Mears, Esther "Kitty"
Birth: Saturday, December 24, 1932
Death: Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at the age of 91
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Esther "Kitty" Mears
December 24, 1932 – February 21, 2024

Esther "Kitty" Mears was the epitome of love, given and received. Born in Brooklyn, NY, on Christmas Eve 1932, she moved to Norway at the age of one during World War II with her parents and five siblings before returning to the US at 16. Her 91 years on Earth were full of joy - from her first marriage and the blessing of three wonderful children to her second marriage to the love of her life, Russ Mears, with whom she would spend 45 incredible years until his passing in 2019.

She began her professional journey as a driving instructor and a school bus driver, taking great joy in watching children grow. Her passion and unbounded sense of adventure took her from the road to the air as a member of the Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots. In 1964, she flew in the all-woman transcontinental air race, The Powder Puff Derby, where she proudly came in first place but was ultimately disqualified due to an emergency landing in a corn field as her plane ran out of fuel.

Her brave spirit took her into the final move of her career with the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, where she spent 27 years as a computer analyst before retiring from the workforce and starting the next phase of her life's adventure. She joined Russ, a truck driver, back on the open road and explored the United States from coast to coast for the next four years, soaking up as much of North America as possible.

She spent the remaining years of her life surrounded by family, and will be remembered and forever missed by her children Vivian, Diana and Robert, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and every one of the many hearts she touched over her lifetime.

Keep cruising, Kitty… your legacy will endure.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 2, 2024 from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM from in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, Leonardtown, MD, where a funeral service will be held at 10:00 AM in the funeral home chapel with Apostle Mark Francis officiating. Interment will be private.
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