Katherine Disbrow Spaulding Held was born September 20, 1915 to Frank Edgar Spaulding and Natalie Belle Disbrow Spaulding at the family home in West Haven. She had an older brother, Frank, Jr., who predeceased her. She was baptized June 10, 1917 and joined the First Congregational Church (now First Church) in April 1930. She worked at Yale University after attending West Haven schools and Katherine Gibbs College. Katherine worked for 8 years with First Church on the Messenger production; she was past President of the Keystone Group there and served as a representative to the New Haven Church Association. She also enjoyed many years of friendship with the Lunch & Learn group there. She was active in the West Haven Historical Society, past President/Honorary Member of the West Haven Garden Club; and belonged to the African Violet Society.
She married Irving Arnold Held at the family home under the apple tree planted by her father as a backdrop on a lovely summer day July 3, 1940. The couple had four children – Ron (Ellie) Held of East Sandwich, MA; Nancy (Smokey) Adams of Prineville, OR; Bruce (Susan) Held of S Sandwich, MA; and Sue (RJ) Woodward of Sutton, MA. She is survived by 7 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Katherine loved to laugh, and enjoyed life and the simple and unexpected joys it brought her. She loved her Cape Cod memories, having summered there many years with 5 generations of family. She cultivated years of lovely and award-winning African violets, roses, flowers and vegetables. She enjoyed her sun chime, her porch view and the shore breezes. Katherine attended many years of Broadway shows at Schubert Theater, and concerts at Goodspeed Opera House, Long Wharf Theater, and Oakdale. She travelled the east coast by train, car and bus, and saw the sights of Colorado, California and Washington.
In later years she was helped by so many kind and gracious caregivers from HomeInstead (Hamden), and Companions and Homemakers (Hamden) who also shared her days, her stories, and tended her so very well. Also, of special note, we thank the staff at Connecticut Hospice, in Branford, for their compassionate care and appreciation of what a special lady she was.
Following this tribute is mom’s story “The Apple Tree and Me” in her own words, which she wrote in 2005.
Katherine will be buried at Whitneyville Cemetery in Hamden alongside her beloved Irv, who died in 1982. She was also predeceased in 1988 by a granddaughter, Megan Elizabeth Woodward. The family plans a gathering in mid 2021, when we can come together more easily and enjoy a summer day in remembrance of a sweet lady who loved her family, her West Haven home and the sights and sounds of Long Island Sound.
“If I had a flower for every time I think of you, I could walk in my garden forever.” Blessings and heartfelt thanks from your loving family for all you’ve given us all these many years.
The family suggests donations to First Church Book of Remembrance, First Church, 1 Church Street, West Haven, CT 06516; or Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School Bing Center for Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, 450 Brookline Ave Mayer 549, Boston, MA 02216 Attn: Christopher Patterson.