Katherine L. Carey age 93 of Columbus Junction, Iowa passed away Friday, June 16, 2017 at Colonial Manor Care Center in Columbus Junction where she had been a resident since October of 2016.
Katherine Lovenia Pewitt was born August 14, 1923 in Malta, Montana to Robert A. and Katherine (Hartmann) Pewitt. The first years of her life were very influential in her love of the open prairie and outdoors and being a lover of horses. Growing up in a log cabin and being the only child for miles created in her a sense of adventure and imagination. She rode a horse before she could walk and so began her life as a strong horsewoman. She later welcomed a brother Robert Jr. and a sister, Roberta, who died in infancy. Bob and Katherine knew every inch of the open prairie riding their ponies and hunting with their dogs.
When the Great Depression hit they loaded up their belongings and headed to California. After a time there, things did not improve so they moved back to the mining town of Landusky, Montana. After some more hard times they then moved to her maternal family in Chicago. Katherine loved her life at Sunset Farms where her father trained and showed five gaited saddle bred horses. She showed at many presitigous events and won many awards. In 1941 she graduated from Niles Township High School. During World War II the family then moved to Wapello, Iowa to rent a farm and train and show horses.
Katherine enlisted in the United States Navy as a WAVE. She completed her basic training in New York City. She then completed her tech training in Oklahoma City. After completion she was then stationed at Oakland Alameda as an airplane mechanic then a tool room clerk. January 9, 1946, she was discharged to civilian life, returning to Wapello, Iowa. She then worked various jobs while training for her pilot's license.
Her love of horses brought her to the love of her life. While leading horses to post at the Wapello Homecoming harness races she caught the eye of Keith Carey. They were married May 5, 1950 at the Methodist Church in Wapello. Their 67 years of marriage were spent working together on the family farm on Indian Creek Road east of Columbus Junction.
That same year, Keith's brother, Red, was injured in a racing accident so they jumped in to help train and race the family horses. Thus began their involvement in Midwest harness racing. In the early 1960's, Katherine and a group of other enthusiasts formed the Hawkeye Colt Stakes Association to promote the racing industry in the Midwest. She was the Secretary/Treasurer of this group for many years. Her love for studying horse pedigrees led to her involvement with the forming of the Midwest Standardbred Sale in 1962 held annually at the Kalona Sales Barn. Katherine had a strong reputation with her pedigrees and many sale companies employed her expertise. In 1995, Katherine was inducted into the Iowa Harness Racing Hall of Fame for her service to the industry.
Katherine is survived by her husband Keith. A daughter, Twyla & Dan Peters of Columbus Junction. Their children, Will and Keetra Peters, Keagan, Kinleigh and Kelton of Sherman, Illinois; Mackenzie and Sam Clark, Sydney, Clay and Banks of Columbus Junction. A son, Jeff & Nancy Carey of Columbus Junction. Their children, Mary Carey and Keevyn Kilburg, Karlee and Kolton of Columbus Junction; Curtis; and Allison and Ryan Pearson, Kathlynn and Newlyn of Lone Tree. Another son, Bill & Debby Carey of Columbus Junction, Truckie & Michelle Harbison, Logan & Caedon of Crawfordsville and Matthew Stauffer of Muscatine. Another daughter, Patti & Larry Fred Gerling of Winfield, their children Saul of Vienna, Illinois, Emma, Akira and Adelaide Gerling; Jon of Des Moines, Iowa; and Jessica and Jacob Alvarez and Freyja of Netzaberg, Bavaria, Germany. One step-brother-in-law, Les Linendoll of Idaho and several close nieces and nephews.
She was preceeded in death by her parents, an infant sister, her brother in 2016, her step-mother, Isadene Drake Pewitt and a step-sister Maxine Linendoll and one great grandson.
A celebration of Katherine's life will be held at the American Legion, 99 Second Street, Columbus Junction, Iowa on Sunday, June 25, 2017. A casual service will be held at 2:00 followed by a time of casual fellowship until 4:00. Memorials can be made to Indian Creek Cemetery Association where she will be inurned at a later date or to the Colonial Manor Care Center. Elliott Chapel of New London is assisting the family at this time.
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