September 5, 1964 – September 8, 2021
Katherine Ann “Kay" Russo died on September 8, 2021 at the age of 57.
God gave us a special gift of a baby girl with Down Syndrome on September 5, 1964. This little girl touched our lives in amazing ways and was an incredible blessing to our whole family. She grew up to be an independent, determined, and fun-loving person who knew exactly what she wanted to do and did it in her own way.
At Pilgrim Elementary School in Houston, she was taught to read at the age of 12. She kept that ability to read throughout her life. After moving to Friendswood with her parents in 1983, she attended Friendswood schools.
Kay loved the color purple, country music, George Strait, JJ Watt, The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, every single Disney movie ever made, dances with her friends, playing the air drums, giggling, and hamburgers. She would excitedly tell a story or sing a song to anyone who would listen. Without a doubt, time at the bay home was always a favorite event with all her cousins, aunts, and uncles. She loved to tease and joke with everyone. She delighted in every single holiday and found joy in the simplest pleasures of life.
Kay eagerly anticipated every single Monday evening – Special Friends night! She loved the friends she made during her years at Special Friends. In addition, Kay enjoyed spending time at her DayHab, Ability Beyond Disability. She looked forward to every single outing, especially going out to eat. She made great friends and dearly loved all her teachers there.
A joyous part of her life was living with Brenda, Dennis and Shyanne for the last 4 years. She truly found a second family and absolutely adored them, and they adored her. She and Dennis teased each other relentlessly, and she loved Brenda like her own mother. Shyanne was both her best friend and sister. Kay loved riding in the golf cart with Shyanne and having girls’ shopping days. The Harkins family are angels on earth for the way they loved and cared for Kay, and we will always be grateful for them.
Kay was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Angelo Russo. She is survived by her mother, Elva Jean Russo, her sisters Mattia Maldonado and husband Ed, Susan Grygier and husband Mike, and Carolyn Russo. She is also survived by her aunt, Carolyn Reilly; nieces and nephews Anthony Maldonado and wife Brittany, Thomas Maldonado, Charlie Maldonado, Joseph Grygier, Emily Grygier, Benjamin Grygier, Anna Grygier, Abbey Langan, Avery Langan; Brenda and Dennis Harkins, Shyanne Brown, and many beloved cousins.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 16, 2021, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Jeter Funeral Home, 311 N. Friendswood Dr., Friendswood, TX 77546. A Rosary will begin at 7:00 p.m.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 17, 2021 at Mary Queen Catholic Church, 606 Cedarwood Dr., Friendswood, TX 77546, Rev. Wayne Wilkerson officiating. A procession will follow to Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery, 6900 Lawndale St., Houston, TX 77023.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Kay’s memory may be made to either:
Houston Coalition for Life, 2925 T C Jester, #5, Houston, TX 77018, www.houstoncoalition.com or Texas Right to Life, 4500 Bissonnet, #305, Bellaire, TX 77401, www.texasrighttolife.com
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. We know Kay is in His arms.