Katherine Lindsay Nelson Odre, 74


Katherine Lindsay Nelson Odre (74) of New Canaan, CT passed away peacefully on May 27th, 2024. She spent her final days surrounded by her closest family and friends, before going home to celebrate with her Savior, Jesus Christ. While Kate’s absence has left a hole in our hearts, that void will be filled with an abundance of cherished memories of her and the positive spirit she brought into our lives. 

Katherine Lindsay Nelson Odre

Born May 5, 1950, in Bronxville, NY to Alan and Helen Nelson, Kate grew up in a warm and loving home with her two older sisters Pam and Lainy. As the three girls grew up, family time centered around Sunday afternoon dinner where Kate’s infectious giggles would always prompt everyone to stop talking and join in. Kate was particularly close to Janie, her best friend and neighbor. The two friends were inseparable and maintained a strong bond over many years.

When Kate turned 12 years old, she went to a sleep away camp in the Poconos. Katie-the-camper loved her summers there, even the morning she found a mouse in her sneaker! Shortly after her first overnight camp experience, Kate enrolled at Eden Hall high school, outside of Philadelphia. While she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of boarding school or leaving her family and friends (and perhaps still stung by the mouse appearance), she made the best of it, as she always would. Her perseverance at Eden Hall was rewarded with another great friendship, her dear friend Beth, who became like another daughter to the family.

In 1972, after graduating from Eden Hall and then Laselle Jr College, Kate married Dick Gumpert. In 1977, she welcomed her first son, George. Always busy, Kate worked several jobs over the years, but found her true calling as a mom. She always put her children first and devoted endless hours to crafting childhood wonder and magic. Whether she was sewing costumes, creating art projects, or reading books for hours, Kate poured all her love and creativity into being a mom and showed the most joy and gratitude when she was surrounded by her children and closest friends. Her unrelenting ability to make the best of all situations and bring out the joy, wonder and positivity in those around her became defining characteristics of her life.

Kate was married again in 1985, to Dan Odre, and welcomed her son Edward in 1986, and daughter Linsey soon after in 1990. Settling in New Canaan, CT in 1995, down the street from her sister Lainy, Kate began to build the community of friends that she would hold dear for the rest of her life. This community of faith created a foundation of support, love, kindness and guidance as Kate re-committed to and dedicated herself to her faith. “They know my heart” Kate would say. To Kate, faith was an active pursuit. She devoted herself to her bible study, played an active role in her Church community, and journaled extensively about her thoughts and questions regarding readings and Biblical figures she found fascinating. Kates faith was the greatest blessing in her life, rewarding her with tremendous strength in the face of hardship and illness and leading her to the closest community of friends in her life.

All verbs were action verbs to Kate, and she found the most joy when going above and beyond to help others. When she worked at the Wire Whisk in New Canaan, her job was ostensibly to just sell cooking utensils, but without being asked she handed out recipes, taught cooking techniques, and made the Christmas window displays, complete with homemade gingerbread houses.

More recently, she was so grateful for the staff at the Whittingham Cancer Center in Norwalk. She never arrived for treatment empty-handed, always entering with more bags than she came out with. She made homemade cookies and snacks for the amazing nurses, brought gifts for their children, and even doled out pairs of her coveted Rothys shoes. Kate had an incredible ability to turn acquaintances into friends. Caring for her friends was never a passive activity. If Kate was your friend, you knew it. She showed up to give rides, with meals, and with an indomitable can-do spirit. She was the first call for support for so many, always dependable, positive, and ready to jump into action.

Kate loved being a mom but thrived as a grandma. She would always show up to dance recitals, soccer games, and birthdays with one of her many types of cookies in tow. She did not want to miss a single part of her grandchildrens lives and traveled far and often to make sure she was there for all the important moments. She always had creative activities up her sleeve and was one of the great snugglers of our time. Her apartment remains full of gifts to give, cards to send, and a calendar full of upcoming dates when she was prepared to be there for someone else. Her selflessness was both an expression of her faith and her love for others, and a beautiful example of making the world a better place through small gestures of kindness.

Kate is survived by her sons George Gumpert (Lisa), Edward Odre (Molly), daughter Linsey Odre, and her amazing grandchildren Riley, Shippen, Edward, Charles and Annelise. She also leaves her sisters Pamela Talarico and Lainy Krohley (Bill), cousin George Ticknor (Kathy), stepbrother Michael Brauer, nieces Patricia and Christine, nephew Nick and their families. Kate was predeceased by her beloved brother-in-law, Dr. Rudolph Talarico.

We hope you will join us to celebrate Kates life and spirit at 10:30am on Thursday June 27th, at Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien, CT. For those unable to attend, the celebration will be livestreamed at: https://www.youtube.com/live/enjs35cBWJQ

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Community Bible Study in memory of Kate Odre to further provide access to Bible Study for all. Donations can be made online at http://communitybiblestudy.org/ or send a check to Community Bible Study, c/c Jennifer Jimolka, 28 Caldwell Ave, Stamford, CT 06902

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