MELROSE — Kathryn Gerson, 94, an artist of Melrose and formerly of Stoneham, died Feb. 8 in Winchester after a long illness.

Kathryn was a graduate of Stoneham High School, Class of 1938, and was artistically talented. She attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. After graduation, she taught for three years at the New England School of Art and Design, now part of Suffolk University.

She was driven to paint and spent her off-time in Gloucester and Rockport. Her easel on Bass Rocks was often next to the easels of well-known painters and a lively camaraderie developed.

While studying art and taking architectural courses at MIT as a young woman, she had a treasured moment when, during a chance encounter, she met Winston Churchill twice in one day while he was touring the institute. Apparently, she stood out to him, as he said to her, ‘Well, little girl — we meet again.” During World War II, she spent many hours at local hospitals volunteering and helping to attend to those returning from the war.

Seeking a change from teaching, Kathryn began her 45-year association with Boston’s Architectural Casting Company as an artist doing architectural renderings. This work focused on adaptive reuse of old buildings and historic preservation.

Many celebrities were clients of the firm and Kathryn enjoyed meeting Boston sports legends such as Patriots great Larry Eisenhauer and the Celtics’ Kevin McHale. She also met people from film, such as Robert Redford, Dan Akroyd and Debbie Reynolds and a member of the British royal family, the Duchess of Windsor, Sarah Ferguson.

Kathryn also worked on the art direction of several Hollywood movies, such as The Thomas Crown Affair. Probably her most fun project was working on the decoration of the Moby Dick whaling ride and the Victorian ice cream parlor for the now-closed Pleasure Island theme park in Wakefield.

While very much focused on art, she was a person of many surprises. She once came home as a newly sworn-in Norfolk County Deputy Sheriff and announced she was taking firearms training. After a session on the shooting range with a state trooper friend, it was decided that the Commonwealth would be safer if she didn’t participate in law enforcement.

She was a devoted Unitarian Universalist and treasured her memories in the Stoneham and Melrose parishes. She was dramatically inclined and directed plays for parish audiences, including Murder in the Cathedral, Saint Joan and Waiting for Godot.

She later became involved with cable access television. Between 2003 and 2008, she worked with her family on the Melrose Crossroads television show on local cable television, creating shows on topics such as senior citizen housing, Melrose artists, a salute to women veterans of WWII and dogs and dog owners of Melrose.

During her long illness, she was given great strength by the devotion and many visits of her friends, Alan and Margaret Grometstein and the extraordinary staff at the Aberjona Nursing Center.

She is survived by David, Susan and Erik Gerson and, in Nova Scotia, by her cousin Shirley Mearns.

Visiting hours will be Friday, March 6, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Anderson-Bryant Funeral Home, 4 Common St., Stoneham. Gifts in Kathryn’s memory may be made to the Perkins School for the Blind, Attention: Trust Dept., 175 North Beacon St., Watertown MA 02472.