Katherine Scarborough

Former Teacher And Descendant Of 1812 Cavalry Commander Was Active In Genealogical Societies

August 17, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Katherine D. Scarborough, a former teacher, genealogist and newspaper columnist who was active in patriotic and historic organizations, died Monday from multiple organ failure at her home in the Edenwald retirement community in Towson. She was 85.

Katherine Streett Davis, who was known as Kay, was born and raised at her parent's Geneva Farm in Street.

She was a 1942 graduate of Highland High School and earned an associate's degree from St. Mary's College. She attended the University of Baltimore Law School in the late 1940s, and earned a degree in mass communications from Towson State University in 1980.

Mrs. Scarborough was descended from several Revolutionary War patriots, and her great-great-grandfather, Col John Streett, had commanded the Harford County Cavalry at the Battle of North Point during the War of 1812 and subsequently served in the Maryland legislature for a number of terms.

Her family's genealogy combined with a lifelong love of Maryland history resulted in Mrs. Scarborough becoming active in numerous patriotic and historical organizations.

In the 1950s, she joined the Daughters of the American Revolution and later founded the Colonel John Streett Chapter of the organization.

Mrs. Scarborough was a member of many organizations, including the National Society of Southern Dames of America in Maryland, the National Society of the Colonial Dames in the State of Maryland, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and the Descendants of Founders of New Jersey.

She was also a member of the National Society Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims, United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Harford County and Maryland historical societies.

Mrs. Scarborough, who was a member of the Maryland Genealogical Society and the Genealogical Society of Harford County, lectured widely on the subject.

Mrs. Scarborough taught at the Cedarcroft Nursery School during the late 1970s and 1980s and was for eight years host of a public service show on WCAO-AM, where she interviewed celebrities.

From 1960 to 1976, Mrs. Scarborough was an active member of the Hampton Elementary School PTA.

"Among the things that she was most proud of during her tenure was getting Misty of Chincoteague and underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau to make personal appearances at the school," said a son, John C. Scarborough of Denver.

"Kay always had a very high energy level and was such a wonderfully warm person," said Mary Katherine Scheeler, a Towson lawyer and former Baltimore County School Board member, who was a longtime friend.

"Right up to the end of her life, she was always on the edge of excitement. She enjoyed sharing her life with others and reaching out to people," Mrs. Scheeler said.

At the moment of her friend's death, Mrs. Scheeler said, there was a huge clap of thunder during Monday evening's storm.

"I like to think that Kay went out with a bang," she said.

The longtime former resident of Echo Court, in the Hampton section of Baltimore County, was also a neighborhood correspondent for four years for the Towson Times.

She was a member and past president of the women's committee of Historic Hampton, where she photographed events for The Cupola, its newsletter.

Mrs. Scarborough was a communicant of Holy Cross Episcopal Church, 4603 Rocks Road, Street, where funeral services were held Friday.

She was also an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson where a memorial service was held Saturday.

Also surviving are her husband of 63 years, Guy Curtis Scarborough, a retired FBI special agent; two daughters, Katherine S. Scarborough and Gail L.S. Dickson, both of Richmond, Va.; and four grandchildren.

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