Passionate about education

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Kathryn Jan Sweeney (Woodle) passed away on August 29, 2014 at Integris Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City after a short illness.

Kathy was born on June 16, 1947 to John C. and Geneva Woodle. She lived on a farm in Jay, OK in her early years until moving to Shawnee, OK in 1961 where she graduated from high school in 1964. She was clever—always curious about how things worked and interested in everything. Her formative years on the farm, specifically playing at the creek and caring for animals, developed a special interest in biology and respect of nature. Kathy went on to attend Oberlin College majoring in biology and the University of Chicago receiving a Master in Education degree. She was a researcher at Harvard University and the University of Connecticut, studying the neuroanatomy of the auditory system. She then was a grants administrator at the University of New Haven, University of Hartford and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. She raised her daughter, Alexandra, in West Hartford, CT. Later in life Kathy resided with her husband, Paul, in North Reading, and then Norman and Tulsa, OK.

Kathy was always eager to learn and passionate about education, especially the arts and sciences. She was an accomplished musician, playing the clarinet in the high school marching band, mastering the flute and piano at Oberlin, and continuing to improve her skill until the end of her life. She was a member of the Hartford Symphony (flute) for a short time. Kathy enjoyed her daughter’s dance recitals, as well as professional ballets and live music. She championed and adored the cultural value of the creative arts, prompting her to volunteer for the Norman Arts Council to encourage local artists. Kathy always had a lot of animals including, fish, iguana, dogs, cats, birds, turtles, really anything in need of a safe home. Helping other people came naturally to her. She loved nature and took time to recognize and appreciate the beauty it offered. She was also an avid Boston Red Sox fan, rooting her team to three World Series in the last nine years.

Kathy is survived by her husband Paul, daughter Alexandra Goode, son-in-law Troy Goode, grandson Parker Goode and granddaughter Audrey Goode, and her mother-in-law Alice Sweeney. She is also survived by sister Carolyn Winningham, her husband Billy Winningham and nieces Kambra Bolch and Clover White. Her beloved dogs Winslow and Jasmine miss her dearly.

A service to celebrate her life was held Thursday, September 11 at Smith & Turner Mortuary, 201 East Main Street, Yukon, OK.  Friends may sign the online guestbook at

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you wait for future notification of a scholarship or memorial fund that will be established in Kathryn’s name.