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Remembering our friend Kathy Klatte

kathy klatte 2006Kathryn Jean Klatte, who left her handprint on the hearts of so many young, old and furry, passed away unexpectedly on March 7, 2009 while visiting her father in Sun City, Arizona. She was 54 and was a longtime resident of Indianapolis and a longtime employee of Day Nursery.

Kathy was born November 11, 1954 in San Francisco, California. She had a zest for outdoor activities, including landscaping, bird watching, traveling, and SCUBA diving.

She most recently worked for the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children as a Quality Advisor. Day Nursery Association was lucky to have Kathy as a part of our organization for 24 years as a teacher, center director, and a member of the senior management team.

Kathy’s role changed through the years at Day Nursery.  She wore many hats but always will be best known as a friend and caring person to all.  She began as a teacher at Medical Center in 1983, and served there until 1989 when she left us for a brief 3 months.  After finding out for herself that Day Nursery was the place to be for those dedicated to the best in early childhood education, she returned as a Child Care Answers Home Coordinator for 4 months until a center based position became available to her.  In August, 1990, she was back with the children where she wanted to be, serving as the Director of the Plainfield Day Nursery.  She engineered the move to the new Cinergy based building and led that center until July of 1998.  Medical Center needed her to return at that time and so she did, this time as the Director from August, 1998, until December, 2001.  Day Nursery had won a contract for managing a new center at Fort Harrison, and Kathy became its director in January, 2002.  She was promoted to Director of Center Administration and joined the senior management staff in August, 2005 until her move to the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children in December of 2007.

This picture from 2002 shows Kathy doing what she loved best--recognizing an employee for an accomplishment.
This picture from 2002 shows Kathy doing what she loved best–recognizing an employee for an accomplishment.

Day Nursery as an organization, a group of volunteer and staff adults, and most importantly, a large number of young children, is stronger and better for having been a part of Kathy’s 24 years with us.  People like Kathy teach us how to be better human beings and how to value the importance of children above everything.  Because of her fine example, we want to keep her memory alive in a way that will continue to inspire present and future early childhood educators.

We have established the “Kathy Klatte Award for Outstanding Excellence in Early Childhood Education”, as a designated endowed fund within our Day Nursery Foundation. Contributions to this fund will provide an annual award to the Day Nursery staff member who best exemplifies Kathy’s dedication to early childhood education. A nomination process and criteria will be determined and the first award will be given at the 2009 Annual Meeting in October. It is anticipated that the Award will allow early childhood education professionals to take advantage of professional development opportunities otherwise unavailable to them, and will help them further their skills in the field.  If you would like to make an on-line contribution to Day Nursery in Kathy’s honor, follow this link.

Kathy was preceded in death by her mother, Barbara (Lyntton) Klatte in December. She is survived by her father, Dr. Eugene Klatte, and four sisters, Susan (Duhn) Mand, Constance Gilbert, Jeanette Ashmore, and Teresa Gibson.

There will be a memorial service at Zionsville United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 14 at 1:00 p.m. Visitation hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the church.

Kathy taught others kindness, professionalism, passion, zest for life, respect for all things living, and how to smile. Those touched by Kathy will honor her by dedicating themselves to continuing her legacy of making the world a better place for young children.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful human being. She was a truly wonderful person and the world is a better place for her having been in it. She would be truly honored by your thoughtful and fitting award. Thank you for sharing about Kathy’s spirit with everyone who reads your blog.

  2. My deepest sympathy to Kathy’s family. I saw her last at the IAEYC offices, and I can still see her smile and hear her laughter vividly. Kathy will be missed.

  3. I am shocked and saddened by the loss of Kathy. She was such a wonderful person with a big heart and a love for life! When I think of Kathy her infectious laugh stands out along with her big smile!

  4. Kathy was just an easy person to talk with. She made everyone feel comfortable. Kathy and I worked, played, complained, laughed and cried together. Kathy was a free spirit who lived life with a sense of wonder. Of my friend I can say that I will miss her smile, emails and sense of humor. But as long as I honor her memory and those things that were special to her, she will forever be with me. I don’t want to let her down and so I say to my friend, Ms. Kaffy I will see you later:)

  5. I worked for Kathy Klatte for a short time. She was the sweetest supervisor I have ever had. She truly held the children’s welfare as the first priority when making any decisions. I just found out about her death,I am so sad to think such a lovely light has gone out. I’m sure she is smiling and playing in Heaven.

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