CARSSOW, KATHERINE PATTON (1920 ~ 2009). The following is an obituary for Katerine Carssow, spouse of Rep. Bill Carssow. The obituary was published in the July 2, 2009 edition of the Austin American Statesman.
Katherine Patton Carssow Katherine Patton Carssow, selfless wife, mother, teacher, counselor, and community leader died Monday June 29, 2009. She was 89. Katherine was born January 11, 1920 in Decatur, Georgia, to Dr. James Godfrey Patton and Katherine Jones Patton. The daughter of a Presbyterian minister, she and her three younger brothers were raised in Abington, Virginia. Katherine returned to Decatur to attend Agnes Scott College, graduating in 1940 as a member of Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society. After college, she served as Director of Religious Education at First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport, Louisiana.
While there, she met US Army Air Corps officer William Benton Carssow on October 18, 1942. They were married June 11, 1943 in Waynesboro, Virginia. She and Bill settled in Austin after World War II. Bill, a former state representative and the first Executive Director of the State Bar of Texas, founded the law firm of Alvis & Carssow, while Katherine raised their four young children. She was active in the community and her children's lives, as a leader in PTAs at Wooldridge Elementary, University Junior High, and Austin High School in the 1950s and 1960s, and a volunteer in Brownie Scouts, Cub Scouts, and the Austin Aquatic Club.
After her children reached school age, Katherine began her career in education as a teacher at Lamar Junior High School and later earned a master's degree and school counselor certification at the University of Texas. She started as a counselor at Lanier High School when it opened in 1961. Her patience and caring had a profound effect on the students and the school until her retirement in 1978. She remained an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a women's education organization, long after her retirement. Katherine was a devoted Christian, deeply involved in her church community. She was an elder and high school youth leader at University Presbyterian Church, and later was a charter member, elder, and Stephen Minister at Hope Presbyterian Church. She made the Walk to Emmaus in the mid 1990s and served on an Emmaus team in 2004.
She and Bill built their retirement home on their 1890 Ranch in Cedar Park, Texas, moving there in 1980. The Ranch was the center of countless family gatherings, including three weddings. They also hosted church and community events for decades. Katherine devoted time as a volunteer with the Northwest Caregivers and Meals on Wheels, providing friendship and regular visits to senior citizens. She and Bill were also active travelers, square dancers, and season ticket holders of University of Texas baseball. She will be remembered for her optimism, her loving kindness, and her genuine interest in and affection for people from all walks of life.
Katherine is survived by her children, Tim Carssow and his wife, Karen; Jim Carssow, Lynn Carssow Adams, and Ben Carssow and his wife, Nancy Lehmann-Carssow; her grandchildren, Ryan Carssow and his wife, Kristina, Kevin Carssow, US Army Capt. Graham Carssow, Katie Carssow, Amy Adams, Sophie Carssow, and Henry Carssow; and her great-grandchildren, Abigail Carssow and Jack Carssow. She is preceded in death by Bill, her husband of 65 years, her parents James and Katherine Patton, and her three brothers Sam Patton, Jim Patton, and Claude "Red" Patton. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday July 5, at Hope Presbyterian Church, 11512 Olson Drive in Austin. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Generation to Generation fund at Hope Presbyterian Church.