Kathryn Rawson

Obituary of Kathryn Rawson

Kathryn “Kitty” Pelster Rawson succumbed to multiple myeloma on Nov. 16th under hospice care in St. Petersburg, FL. A loving wife, mother, and grandmother, she was 73, and had been active in community service until only a month before her death.


Kitty spent her entire career in nonprofits in service to others. Persistently and tirelessly, she worked for peace, justice, and opened her heart to welcome everyone. After graduating from Florida Presbyterian College in 1971, she continued to work in the administration there. In 1977 she moved to Metairie, LA and worked in the administration of St. Martin’s Episcopal School. She returned to Florida in 1987, and worked in the alumni and public relations offices of Eckerd College (formerly Florida Presbyterian) until leaving in about 2005. She subsequently worked for Prevent Blindness Florida, Academy Preparatory School, and Daystar Life Center of St. Petersburg.


Kitty was the dynamo of every community she joined. She devoted 35 years of passionate service to Lakeview Presbyterian Church, a longstanding mixed-race congregation on the south side of St. Petersburg. For years in the late 1980s to early 1990s, she helped organize Church World Service’s annual CROP Walk to end hunger. In response to racial strife in south St. Pete, she helped start Congregations United for Community Action in 1993. She pushed for more inclusion of LGBTQ people in the Presbyterian church at meetings of her regional Presbytery, as well as national meetings of Presbyterian Church USA. She served more than once on the board of the Bahama Shores Neighborhood Association.


Kathryn Sue Pelster was born March 2, 1949 in Lima, Ohio to Arthur and Doris Rae. She grew up in Nashville, but became a devoted Floridian when she attended Florida Presbyterian College in south St. Petersburg. She married Edward Frederick Rawson in 1972. They raised two sons together in St. Petersburg.


Kitty’s passions were family, church, community, social justice, and making the world a better place for all. She also loved the beach, and she carried flip-flops and a towel in her car at all times, just in case. She was always a light to everyone.

Kitty is survived by her husband of 50 years, Ed Rawson, sons Jeffrey and Jeremy, sisters Claire and Connie, grandchildren Julius and Eudora, and countless nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.


A memorial service will be held at Lake View Presbyterian Church, 1310 22nd Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL. on Saturday December 17th, 2022 at 10:30am.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Kathryn
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