Kathryn Gainor Ventura, 60, lost her courageous battle with cancer on January 29, 2013 in Chesapeake, VA with her loved ones by her bedside.
Kathy was born in Bethesda, MD and grew up in Virginia Beach, VA. She participated in many sports and was a cheerleader at her beloved Princess Anne High School, Class of 1970. She then attended O.D.U., where she studied Physical Education and was a TKE Fraternity little sister. Marriage carried her to the West Coast, where she eventually settled into her loved city of San Diego and spent the last 22 years with her husband, Angelo Ventura. Kathy was employed by General Dynamics in San Diego, but her true passion was photography. She documented the lives of all of her nieces, nephews, family and friends’ sporting events, family get-togethers, weddings, and everyday lives through her beautiful photography. It was very rare to see Kathy without her camera in hand or close by.
She is survived by her loving husband, Angelo Ventura; her sister, Debbie Miller and her husband, Buddy; her best friend, Debbie Bell; her in-laws; along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and many wonderful friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Nina Lewis Gainor Hatchell and Robert Gainor.
A celebration of her life and gathering of friends and family will be held on Saturday, February 2nd at 1 p.m. at Family Choice Funerals & Cremations, 5401 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach.
Services are being planned also for the San Diego area. Please check back for updated information as it becomes available.
Those desiring may make memorial contributions in Kathy’s name to the San Diego Zoo (www.sandiegozoo.org).
Please share a condolence with the family via the Online Guestbook.Send Flowers
I’m so sorry to hear of Kathy’s passing.It’s been many years since i’ve seen her and Angelo. I will remember her bright smile and beautiful photography!
My dear friend, You have been a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, a lighted candle in the darkness. If there was ever a smile needed, you were always willing to share one so bright that it was impossible not to return with one of my own. You will be missed, and your memory will be cherished. Rest in peace, dear friend, without pain or fear. Know that you were loved.
You will be remembered for your sweet spirit and your beautiful smile. Will always have you in my heart and your family in my prayers. I have been blessed to have known you.
You were a beautiful light in an otherwise dark world. Your love will live on in all of us. I’ll miss you my dear friend.
Kathy was an inspiration to me and to all. If I could have just half of her faith, love, and kindness I would feel blessed. I know you are in a wonderful place Kathy.
Rest in peace, Kathy. You will be missed! Kathy was the glue to our family. Each time I visited San Diego, I could count on her to organize a family get-together. Whether at the beach, zoo or some unsuspecting sibling’s house, she made sure that I spent time with everyone. We love you, Kathy! You are now truly in paradise.
I will always have her kindness and love that will remain in my heart. She was always a had love for many. and was kind to all. and always a a great smile
I will miss her dearly, she was a beautiful person. I will always remember the wonderful memories and photos whe brought into my life.
Such a sweet friend and the glue that holds us together. You will be missed. But know that we will hold each other closer because of you.
To a beloved friend. May God’s peace be upon you. May God give solilce to your family and friends in this time of need. Till we meet again.
I am so sorry to hear of Kathy’s passing. We went to PAHS together and I always admired her upbeat personality and beautiful smile. My thoughts and prayers are with her soul as she speeds toward peace, and with her family, left behind to mourn.
We will miss that one of a kind voice. We will never be the same without her.
Kathy was a shiningg star in a world that needs more like her. Her smile will be a beacon in heaven and a memory I will keep with me forever….our prayers will be with Angelo, Debbie and your family through this grieving process REST IN PEACE OUR ANGEL
I am sorry to hear of your loss. It is through Princess Anne High School alumni that I learned of Kathryn. She is in my prayers.
Prayers and Hugs to sister Deb, Angelo and All of Kathy’s family.
You’ll be missed
Kathy, anyone who ever met you was better for it. What a legacy you left us! I am blessed to call you friend. See you on the other side, my dearest.
Words seems to evade me when I try to think of our friendship spanning many years…Kathy you were the happiest; most loving and delightful girl I have ever know…I will miss you and will forever be grateful for the lessons you taught me; from cheering to relationships to how to love; thank you…
I am so sorry to hear of Kathy’s passing. She had such a kind loving spirit and I will always remember her that way. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.
She was a beautiful soul. May she capture the Angels in life pictures for her family.f
even we haven’t met, for me you are wonderful and kind person…..we will always remember you…and always be in our heart.
may you rest in peace
I will miss your sweet smile, dear one! It was a blessing to share a small part of your walk here on earth. I’ll see you on the other side!
