Katherine Elizabeth Nelsen, 50, of Lancaster, passed away Thursday, September 15, 2016, at her home after a difficult battle with cancer. She is survived by her loving husband, Larry Bitensky, Professor of Music at Centre College.
She was born on April 8, 1966, in Staten Island, NY. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in English from Skidmore College in NY. After college, she worked at PC Week in Boston.
For nine years she worked for Cornell University in University Development and in Alumni Affairs. After moving to Danville in 1998, she became a freelance graphic designer and marketing consultant.
Kathy’s lasting legacy was her work for the Danville-Boyle County Humane Society, where she was a board member, president and executive director since 2006. In 2007 she co-founded the Happy Paws Spay/Neuter Clinic. As Executive Director of the DBCHS, Kathy was the driving force behind a new adoption center, aptly named The Katherine E. Nelsen Adoption Center.
Kathy was a true inspiration and beacon of light. Her love and care for people and animals, her leadership, her infectious laugh, her fortitude in the face of adversity, her charm, her creative spark, her silliness, her love of cooking and travel, and her effortless grace have touched the lives of so many in the Danville community and beyond.
Also surviving is her mother, Bonnie Barrett of Tennessee; two nieces, Jessie Ogienko and Molly Rector; her mother- in-law, Vivian Bitensky of Lexington; and her silly black dog, Chloe.
Kathy was preceded in death by a brother, Ronald Nelsen.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2016, at The Presbyterian Church. Memorial contributions can be made to Danville-Boyle County Humane Society in Kathy’s honor.