Kathy "Kate" McSky, 55, longtime community member of Ashland, Ore., and current resident of San Luis Obispo, Calif., passed away Thursday, September 20, 2012, while visiting Seattle, Wash. She was born March 10, 1957, in Rochester,

N. Y., the youngest of five daughters of Robert and Katherine McElheny.

Kate was an avid gardener, active community member, and she approached life with a creative flair. She valued spontaneity, loved animals, and was a dedicated mother and sister. From an early age she loved sports and shared her enthusiasm with the many girls' soccer teams she coached throughout her adult life. She earned a bachelor's of science degree from Ithaca College and worked as a social worker for many years.

She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by two daughters, Zaya Harman McSky, a graduate student at Oregon State University's School of Veterinary Medicine; Kysa Zain McSky, a sophomore at New York University; her beloved dog Andy; four sisters, Sandra (Michael) Geiss of Clayton, N.Y.; Sheryl McElheny (Seiji Yokoyama) of Seattle, Wash.; Karen (Michael) Blum of San Luis Obispo, Calif.; and Judy (Kenneth) Owen of Piqua, Ohio; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

A private memorial service overlooking Puget Sound took place Saturday, September 22. A celebration of her life will take place in Ashland, Ore., in January. Memorial contributions may be made to Pro-Bone-O, a non-profit organization that provides free veterinary services, food, and supplies for the pets of people who are homeless in the Lane County, Oregon area: http://www.proboneo.org