Kathryn Lois Kleckley
February 12, 2022
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina – Kathryn Lois Kleckley (known to many as “KK”), beloved daughter, sister, niece, cousin, aunt, neighbor and friend, died Saturday, February 12, 2022 of causes nature at home on Hilton Head Island. She had just turned 36.
Kathryn earned a business degree in 2008 from Presbyterian College, which she attended on a tennis scholarship, and where she joined the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She graduated with business and real estate skills – as well as lifelong passions for animal welfare and creating beauty around her.
When her job as a property manager on Hilton Head Island required her to extract alligators from swimming pools or huge beehives from walls, she was ready with the skill and the kind heart. Every living thing was valuable to Kathryn, and she moved all the creatures she could to safer places. She also took care of several generations of feral cats, building them shelters and making sure they were fed. She found joy in saving and providing a home for Mr. Nubbs, a flame-pointed, ponytailed Siamese with blue eyes.
Kathryn’s beauty was striking, but even more so her quick wit, authenticity, caring nature and true heart. Small in stature, she was immense in courage and fierce in love. She has always had a passion for gardening, all genres of music, building custom wood furniture, turning found objects into art, painting, travel and the beach. She was a lifelong Clemson football fan. For those close to him, KK was this friend of the ride at midnight.
His shocked and stricken family members and friends struggle to comfort each other. Mother Francie Weatherly Kleckley, of Lexington, cherished her first-born, athletic, baby girl, who was always “Pooky” to her, and was her traveling companion (to Cuba, Mexico, Key West, San Francisco, New Orleans, New York, Hawaii, and Barcelona, ​​as well as on ski trips and US Open tournaments and concerts). Kathryn wrote monthly love letters to “MOM” in large block letters and included selected magazine clippings, hipster highlights and her own little artwork. Mother and daughter often shared gardening plans, animals (not birds), and building projects.
Father Joseph Lee (Jody) Kleckley – formerly of the West Columbia/Lexington area, now of Edisto Beach – enjoyed spending time with Kathryn digging clams, shucking oysters and partying on the patios of his house in Edisto Beach. Kathryn could often be seen on the roof of her father’s house at night (a no-go area) getting as close to the stars as possible. Along with mom, Pops was her biggest supporter thanks to his competitive school-age athletics (basketball, softball, and tennis), and especially the years when Pops coached his Bobcat softball teams to become the USSSA Champions for two consecutive years. Father and daughter shared a secret and motivational phrase, “Coca Cola”, which meant “bring your best, NOW”. For Dad, Kathryn was always the one who knew what to say or do.
Kathryn was always the big sister and protector of her brother, Edward Alexander “Allen” Kleckley of Edisto Island, SC, even though Allen towered over her by one foot. Kathryn and Allen loved gardening, cars, animals, mom and dad, and Allen’s daughter, Collins. Their many shared secrets and inside jokes cannot be repeated here.
To her aunt, Beverly Kleckley of Lexington, Kathryn was the only girl of her generation, so she loved buying KK girl stuff and talking about love interests. First cousins ​​Chris “Bubba” Gorman and Kelsey Gorman knew Kathryn was always going to be the life of any party. Four-year-old Collins Grace Kleckley’s niece was lucky enough to have her aunt KK for a short time. KK always brought the magic – like bubble wands, bags of magic markers and crayons, and a roll of butcher paper. KK would lie on the floor for hours coloring with Collins.
Kathryn is predeceased by her maternal grandparents, Gordon Edward Weatherly and Lois Milsaps Weatherly of Bennettsville, SC, and her paternal grandparents, Jessie Lee Kleckley and Kathryn Kaminer Kleckley of Lexington/West Columbia, SC. Kathryn is named after her two grandmothers.
In addition to her blood relatives, Kathryn is survived by her sister-in-law, Celese Miller and her mother-in-law, Nekki Shutt as well as Nekki’s parents who adored their adventurous and loving KK who accompanied them on many trips and visits. : in-laws, Rebecca and Jim Stevens of White Oak Creek, TN; step-great-aunt, Ann Reynolds of Key West, FL and New York, NY; in-laws, John Eagle and Michelle Miller Shutt and their daughter, Catherine Shutt of Anchorage, AK; brother-in-law, Jason Ridings and niece, Rinoa Shutt of Lexington, SC; cousin, Rachel Reynolds and niece, Cora Reynolds-McCall of Philadelphia, PA; cousins, Rex and Courtney Reynolds and their daughters, Alexa and Charlotte Reynolds of Charlotte, North Carolina; niece, Emma Lee of New York, NY; nephew, Dillon Lee of Clemson, SC; niece, Olivia Lee of Charlotte, North Carolina. Kathryn’s dearest friends are Amy Weaver, Breen Chambless, Jessi Collins and her many longtime colleagues in the Hilton Head Island hospitality industry. Many in Lexington will remember Kathryn from her high school days at Top Spin.
All agree that she cannot be replaced, but their love for her will never end either. Love is eternal.
The family will be hosting a celebration of life on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Lexington Chapel (503 North Lake Drive, Lexington, SC). As Kathryn was a breast cancer survivor and animal rescuer, in lieu of flowers the family is requesting that donations be made in Kathryn’s honor for metastatic breast cancer awareness, research and support at metavivor.org OR Palmetto Animal League at palmettoanimalleague.org.

Published by The State on February 17, 2022.