington, NC, following an extended illness at age 85. Born in McKeesport, she is the daughter of the late, William James and Dorothea Nill Toner. Mrs. Hitchens grew up in Beaver, PA, then graduated from The Grier School in Tyrone, PA, where she pursued equestrian interests. Mrs. Hitchens earned her college degree from Endicott in Beverly, MA, majoring in retail merchandising, returned to Pittsburgh, and worked for Eastern Airlines and later, The United Steel Workers of America. In 1956, she married Mr. Edward Floyd Hitchens and established residence in Elizabeth Township. She was proceeded in death by him at the age of 39, an event which changed the course and mission of her life. After experiencing comfort from a Theos Grief support group, she felt the need to console others. Ultimately, she became the facilitator of this local support group for over thirty years, became involved in developing and later directing the Board of The Self Help Group Network of Pittsburgh, The Self Help Group Theos Foundation, was awarded The Pittsburgh Area Self Help Networking Award in 1987, and was nominated for The National President’s Service Award in 1995. She is a former Brownie Scout leader, current member of the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church, and has served her community in numerous civic and voluntary capacities. Survivors include daughters, Nancy L. Hitchens of Elizabeth Township, PA, Janet L. Hitchens, of Burlington, NC, stepdaughter, Becky Dombroski, of Rome, NY, and grandson, Daniel “Evan” Piephoff, of Cambridge, MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Alamance-Caswell, 914 Chapel Hill Rd, Burlington, NC 27215 or the animal safe haven of your choice. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Gilbert Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 6028 Smithfield Street, Boston, Elizabeth Township (412) 751-5000 Drew J. Gilbert, Director. A memorial service will be held at 1pm in the funeral home chapel with the Rev. William Henry, officiating. Private entombment will take place at Penn-Lincoln Memorial Park, North Huntingdon. Condolences may be made at Gilbertfuneralhomeandcrematory.com