When we think of Kathy, we see her dimples right along with that smile, we think of her bubbly personality as we remember her cheering for the red, white, and, blue, we see the people she has touched, and we are better for have known her. Rest in peace.
Kathy and Angelo gave me a memorable tour of San Diego last year. She was a lovely lady.
we will miss her very much. such a sweet person that is going to be missed by many.
Dearest Kathy, although we attended high school together, it has only been the past 2 years that we shared many hours of conversation.I was touched by the depth of your kindness for others, and your zest for life. Knowing you made me a better person. You will never know the impact you made in my life. R.I.P. dear friend!
I’m going to miss my Partner in Photography at HIlltop High School. Even on Kathy’s days where she was just not feeling well, she always made her way out to support her neice’s sporting events. I will miss your positive and upbeat attitude and the kindness you always showed me. She was an amazingly strong woman…R.I.P. Auntie Kathy!
Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy ~ Author Unknown ~
Thank you for all the great memories, all those games would not have been the same without you. We will never forget you. Rest in peace.
Your friendship will be missed by everyone you touched in this life. You will be missed. My condolences to all your family.
I was fortunate to know you on both coastlines, in Virginia Beach and in San Diego. You were a welcome voice to have while we lived in Coronado, as well as the fun we shared during your visits in VB after I returned there. I thank my sister Debby Hirschbein for introducing you to me and bringing you into my life. You will be dearly missed. Earth’s loss is Heaven’s gain. We love you, and God Bless.
Beautiful smile, beautiful eyes, but most importantly a beautiful spirit. I will forever take with me your words of advice and encouragement, your passion for life and your beautiful photographs. Your undeniable friendship, patience for others and your faith in God, I will always admire. You are a beautiful person with a beautiful soul. I am sure it didn’t take long to get your angel wings. May you rest in peace, sweet Kathy.
My heart hurt today when u heard of your passing. You were a beautiful person inside and out. I know that the next family gathering will feel so different without you. You hold a special place on my heart. Love Leon Family
Kathy you have always been such a bright star in all of our lives and know how much we will all miss you. I am happy you are at peace now and will always see your sweet smile!
She enriched my life.
Kathy, you will be so missed. You touched so many lives and brought together so many if us who are far flung from Va Beach. Your smile will always be remembered. I wish I had been able to see you again but am thankful for the contact through Facebook. Rest in Peace with Gods Angels
Debby—I am so glad that my son got to meet Kathy last year in San Diego. She showed him a great time and was most gracious. Your sister fought a hard fight and you helped her throughout. The entire Welshonce family sends our condolences to all of you.aa
Kathy will be dearly missed by everyone that knew her.She was a very special person.
Fly high new Angel, you’ve earned your wings.
I can still hear her voice telling me everything will be ok. I was an 8th grader and in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Kathy- a wonderful human with a warm kind spirit…that is how I will remeber her. Sad she is gone but will never be forgotten. My condolneces to her family in this difficlut time.
Kathy was an inspiration to all when it came to her love of children, photography and volleyball. She will be missed! Our volleyball reunion will not be the same without her. My condolences to the family..
I will especially miss the yearly post on my Facebook page on my birthday of the birthday song. That and whenever I saw her the billions of pictures she would take. She was a great, kind hearted women. I count myself amount the lucky to have known her. She will be missed.
You maybe gone but you will never be forgotten…I will remember the brownie hat on your head; the megaphone you held in your hand; your camera to your eye and most of all your smile and your laugh. You will be remembered always.
Friends for a long time.I will miss you at the reunions.Rest in peace
Kathy, may you rest in peace. Your spirit, your optimism, your determination, your gentleness, your contagious smile, your love of life, your kindness, your friendship….may we strive to remember and honor you by putting a little more of that wonderful mix into our lives. My deepest sympathy to Angelo, Debby and all those who loved you. You will be missed, my friend. Thank you for sharing your life with us.
The most amazing bright spirit. You lit up all of our lives with your positive beautiful dimpled smile. What a joy!
I miss you my friend. Your positive energy, spirit, and amazing faith you possessed will be missed by all. I will always remember your ability to make everyone feel comfortable, your kindness, your genorosity, your smile and your unwavering support you gave to your family and friends. I will miss forever…Rest in Peace. Love You
We miss you. Thank you for sharing your love of the zoo with us and for telling us about the snakes and pandas. We will always remember the day at the zoo with you and meeting your family last December. We will remember you always.
