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Kate Ireland

Kate Ireland 2006Kate Ireland passed away peacefully at her home at Foshalee Plantation on February 15th, 2011.

Kate was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 25th 1930. Her parents were Robert Livingston Ireland, Jr., and Margaret "Peg" Allen Ireland, whose family wealth, tradition of philanthropy and public service, and love of the outdoors groomed Kate for her life of volunteerism, public service, riding and hunting sports and dedication to conserving the land. She was a noted naturalist and preservationist, committed to restoring and maintaining the Red Hills of North Florida and South Georgia, which she called home for many years after moving from Cleveland and Kentucky. Kate was also the niece of Elisabeth Ireland Poe of Pebble Hill Plantation and followed in her aunt’s footsteps with a lifelong dedication to philanthropy of the arts, education, and healthcare.

An eight mile stretch of U.S. Highway 319 north of Tallahassee bears her name, the "Kate Ireland Parkway,” in thanks to her and the assistance of others for donating the right of way to the state to widen and beautify the roadway.

Kate attended Laurel School in Cleveland, graduated from St. Timothy's in Baltimore and then attended Vassar College for a year before going to Kentucky to volunteer for the Frontier Nursing Service, first as a volunteer courier for the Nursing Service working with the Kentucky mountain people. She became its national chairman in 1975 to raise funds for the medical program and midwifery program, and remains its honorary Chairman. She resided with the Frontier Nursing Service for many years before she and her friend, Anne Cundle, built their home close by.  During her years in Kentucky, she served as Chairman of the Kentucky River Area Development District, trustee and Chairman of Berea College and as a director of the Hyden Citizens Bancorp, Inc.

In Cleveland, Kate was involved as a trustee, officer, or member of many organizations including the Junior League of Cleveland, Junior League of Ohio, Garden Center of Greater Cleveland’s White Elephant Sale,  Cleveland Welfare Federation, Cleveland Mental Health Association , Hill House Mental Health Rehabilitation Research, Inc. (now known as Magnolia Clubhouse), Karamu House, Cleveland Museum of National History, Laurel School Alumnae Association, Ohio League of Nursing, Salvation Army, Cleveland Visiting Nurse Association, and Case Western Reserve University.

Her many volunteer and service activities in the Tallahassee-Thomasville area included Chairman of Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy, Co-founder and Chairman of the Red Hills Conservation Association, Board of Trustees of Thomasville Cultural Center and Foundation, Chairman of Thomasville Cultural Center Endowment Trust, Chairman of Archbold Health Services and Archbold Medical Center, Inc, in Thomasville, GA, Chairman of the Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Chairman of the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society Endowment Trust, and Georgia-Florida Field Trail Club.  She was awarded the Lifetime Leadership Award by the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce in September 1999 and the Pinnacle Award by the Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce in February 1993.

She always felt a responsibility to give back to the communities in which she lived including serving as a trustee of Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, ME near the coast where she and other family members have summered for many decades.

Kate loved music and was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Association since 1978. She also served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, 4th District, the president's council of the Nature Conservancy, and the National HomeCaring Council (which became the Foundation of Hospice and HomeCare).

Kate was honored with many other awards during her life time, including the Degree of Doctor of Humanitarian Pursuits from Cumberland College, Williamsburg, KY: Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Allegheny College, Meadville, PA; Distinguished Service Award from Midway College, Midway, KY; commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel by the Commonwealth of Kentucky; 1995 Volunteer of the Year award by Tallahassee Democrat and Volunteer Big Bend and many other recognitions and certificates of appreciation for her contributions, friendship, support, and dedicated service to mankind for the organizations in which she volunteered.

In addition to all her philanthropic endeavors, Kate was a limited partner in the investment bank of Brown Brothers Harriman in New York and a founding partner and Chairman of Allen Mooney & Barnes Investment Advisors in Thomasville, GA and Tallahassee, FL.

Kate is survived by her sister, Louise Ireland Humphrey of Woodfield Springs Plantation, by her dear friend, Anne Cundle, her nieces and nephews, Barney Ireland, Jodie Ireland, Thomas Ireland, Bob Ireland, Nancy Ireland Stahl, Julia Ireland Randall, Watts Humphrey, and George Humphrey, and by many other great nieces, great nephews, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held in Thomasville, Georgia at All Saints Episcopal Church on Friday, March 4 at 4 PM, and a reception will follow at Foshalee Plantation. She will be buried at Harrington Cemetery, Pemaquid, Maine later this year.

In lieu of flowers you are invited to donate to the following charities; Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy, Tallahassee, FL; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc., Wendover, KY;  Archbold Medical Center, Thomasville, GA;  Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center, Thomasville, GA or a charity of your choice.

Kate Ireland Tribute Album

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