Sarah's Story

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Sarah Kathryn "Kathy" Strange Hamner passed away peacefully on Dec. 17, 2017. She was born Feb. 8, 1935, the daughter of Elmer Strange and Ruby McGrew Strange. She was a lifelong resident of Madison County and the Monrovia community and graduated from Monrovia High School. Growing up on the family farm instilled deep appreciation for the value of hard work and responsibility. After graduation, she took a secretarial job with the newly established Redstone Arsenal Research Division of the Rohm & Haas Company, a chemical research corporation. She was soon promoted to executive secretary to the manager, a position she held until Rohm & Haas closed its main Huntsville operation around 1970. On Oct. 22, 1955, she married James "Jim" W. Hamner, the love of her life.
Kathy was always an excellent homemaker and hostess. After retirement she enjoyed travel, sports, spending time with Jim at their Smith Lake summer home, and using her job skills in a variety of ways of service. She was a creative and multi-talented woman who shared her joy in life with others. When she took up a new hobby or sport, she committed to mastering it. She especially enjoyed the beauty of the natural world. Her knowledge about wildflowers and birds was widely respected, and she was an accomplished photographer, especially of flowers and scenic nature. She was also a formidable athletic competitor. As a young adult, she was an awesome softball pitcher in local leagues and an excellent bowler. After retirement, she took tennis lessons and ranked well in local tennis competitions. Later she took up golf and became a respectable player, a sport she enjoyed with Jim. She was deeply committed to her family and friends, and especially her church. She was an active member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church for most of her life, giving competently and generously of her best effort in many ways of service and office, including teaching, choir, and innumerable committees and mission projects.
She was predeceased by her parents; husband, Jim Hamner; and sisters, Lowris Strange Henderson, Frances Strange Balch and Maurice Strange Henderson.
She is survived by her brother, William Edwin Strange (Nancy) of Sarasota, Fla.; sister, Shirley Strange Meacham (Ken) of Toney; and dozens of nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces.She also leaves to cherish her memory a multitude of extended family and friends.
The family is grateful for devoted care extended to Kathy in recent months by medical staff, nephew, Chris Meacham and wife. Alston, and Jim's great-nephew, John Kidd and wife, Andrea.
Visitation will be at 9 a.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Thursday, Dec. 21, followed by a celebration of life service at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Meek Baptist Church Cemetery in Arley at 2:30 p.m. (www.laughlinservice.com)
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mt. Zion Baptist Church Memorial Fund or Alzheimer's Foundation.
Published on December 19, 2017
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