By Rachel Hatzipanagos
Lake Ridge residents are grieving the loss of wife and mother Kathleen "Kathy" Gaarde, one the 12 victims of the gunman who went on a shooting rampage Monday at Washington Navy Yard.
Gaarde, 62, was a financial analyst who lived in Prince Willliam County with her husband, Douglass Gaarde. Five cars were parked in the driveway of the Gaarde home on the end of a cul-de-sac on the peaceful Tuesday morning.
A woman who answered the door said that the family was not prepared to speak with the media at this time. However, the Gaarde family did release the following statement:
“Kathy was a caring daughter, fantastic mother, wife (of 38 years) and best friend for 43 years. She loved her animals and was a blue bird counter for the local refuge,” the statement reads.
“She also loved hockey and the Washington Capitals and has been a season ticket holder for over 25 years. She was born and raised in Chicago, IL and was a graduate of Florida State University. She and her family have been a resident of the DC area for 38 years,” the statement continues.
The family is asking that donations be made in her name to the Virginia Branch of the Humane Society.
Neighbors also declined to speak Tuesday afternoon. However, Patrick Bolton, a neighbor, spoke to The Washington Post yesterday and described Gaarde as a “kind woman.”
“She just helped make it a good home for her family and worked hard and provided everything her family could need,” Bolton told the Post. “They’re the kind of people you want to live next door to you.
“The mother was just the kindest lady in the world,” Bolton said. “I’m not even exaggerating. I’ve never seen her do anything but nice things for people.”
A relative told The Associated Press that Douglass Gaarde worked for the Navy until his retirement last year.