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Kathleen E. "Kitty" Christopher

Kathleen Eloise “Kitty” Christopher, 90, a lifelong resident of Lansing, NY, passed away peacefully at home on November 21, 2022.  Born October 18, 1932, in Caroline, NY, she was the daughter of the late Morris and Lua (Higgins) Sweetland.  Kitty graduated from Dryden High School in 1952 and married Rudolph Nicholas “Rudy” Christopher on December 31, 1953. Rudy and Kitty spent their entire marriage together in the home they built on Atwater Road.  In 1963, Rudy founded Cayuga Signs, Ithaca, NY, and Kitty served as the bookkeeper.  Her most important job, however, was being Mom to her four sons and helping raise countless children in Lansing as a daycare provider.

Kitty had a passion for raising chickens and a variety of other bird species, and was an avid gardner.  Rudy and Kitty enjoyed country dancing and were longtime members of the Polka Club in Elmira, NY. 

Kitty is survived by her loving and devoted family, including her husband, Rudy; children, Craig (Diane) of Lansing, Lee of Lansing, Darin (Mary Anne) of Pace, FL, and Scott (Therese) of Palm Harbor, FL; grandchildren, Paul, Karen (Calvin) Mathews, Nicholas, Kyle (Nikki), Ian and Meghan; great-grandchildren, Christopher and Kaleb Mathews, and Jayce, Olivia and Charlotte Christopher; sisters, Ann Marie Zeddies, Geraldine Walter and Mary Sweetland; and brother-in-law, Tony Vavra.  She was predeceased by her grandson, Samuel Christopher; brother, Clinton Sweetland; sister, Grace Vavra; and brother-in-law, Gary Zeddies.

In keeping with Kitty’s wishes, she will be buried in a private family ceremony at Calvary Cemetery, Ithaca, NY.

Kitty’s family is eternally greatful for the caregivers who made it possible for her to remain at home, especially her granddaughter, Karen, who was her biggest supporter.


What can I say that has not already been said about this endearing person. She had both my babies 50 or so years ago. She handled my youngest with ease and laughter and that baby was not an easy one. I don’t know how she did it. She was a gift, truly. So many memories and talks in her kitchen. You were always loved Kitty and will continue to be.
Dixie Varga

Dixie Varga Nov 29 2022 10:00 AM

Kitty was the best sitter that I could have ever had for my Zachary. She never told me about the milestones he had at her home so I could see them myself. She was also my sitter when my Mom needed her.
Just want to say I’m sorry to all the boys especially Lee. I really loved your Mom!!!

Lisa (Payne) Lychalk Nov 26 2022 8:39 PM

Like many of the other folks who remember Kitty Christopher taking care of their children, we had that great experience as well when my daughter was there in the 80s and 90s. I’m not sure how Kitty managed all those kids each day, but she did it well, and for decades. However, I remember both Kitty and Rudy best as my next-door neighbors for the past 45 years, and we have been friends all that time. Helping each other out from time to time. Getting eggs from Kitty's chickens and giving her empty cartons in exchange. And I'm recalling the time I went with Kitty when we took two neighborhood stray cats to get rabies shots at a clinic set up at the Lansing Fire Station. So many memories...the conversations with Kitty in the kitchen covering many topics and issues. And I almost forgot that for several years, she was Donna's Bingo partner at All Saints Church every Monday night. Donna would give Kitty a ride to the church, and Kitty got a kick out of me waving to both of them from my bay window when they drove by. Many memories. We attended a surprise 65th birthday party for Kitty (was it really 25 years ago?) and her and Rudy’s 50th anniversary party in 2004. And today, as I drank a cup of coffee this morning, looking across the creek that separated our houses, I realized that it was indeed the end of an era for so many people, especially all her neighbors on Atwater Rd. We all will miss her. Our sincere condolences to Rudy, Craig, Lee, Darin, and Scott and their extended families.

Marc and Donna Catone Nov 25 2022 2:32 PM

All Blessings

Danny & Michele Nov 23 2022 6:00 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Kathleen Christopher

Deborah Countryman-Aldrich Nov 23 2022 4:52 PM

Whenever I think of Kitty vivid pictures come to mind like they happened yesterday. Back in the 70's she watched my son after school. I will never forget the new chicks and ducks in the Spring, Rosey the chick that seemed to have the run of the house and the big black dog - I think her name was Lynn. It was always like a big happy family when I came to pick up my son. Kitty always had a baby on her hip and was usually getting milk or juice for a toddler. It was a wonderful environment for my son. I don't know how she did it all. She impacted a great many lives and I am saddened to hear of her passing. She was very special.

Cindy Pataki Nov 23 2022 1:22 PM

The Lansing community will certainly miss Kitty. My two sons were among the children Kitty looked after while I was at work. She was such a wonderful person and they both dearly loved being at her home. Thank you Kitty. Out thoughts are with the family now, god bless you.

Jennifer L Pratt Nov 22 2022 11:13 AM

Kitty was such a sweet, gentle lady. Always enjoyed playing Bingo with them. Enjoyed seeing them at the Country Music Park, either working at some of the many shows or dancing so gracefully in their beautiful Country outfits. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Barbara Tobey Nov 22 2022 9:20 AM

I am so very sorry Nicholas. No words can express my sympathies.

Sue Morgan Nov 21 2022 8:44 PM

Our sincerest condolences to the Christopher family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Darin and Mary Anne and the rest of the family.

Greg and Lori Clemens Nov 21 2022 8:40 PM

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