Life Story for
Katherine Ellis (McGinnis)
Kathy was head over heels about animals; as a kid she spent hours creating pencil drawings of horses that were detailed and beautiful. Mom and Dad treated her to riding lessons and this confirmed and strengthened her love of horses. She earned an associates degree in Horse Husbandry at Ohio State University but ultimately the practical obstacles of owning a horse and pursuing this interest caused her attention to eventually move to dogs.
It would be fair and not inappropriate or lacking respect to acknowledge that Kathy was a “wild child” of sorts. Maybe even a textbook example! She grew up “in the 60s” and early in her life she learned to party and to develop habits and tendencies that inevitably got her into trouble. She loved music; Led Zeppelin was one of if not her favorite band, and I remember the hit “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf pounding through the floor of her bedroom and rattling the breakfast table every morning before she went to school. She embraced the independent and at times reckless lifestyle of the 60s and 70s that shaped so many others of that same generation.
Kathy became a knowledgeable and talented trainer and manager of dogs both at kennels and her home. She started a successful pet-sitting business, Capri Pet Services, in Owings Mills, MD, that for quite a number of years was a source of great satisfaction and pride. She had many clients who relied on her to care for their dogs and cats, trusting her completely with the keys to their homes and to treat their pets with the love and attention they knew Kathy would give them.
Kathy started coin and stamp collections as a kid and continued this hobby until her last days. While she struggled to manage her own finances and world in any organized fashion, she was a careful and thoughtful investor in coins and collectibles. Her love of horses was reflected in her significant collection of painted ponies; brightly colored figurines that were on display throughout her home.
Kathy was a most generous and giving person, perhaps to a fault, but these qualities earned the love and respect of her small but close circle of friends. She possessed a wry sense of humor and a surprising awareness of the platforms of local and national politicians about which she was happy to offer her opinions - favorable and otherwise. She had a very feisty side that was offset by her gentle, forgiving, and loving side. Often, when you walked through her door or called her on the phone, you weren’t sure which you were going to get!
Kathy is resting now and at peace. She has left us at such an early age which is sad and leaves a void to fill. I have this image, though, of her naturally settled into a comfortable saddle, perched on a beautifully colored painted pony that is moving her along toward Heaven in a smooth and easy canter, the reins firmly held in one hand and a bag of silver coins clutched in the other, singing “Born to be Wild” at the top of her lungs. Watch out!
John McGinnis , June 25, 2018
Kathy is survived by her immediate family members: mother, Mary McGinnis of Naples, FL; daughter, Lynn Ellis of Sagamore Hills, OH; brother, John McGinnis of Durham, NC.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Kathy’s name to your local Humane Society