Mrs. Kathy Yvonne Agnor, age 66, of Alexandria, died Sunday, July 26, 2020. She was the wife of Robert Joseph “Bob” Agnor.
Mrs. Agnor was born July 27, 1953 in Eagle Rock, the daughter of the late Joe Eldridge Stinnett, Sr. and Fannie Lyle Stinnett.
Above all, Kathy Yvonne Agnor was one of you.
Her birthplace, Eagle Rock, was in her soul and she was part of its wonderful fabric. It has been a close community of the Stinnetts and Lyles, something akin to a small Norman Rockwell town with grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. She grew up with you, with all the beautiful seasons of winter snows, summers at Willow Bend, and always Sunday dinners together. And to see pictures of this little girl, you may just want to hug her. You were a part of her life and she yours, she was one of you.
In the summer of 1969, Bob Agnor was traveling through Eagle Rock while on leave from the Navy. His eyes met Kathy’s as he passed her in a car while she walked in her front yard. He begged his friend driving, David Ergenbright, not to go around the block and stop. It was like he had been hit by lightning, his friend disobeyed his plea, and in 1971 they started a marriage that lasted nearly a half century. Kathy made friends wherever she went. She followed her husband, Bob, in their first duty station with the Navy in Newport Rhode Island. While none of us would think she had a southern accent, those New Englanders were quite taken with their perception of one. She laughed it off. She moved to Norfolk, and became the bookkeeper for Redco, Incorporated. She was so beloved there, and so many flooded the hospital to see her new baby, Liza. Next, Kathy took her family to Italy, where she seemed to blend in so well no Italians at first suspected she was American. She made so many Italian friends, so willing to do anything for her, and she for them.
Kathy spent 5 years in Charleston, South Carolina, where she became a substitute teacher, to the delight of first graders who at the sight of her would scream “Mrs. Agnor, Mrs. Agnor!” Well, there may have been some influence she exerted because she would bring all the ingredients to class under the guise of a chemistry lesson, but those ingredients just happened to be able to produce the most wonderful banana split for each student, complete with cherries, pineapple, and as Cecil would say “wet nuts.” She had that knack for subtly getting around rules to accomplish good, just like you do. She was one of you. She loved to create the most wonderful dishes for her family and friends, often out of the ordinary but so distinct in their wonderful flavors, and often representing different cultures of our world. However, her most prized possessions were the stacks of 3×5 cards from Angelia or Poogie or Sylvia of handwritten recipes, with notes written by them, such as “Real Old Recipe,” and other comments that made the cards come to life from their authors. Misplacing them was tantamount to losing the Hope Diamond. They never strayed far.
What she valued most was her connection to you. She delighted in long talks with Angelia. Mona made her laugh and she would be so happy after those calls. She came back from visits to Covington so happy at having seen Poogie, Sue, Sylvia, Dete and especially Bob’s mom, Tillie. She most delighted in following the growth of the children and grandchildren of her siblings. She saw Colton as such a wonderful star. She always said “That Jackie is SMART, and such a kind person.” She loved to send things to Olivia and delighted in seeing pictures given to her by Courtney. She was delighted to hear of Cherie’s happiness and career. She also loved the children of Bob’s sisters, Kelly, Holly, Nicholas and Ryan and delighted in being their doting aunt. Kay, Donna and Paige were her best friends. Bob’s biggest competitions for Kathy’s heart were Cecil and BB. How she adored them. Her favorite vacations were in a cabin on the Chesapeake, where she, Cindy, Poogie and Angelia would delight in orchestrating wonderful gatherings of the family.
But the absolute light of her life, that made her happy to the point of tears, was her child, Liza and her grandchildren, Luke, Henry and Evelyn. She would race around before their visits to prepare more food than could ever be consumed by those little bodies. She would delight in walking them to the Ross down the street, and delight at the squeals of delight as they rounded the toy aisle and hugged what was to be the prized purchase of each child for that day. She cherished every photograph Liza would send, and her mind’s movie camera replayed daily the picture of the kids coming in the door for the first time she met them, as babies, but smiling ear to ear with toothless grins because they immediately connected to her. It burst her heart with joy, and stayed with her forever.
She loved history. She was amazed with her copy of Eagle Rock, The Memoirs of a Little Girl, 1941-1945 by Lake Pylant Monhollon, detailing the life of a daughter of a pastor who came to Eagle Rock during the War. The novel featured her family members by name, Poogie, Fannie and all, plus it depicted the trials of those times. With her sense of history, she was a true American. She believed in our democracy, and was so proud of our nation. For every National Holiday, she would put out scores of flags in window boxes, urns, shutters, anything that could hold a flag was quote drafted into service unquote.
Arguably her greatest attribute, Kathy’s heart was about as big as any in this world. Her heart went out to any one with suffering or need. She would make it a point to drive into downtown Washington D.C. on cold Christmas Eve’s, late at night when safety was not good, and see a homeless person sleeping in doorway. She would place money under whatever functioned as a pillow, and return to the car gleeful that she had been able to help someone. Her favorite charities were ones like Salvation Army S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat). Children captured her heart and she gave to St Jude’s Hospital.
Kathy’s heart was always with other people, never selfish, and her favorite saying was “Be Kind.” She always said, “The one thing you will never regret is giving kindness.” Last week, Kathy passed one day before her July 27th birthday. Her daughter, Liza, had ordered a birthday cake and felt the need to pick it up anyway. While in the shop, she glanced down and there was a pillow with the words “Be Kind” embroidered on it. She turned to see the tag of the artist, and the name Kathy, with a K, was on the label. Liza treasures that pillow.
She was truly one of you.
A graveside service will be conducted at 4:00 P.M. Sunday, August 9, 2020, at Eagle Rock Cemetery with Rev. Robert McRae and Rev. Billy Ronk officiating.
Following the service, family and friends will be gathering at Blue Ridge Winery to celebrate Kathy’s amazing life.
Local arrangements are being handled by Loving Funeral Home; www.lovingfuneralhome1913.com.
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.