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Obituary - Kathleen L. (Kate) Oser

Kathleen L. (Kate) Oser

Date of Passing: September 8th, 2009

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In memory of Mrs. Oser, kindly consider the Thea Bowman House, 731 Lafayette St, Utica, NY 13502.

Kathleen L. (Kate) Oser, 91, of New Hartford, formerly of Clinton, passed away Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at the Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare Center. She was born October 3, 1917, in Akron, OH, the daughter of the late Cleon and Gladys Spencer Johnson and was a graduate of Boston University. She was the wife of the late Dr. Jacob Oser, Professor of Economics at Utica College. Mrs. Oser was an accomplished seamstress, avid gardener, constant reader of current events, adventurous traveler, having visited nearly every continent several times, but the centerpiece of her life was her social activism. She deeply cared about issues of social justice, especially focusing on bettering the lives of migrant workers, organizing and participating in events of the peace movement during the Vietnam War, and fighting for equal rights for women and all in the gay community. She was predeceased by her husband and two sons, Alan J. Uris and David K. Oser. She leaves her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Donald J. Fletcher of Shutesbury, MA; four grandchildren, Ethan Fletcher, Addie Dublin, Lena Fletcher and Will Fletcher; five great grandsons; her chosen daughter, Judith Webb of Clinton; and a wonderful group of devoted friends. There will be a celebration of her life in mid October. Arrangements are with the Kloster-Northrop & Bentz Funeral Home, Waterville.


David was the love of my life. I will be eternally grateful to Kate for bringing him into my life, even though the time was short. She was a remarkable woman; I thing about things she said to me every day And I think about David every day. If only.
Eric Maier

Thank you all. We are very touched by all the expressions of love and support offered here. Kate made a difference in so many lives. I was so honored that she chose to call me her "daughter." I hope many of you will be able to share in a celebration of Kate's life Oct. 17 at 2 pm at the Unitarian Church, Higby Rd. New Hartford, NY.
Judith Webb

I want to wish the family peace and comfort. I only met Grandma Kate a couple of times. She was always held in highest regard. Her caring spirit and her willingness to help those in need and of course the love she showed when there was little to be found. She was an extraordinary women who lived her life to help others. Even though I did not know her personally, through others she has made an impact on me. Grandma Kate thank you for all you did for Jeany and Robert.

Kate was just an amazing spirit and example of courage. I remember getting arrested with her at Griffiss Air Force Base in 1985. She didn't care that I was in high school. She fully engaged me as an adult in the protest. I remember visiting her house...what a museum of human rights! I wish I could have said goodbye and told her how much I admire and respect her.
Howie Schaffer

Kate I love you, you was always there for me, you always praised me and made me appreciate being who I'm. I met you when I was 14 yrs old I'm now 61. I don't know what my life would have been without you, you taugh me so much as a young person. When I became an adult, you help me raise my children and my children love you also. May you rest in peace.
Mary Jordan Buchanan

I first met Kateseveral years ago. She truely was a great person...someone I won't forget.
Michele Anne

My wife, Ethel, and I were great admirers of Kate's activism. Ethel--who is now dealing with Alzheimer's--had another connection with Kate. Ethel didn't care about fashion in her dress and when a special event came up, like a wedding, Ethel would call Kate and borrow one of her simple, loose-fitting, but very colorful muu-muus. Ethel thought that was just great. It matched her sense of frugality. I remember Jake from my three years at Utica College from 1971-73, where I conducted an experimental program in Competency Based Teacher Certification for the NYS Education Dept.
Bob Schaffer

Kate was such a fine woman! She lived her life committed to what she believed in. At the center of her being was an innate respect for the personhood of others. Many years ago I came to know Kate through my friendship with her wonderful son, David. David was such a kind, sincere, genuine and joy filled person! When he introduced me to his mother I realized it was through her motherhood that he was such a fine young man. My sincere sympathy to Kate's family. Kate - this world will miss you - surely it is a better place because you were here.
George Tulloch

I first met Kate a few years after I moved to Clinton. I was walking home from the hardware store with a can of paint and she offered me a ride. Within that few blocks, I knew I have met a new friend and a political ally and role model. Only years later did I join the Church. Kate was a woman of courage, vision, decency and commitment; the world is a better place because she was in it for so long. She will be missed by many of us. To her family, I offer my sincerest condolences. Many people have lived as long, but few have lived so well and used their years so positively. Esther Kanipe
Esther Kanipe

Every once in a while you chance to meet someone whom you can tell immediately is unique and very special. Such was the case when I met Kate at a church book sale. I could sense that her intellectual depth and innate inquisitiveness was apparent and undulled by her advanced age. Unfortunately that was fairly recently and I haven't seen her since, but I shall always remember her as someone I would have liked to have gotten to know sooner and better.
Sigrid Kanniainen

Kate took my son Nicholas (now 14) to his first AIDS quilt viewing at age 6 months old! It was a moving day, one that I'd not soon forget. I first met her, as if by chance, at the Clinton Post Office, and she commented on my Peace earrings; simply saying that she liked them. Phone numbers were exchanged, and she introduced me to her church. We were fasts friends ever since, and this was nearly 20 years ago. Through my marriage and having children, Kate was someone I was fortunate enough to call my friend. I will miss her unique sense of style, her courage to stand up for her beliefs, and her tireless work on behalf of the oppressed. Every now and then you meet someone special; someone who teaches you something about yourself; your own strengths, your own weaknessness, your own inner voice. I feel priviledged to have known Kate, and I will miss her dearly, and will think of her often. Rest in peace, Kate. <3 <3 <3
Tracy Stearns

I will remember Kate for the love and support she gave to so many people. To her beloved family, God be with you all in this very difficult time. Rest in peace Kate. Marte Noll
Marte Noll

Kate was an inspiration to many of us. She never tired of seeking social justice. And, she had a twinkle in her eye that I can't easily forget when she was talking of certain 'fun things to do'. The world will miss her physical presence and the contributions she offered while on the Earth. My love to her family and friends. LB

Kate was a wonderful person who touched many lives in her time here with us. I know she will not be forgotten by any of us. My heart goes out to her family.
Alfie Waddell