Cathy Jean Hankins Barnard was an epic fighter for the ages. She was born on February 20, 1952 and continued to battle Alzheimer’s until the very end on October 10, 2021. Cathy was married to her best friend, Timmy Barnard, for over 51years. Together, they created an amazing family. She leaves behind her favorite oldest son, Bryan Barnard and his wife, Sheila; her favorite daughter, Natalie Barnard Heilman, and her husband, Jeff; and her favorite youngest son, Stuart Barnard and his wife, Olivia. She also leaves behind her amazing grandchildren: Kaitlin and her husband Andrew Risher, Peyton Barnard and her fiancé, Hayden McMullen, Ben Barnard, Emily Heilman, and Jack Heilman. Cathy also leaves her siblings Peggy Leahy (Danny), Steve Hankins (Brenda), and Andrew Hankins (Felicia) and many nieces and nephews. Cathy has joined her parents, William and Dorothy Hankins, older brother, Bill Hankins, and her beloved dog, Max, in heaven.
Cathy was a 1970 graduate of Pleasure Ridge Park High School, and a graduate of University of Louisville multiple times. However, Cathy always displayed her diplomas with a royal blue outline because she was a massive Kentucky Wildcats fan. She loved the U of L College of Education, but she loved the University of Kentucky sports program even more. Cathy loved learning and was a talented educator. She taught for 11 years in the Oldham County School System before she became the first woman principal in the school district at LaGrange Elementary School under Dr. Bob Arvin. Dr. Diane Kyle, Ed.D helped mentor Cathy’s leadership skills. Cathy won the Kentucky Association of School Administrators Principal of the Year Award in 1996. Cathy continued her career at Anchorage Independent Public School with one of her mentors, Dr. Larry Harrison. During Cathy’s tenure as a principal, she worked with many talented teachers as well as developed lifelong friendships with people who stayed by her side until the end, especially Paulette and Pee Wee Carey, Kathy Umensetter and David Baumgardner, Donna Hampton, and Julie DeLozier. Cathy continued her love of education through implementation of a Parent-Involvement Grant at Ohio Valley Education Conference. She also worked for the Bully Free Program with Dr. Allan Beane, Ph.D. She was also the first woman President of the LaGrange Rotary Club. She was honored to be part of the First Woman Achievers of Oldham County History Project through the Kentucky Historical Society. She was a member of Phoes Church in Centerfield, Kentucky. Cathy loved to lead and others couldn’t help but follow. She leaves behind a strong legacy in her community.
The family would like to thank everyone who helped support Cathy during her battle with Alzheimer’s. They are grateful to her caretaker, Star, the Hosparus of Louisville Team, the Sanders-Brown Center for Aging, and many friends and family for supporting Cathy and Tim during their time of need.
Cathy’s celebration of life will be held on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at Louisville Memorial Gardens West on Dixie Highway. The family asks for donations to be made in Cathy’s honor to the Alzheimer’s Association or The Sanders-Brown Center for Aging (which is run by…guess who…the University of Kentucky).
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