My dearest Kathy Sue,
Your smile, your laugh, your sparkling eyes, your indomitable spirit, your pureness of heart…how could one person possess such goodness? And why did you have to leave us so soon? You have touched so many lives and brought happiness to everyone you met. I love you and miss you so much and I thank Debby and Angelo for taking such wonderful care of you. Please watch over them and all of us now and be our angel in heaven, just as you were on earth.
You were an especially bright light in the world! And your light will always burn brightly in our hearts.
Kathy you will be missed by all of us friends and family. We know you are at peace in a wonderful place.
REST IN PEACE KATHY. YOU WILL BE MISSED. DEBBY YOU ARE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.
One of our favorite memories of Kathy is our trip to San Diego a few years ago. Kathy was an excellent guide – it was evident how much she loved the area. A highlight was our visit to the San Diego Zoo – the animals knew Kathy and were so excited to see her. Kathy’s insight made that visit very special for us – we will gladly make a donation to the Zoo in her honor. Her beautiful smile will always be remembered.
The other side, peace is all there is! You deserve the peace, love and joy that you always gave others.
Kathy, we will miss your smiling and fun personality, your loving and caring ways, and most of all, just you. Enjoy Heaven and watch over all of us, keep us straight!
Peaceful and painfree, you rest in his mighty light. You are the newest Angel as you were here on earth always with the brightest smile. Tli we meet again….
We will greatly miss your wonderful smile!
I remember the first time I met you, camera in hand and making everyone smile which came easy because all we had to do was look at your great big smile! That was the day you took that wonderful picture of Cody when he was 4 yrs old in the white cowboy hat and with a popsicle stain on his white shirt. Which is my favorite picture. You saw the happiness in everyone and you made sure you captured it. You will be truly missed! RIP, eternally with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In Native American beliefs the Butterfly is “Transformation of the Soul” Kathy has sent me 3 messages very clearly that her Soul has Transformed in a Higher Power,she sent me “Butterflies” through 3 different people. Today I will not be sad,I will smile,dance,rejoyce and Celebrate Your Life and the Blessing of you having been in mine.
the Original Aragona Hippy Chick
Kathy, your outgoing, kind, optimistic and generous spirit is an inspiration to all. You were the first and closest friend I made when I moved to San Diego almost thirty years ago. We share so many memories. My only consolation now is that you are no longer in pain and that our last words were “love you”. I am going to miss you so much, dear friend.
To the family of Kathryn Gainor Ventura — I met Kathy just a couple of years ago when my long time friend and creative collaborator BJ Leiderman played with a symphony orchestra in San Diego…At a party the next night, Kathy took pictures of BJ and i playing and singing together (Which likely let her know immediately why I went into the VISUAL arts)…From the time she sent me the pics on facebook, until recently, we communicated about her illness. I was so struck by the fact that often Kathy would message me privately to thank me for my encouragement or ask about ME. I am sure that I’m one of many who felt special when hearing from her.
Bless You all,
An acquaintance who Kathy treated like a dear friend.
The miles across the Pacific and our schedules prevented us from getting together for the past couple of decades, but nothing will dim my memories of Kathy, her smile and her spirit. Sincerest condolences to her family.
Will miss you. Your High School Classmate, NAVY!!!!!!!!! TEARS!!!!!!!!!!!
Kathy was one of the most loving and happy people we have ever met. We are all much better people for having known her and experienced her kindness. We will miss her and the great experiences we have shared both here and in San Diego. We are wishing strength and peace of mind to Angelo and Debby and everyone else that is going to miss her dearly. Heaven just got a little happier with her presence.
You have blessed me in so many ways. The love I have for you I will hold tight to my heart.
Kathy has such a loving heart. I knew her many years ago. She was kind and cheerful. There are many good memories I have of her. Sending warm thoughts and peace to her loving family.
Tracey Eubank Barry
Your smile and bubbly personality will be missed by all…..Thank you for reconnecting after all these years and being such an inspiration.
You will live in my heart forever!!! We had so many wonderful things to talk about, cheer for and laugh at!! You are truly amazing and beautiful…Love you n miss you already!!! Muah
Kathy, You have a wonderful soul that will live on to eternity. I know you are in good hands and you suffer no more. We will forever miss you!
I am so late because I don’t have a computer at home but it was wonderful to see how happy Kathy looked in her last days in Virginia Beach and to know what good care you took of her. It also confirms my belief that Kathy was the most photogenic person that I ever knew. I have never seen a bad picture of Kathy. Her outward beauty was so greatly enhanced by her beautiful spirit. She was such a kind person even to those who were kind of different. I met Kathy standing in a ticket line to see a hockey game in San Diego in 1978 and we’ve been fast friends ever since. I miss her so much already.