Katherine Alice Dey
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Katherine Alice Dey
  • March 21, 1921 - October 5, 2017
  • Arlington, Virginia

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Murphy Funeral Homes

4510 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22203
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Arlington native Katherine A. Dey passed away on October 5, 2017 at Arlington's Virginia Hospital Center due to pneumonia complications.

Born March 21, 1921, she and her sister Frances were reared on Wilson Blvd. by their paternal grandparents, M. Elizabeth and Edward S. Dey. After 1939 graduation from Washington-Lee High School, she worked as a typist in the Arlington Circuit Court Clerk's office until 1942 when she moved to Jacksonville, Florida to work on National Defense projects. For over two and a half years, she worked as a Class A Welder at the St. John's River Shipbuilding Company, where 61 Liberty Ships were built and launched. When the contract completed, she went to work as an Aircraft Mechanic for a year at the Jacksonville Naval Air Base, repairing war-damaged fighter aircraft wings and replacing glass windows.

In 1948, Katherine began her 32-year service with the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, retiring in 1980.

She was a lifetime member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In 1974 she was the first female church Board Chairman and one of the first two female Elders elected in the National Capital Area of the Christian Church. To honor her beloved grandmother "Mom" and her friend Florence Drum and her mother, Katherine established two scholarships at the Disciples Divinity House, University of Chicago.

In the fall of 1983, she became a volunteer driver in the Community Volunteer Services Division of the Arlington Chapter, American Red Cross. In 1986 she became volunteer Transportation Coordinator, continuing for over 10 years.

In recognition of her exemplary volunteer service, Katherine was awarded the first Chapter Board Chairman's "Inspiration Award" in 1994. In 2010 she was awarded a plaque in gratitude for her continued dedication and 27 years of voluntary service to the Arlington Red Cross Chapter. She had served a total of 23,375 volunteer hours.

Her sister Frances predeceased her. She is survived by loving cousins and devoted friends who cherish her legacy of humor, generosity and faith.

Visitation will be at Murphy Funeral Home, 4510 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22203 on Tuesday, October 17 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. On Wednesday, October 18, private family viewing will be 9-10:30 a.m. at Murphy Funeral Home Chapel. An 11 a.m. funeral service at Murphy Chapel will be followed by interment at Columbia Gardens Cemetery, 3411 Arlington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201.

Memorial contributions can be made to the M. Elizabeth Dey Scholarship Fund or Drum-Tenant Scholarship Fund, Disciples Divinity House/University of Chicago, 1156 E. 57th St., Chicago, IL 60637, and First Christian Church, 6165 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22044.