"Now, what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for
it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher
consciousness of a mission." - Dr. Maria Montessori.
Katy Brander loved children, and they loved her. As a model Montessori
teacher for more nearly 30 years, Katy was on a mission to spread the
lifelong love of learning and peace. And though her mission ended abruptly
and far too soon, more than a thousand parents and students would agree
that it was a mission patiently, quietly, beautifully and thoroughly accomplished.
Florence Katherine "Katy" Brander was born at St. John Medical
Center in Tulsa on April 4, 1958. She attended Monte Cassino and Grimes
elementary's and Nimitz Junior High. She graduated in 1976 from Charles
Mason High School in Tulsa. She attended the University of Oklahoma, and
graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo.
Katy had a lifelong passion and soft spot for animals, always rescuing
the dogs and cats that nobody else would adopt. She was also a beautiful
and accomplished horsewoman, who rode horses from an early age. Two of
her childhood favorites were Rare Velvet and Pretty Boy. After graduating
from Stephens College, Katy worked with horses and young riders in Illinois
and Kentucky. Eventually, she returned to Tulsa and worked to obtain her
Montessori training and certification from Oklahoma City University. She
taught children ages 2-6 at Undercroft Montessori School in Tulsa for
nearly 30 years, making an indelible imprint on more than 1,000 families,
and thus a profound impact on the very future of our city and the world.
Katy is preceded in death by grandparents Mr. & Mrs. Stanley A. Brander,
Sr. and Mr. & Mrs. Neil Johnson, and her father Stanley A. Brander,
Jr. She is survived by: her mother Jean. J. Brander; her three brothers
Stanley III "Trip" with his wife Robin, Brent with his wife
Shelley; and Kelly with his wife DeeDee; seven loving nieces and nephews:
Cayanne, Carly, Hilary, Meredith, Sam, Cecily and Mallory; Jessica Cox,
whom she helped raise like a daughter; and more than 1,000 adoring Montessori students.
Dr. Maria Montessori also said that "The things the child sees are
not just remembered; they form a part of his soul." Katy will remain
a part of our souls forever.
A catholic mass will be held at the Church of St. Mary, 1347 E. 49th Place
in Tulsa, 10am, Saturday, Oct. 29.
Contributions may be made in Katy's honor to the Undercroft Tuition
Assistance Fund, 3745 S. Hudson Ave., Tulsa, OK 74135.