Cover photo for Katherine Coulter Stanick's Obituary

Katherine Coulter Stanick

January 19, 1917 — June 6, 2024

Little Rock

Katherine Coulter Stanick

Katherine Coulter Stanick transitioned on June 6, 2024, at the impressive age of 107. She was born on January 19, 1917, to Edward and Bird Ann Pate Coulter in Marshall, Arkansas. The family moved to Conway, Arkansas, where Katherine had a very memorable and formative life, raised by her mother, alongside her older brother Edward.

She graduated from Conway High School, then earned a bachelors degree from Hendrix College and a BSLS (Library Science) from the George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee. She remained a proud and loyal alumna of Hendrix College, where she majored in French, and was accompanied on her walks to the campus by the family dog, Charlie Boye, who patiently waited to escort her home after classes. Years later, in her 90s, she was honored to serve a three-year term on the Hendrix College Alumni Board.

Katherine met her husband, Bernard Louis Stanick, while he was stationed in the U.S. Army at Camp Robinson. They were married on Christmas Eve, 1943, amid a rare Arkansas blizzard that might have caused a less determined couple to postpone that event. During her husband’s career through World War II and Korea, Katherine lived the life of a military officer’s wife, traveling extensively to Army posts, including almost two years stationed in Japan during the post-war occupation. As a devoted lifelong learner, Katherine immersed herself in taking in Japanese culture; she took courses in Japanese brush-painting, Ikebana floral arrangement, and other artistic pursuits. Upon Lt. Col. Stanick’s retirement after 22 years of service, the couple settled in Little Rock, Arkansas, where they resided through the remainder of their lives.

Katherine was actively involved in political and civic causes. She was a member of the Womens Emergency Committee during the Central High School integration crisis in the mid-1950s and later joined the League of Women Voters. She served as vice president as well as P.T.A. president at the Williams School in the Little Rock School District. She was a librarian for the North Little Rock School District, medical and consultant librarian for the Veterans Hospital, Executive Secretary for the Arkansas Library Association, and she was on the state board for the Library Services Program. She served as a volunteer for numerous organizations, including Meals On Wheels, the Decorative Arts Museum, and Literacy Volunteers. She tutored in the Little Rock Public Schools and wrote a number of articles for the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

Since the early 1960s, Katherine was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church. She was a lively participant in the Boanerges/Earthen Vessel Sunday school class and counted members of that group among her most cherished friends.

Music was a main focus throughout Katherine’s life.  She studied piano for many years beginning in childhood. At Hendrix College, she was briefly introduced to playing cello by a visiting professor of music. Thereafter, work and married life separated her from continued musical studies, although she continued to play piano, and did so well. In her 60s she resumed her interest in the cello and began studying at UALR through the adult education program. She also participated in Third Age Piano Class and studied piano privately in parallel with her renewed work on learning to play the cello. 

She was a member of the Community Orchestra (originated at UALR and now sponsored by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra) and participated in an annual summer amateur string camp until she was over 100 years young. She joined the Little Rock Musical Coterie in the 1960s and remained an active member the rest of her life. She was an avid supporter of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, almost never missing a concert in the seasonal series of Masterworks and River Rhapsodies performances. Over 15 years ago she and a small group of string-playing friends began meeting weekly, and she enjoyed playing cello in this amateur chamber music ensemble, which members dubbed “The Accidental Musicians.” In 2023 her passion for music and its profound influence on her life was highlighted in an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article: https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/26/106-year-old-still-vibrant-after-years-as-a/  and a Fox 16 News feature report:  https://www.fox16.com/news/special-reports/a-gift-that-never-ages-a-106-year-old-cellist-shares-special-musical-bond-with-11-year-old/ .

She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Virginia A. Stanick; granddaughter, Katherine Edna Johnson; half-brother, Dr. Murray Coulter, and many cousins, great nieces, and nephews.

Katherine was preceded in death by her husband, Bernard Louis Stanick; her parents; her brother; her niece, Mary Ann Coulter Graydon Sampley; and half-brother, George P. Coulter.

A visitation will be held at 1:00 pm, followed by a musical celebration of her life at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 22, 2024 at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Katherine’s life can be honored with memorial contributions to the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, the Central Arkansas Library System, the Historic Arkansas Museum, or Hendrix College.

Arrangements entrusted to Smith Little Rock Funeral Home. 

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Upcoming Services

Visitation

Sunday, September 22, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Trinity United Methodist Church

1101 N Mississippi St, Little Rock, AR 72207

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musical celebration of life

Sunday, September 22, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Trinity United Methodist Church

1101 N Mississippi St, Little Rock, AR 72207

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