Today the world is a little less bright: Katie McGuire Lenderman of Belmont, N.C., died Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020.
She was born Feb. 8, 1983, in Sylva, N.C. She is survived by her husband, Jerod, and their two young sons, Keaton and Kisher; her parents, Dr. David and Kathy McGuire; her sister, Rosemary McGuire Saunders and family Steven, Madisyn and Ethan; and her brother, Dr. Samuel McGuire and his family Heather, Daisy and Ezra; and Jerod’s parents, Stan and Dez Lenderman, and sister Candace Lenderman.
Funeral services will be held Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. at the Bridge Park, 76 Railroad Ave., Sylva, with the Rev. Dr. Mary Brown officiating. As much as we need your love and embrace, we ask that you please social distance, wear a mask and bring chairs for your family.
Friends and relatives are also invited to a drive through visitation at the First United Methodist Church of Sylva, 77 Jackson St., from 10-11:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Toys for Tots or your local children’s charity.
Katie was a light to everyone she knew. She had the gift of hospitality, compassion and genuine caring for others. This was true no matter how long you knew Katie. Her closest friends would describe these qualities, in a similar manner as someone she had met for the first time. She had a natural ability to not only understand exactly how you felt, but also to let you know you were the only conversation that mattered.
Katie was a graduate of Smoky Mountain High School (2001) and Appalachian State University. As a child growing up, her warm heart was evident in the blessings she brought to her family. She often left little love notes throughout the house to brighten their day. She made the McGuire home complete and always found a way to make a situation better. The normal tactics included a fun dance, words of encouragement, soft hug or funny face. She continued this through daily communication with her family, and she was always certain to tell them she loved them.
Katie moved to Asheville, N.C., after graduation and worked at the Biltmore Estate, where she married her college sweetheart. The couple moved to Charlotte, N.C., where Katie worked in human resources. She was always diligent and efficient at her work, but her greatest strength was in her connection with people and many of her work colleagues remain her closest friends.
Later Katie moved to New York City with Jerod and first “child” Diesel (English bulldog). Staying true to her southern roots in the Big City, Katie wore bright colors, flashed her big smile, waved to strangers, and won over big city dwellers with her unabashed Southern accent and kind manners. She loved the city and took full advantage exploring all the aspects it had to offer.
These adventures were captured for her friends and family in her blog, mysweethomecarolina. Everyone she knew could not wait for her to post another blog. They were fun, witty, inspirational and of course, they always had lots of pictures.
Katie was a strong Christian, evidenced by her faith and convictions. She truly loved hospitality, especially around the holidays. She would choose to travel over almost anything, and she valued the memories more than monetary possessions. Dancing always brought her joy, and she was extremely loyal to her friends and family. Although rarely displayed, Katie’s feisty personality would arise when she found friends or family that needed to be defended, or an unfair situation in which she could help.
All her attributes were best displayed when you watched her with Keaton and Kisher, who absolutely adore her. Katie loved being a mom and was devoted to their development. She always knew the perfect song to sing, book to read, and the next developmental goal for her children. She gave wings to their creativity, and they flourished from all her love.
Many of Katie’s friends provided the easiest way to describe her. Katie was one of those people who was just as pretty on the inside as the outside and one who brought joy to many hearts. Her husband describes her as the best part of him, and the most endearing mother a father could hope for. Anyone who knew Katie understands that she was very special. Our spirits are shattered but will repair slowly as we keep her memories forever in our hearts and minds and watch her greatest legacies grow.
Katie’s final resting place will be near her childhood home in Old Field Cemetery.