Obituary: Kathryn Ann van Renesse, 65, active in Bridgeport, member of Darien’s Morehouse Family

03-26-darien-obt-van-RenessKathryn Ann van Renesse of Bridgeport, whose mother, Carol Morehouse Jones was from Darien, died Saturday, March 24, at her home, surrounded by her family, after a battle with breast cancer. Mrs. van Renesse, 65, was the wife of Diederik van Renesse.

Born Feb. 6, 1947, in Stamford, she was the daughter of William F. Jones and Carol Morehouse Jones. Mrs. van Renesse was a direct descendant of Elder William Brewster, a signer of the Mayflower Compact, and Cotton Mather, the renowned Pilgrim preacher. She was a graduate of Moravian Seminary for Girls and Cornell University School of Nursing.

After her marriage to Mr. van Renesse in 1971, she spent 15 years in school nursing at Rumsey Hall School in Washington, Conn., Miss Hall’s School, in Pittsfield, Mass., and Indian Mountain School in Lakeville, Conn., and over 20 years as a registered nurse in the Emergency Department at the Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

The family moved to Bridgeport in 2005, restored their home on Brewster Street, and Mrs. van Renesse continued to be involved in the preservation of existing historic properties in the Black Rock district by helping to create the Black Rock Historic Preservation Association.

Mrs. van Renesse, an avid gardener, was a member of the Black Rock Garden Club, and was instrumental in creating the Black Rock Reading Garden at the newly restored Black Rock Library.

Six years ago, as one of its founding board members, Mrs. van Renesse helped to establish the Breast Cancer Emergency Aid Foundation, which has given over $420,000 in assistance to women with Breast Cancer.

In addition to her husband, her survivors include two sons, Reid van Renesse and Benjamin van Renesse, both of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a daughter, Anneke van Renesse and her husband Jeffrey LaValle of the Bronx; two sisters, Nancy Clarke of Peterborough, N.Y., and Susan O’Keffee and her husband Richard, of Berwyn, Pa.; a brother, William Jones, Jr. and his wife Gretchen of Wexford, Pa.; a granddaughter, Mya LaValle; a grandson, Hendrik van Renesse-Ebara; and many nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Calling hours are Tuesday, March 27, from 7-9, at the Edward Lawrence Funeral Home, 2119 Post Road, Darien. A service will be held at the Edward Lawrence Funeral Home, on Wednesday, March 28, at 1. Burial will follow at Spring Grove Cemetery in Darien.

Memorial donations may be made to the Breast Cancer Emergency Aid Foundation, PO Box 616, Westport, CT 06881.

More info: lawrencefuneralhome.com