Kathryn Lass

Kathy left us on December 31, 2022 at the age of 80. She is survived by her beloved husband and partner, Larry Willard, who was her caregiver for her last years. He did everything he could to help her. She is also survived by three nephews: Alan Korn (Claudia Simons), David Korn (Karen), and Richard Korn (Aimee). Also surviving are cousins Linda and Ivan Blumoff and Mark and Kathleen Reynolds and their families. She was predeceased by her loving parents Sarah Gross and Ben Lass and her deeply-missed sister, Letty Korn.

A great lover of classical music, she attended the symphony with her dad (a refugee from Poland) from a very early age and continued throughout her life. She was always a strong supporter of the arts.

Kathy attended Northwestern University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Missouri in Columbia with a BA in Sociology. She received an MA in Sociology from Michigan State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University.

She had a keen intellectual interest in many things. She was a young woman with an adventurous spirit and lived with a family in Argentina for a semester in high school. She also lived on a kibbutz doing farm work in Israel. She was committed to many issues of social justice, trying in a small way to leave the world a better place, She spent the summer of 1965 as a volunteer with Dr. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where she registered voters in the South. The experience was forever in her memory. She was passionate and humane. She lived in Washington, DC working with the US Department of Labor, and in Boston where she worked with the early anti-poverty programs.

She returned to St. Louis and worked at Psychological Associates for several years. Through her last job as Director of International Services with the American Red Cross in St. Louis, she was grateful to have been able to help refugees and guide them through the maze of being newcomers. She worked with Holocaust survivors to help them find out what happened to their loved ones, which took her to Poland, Germany, and Israel. She was honored to be a part of the Missing Persons Project from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Her body was donated to the Washington University School of Medicine at her request. She was so grateful for her supportive friends. If desired, memorial contributions can be sent to the International Institute in St. Louis.