Mary C. ‘Kate’ (Orr) Fairley

Mary C. “Kate” (Orr) Fairley, 74, Woodstock, Ga., formerly of Altoona, passed away from heart failure, seven days before she would have celebrated her 75th birthday. She was a spirited woman who successfully reinvented herself repeatedly throughout her lifetime, from avid student, to devoted mother and wife, to dedicated attorney and businesswoman.

She was born in Huntingdon, daughter of the late Tom Sr. and Betsy (Stevens) Orr.

Surviving are her husband, Tom; four children: Gene Clouse and wife, Diane, Joe Clouse and wife, Sandy, Jenny Gardiner and husband, Scott, and Rob Clouse and his wife, Karen; 12 grandchildren; six siblings: Tom Orr Jr., Bill Orr, Helen Orr Boguszewski, Becky Orr DeHaven, Patty Orr Topley and Jani Orr; and 14 nieces and nephews.

Kate was a 1956 graduate of Altoona Catholic High School (where she never did quite see eye-to-eye with the nuns). She pursued a bachelor’s degree on scholarship at Seton Hill College, ultimately obtaining her teaching degree at Pittsburgh’s Carlow College. She received a master’s degree in blind and handicapped education and completed all but the dissertation in a doctorate in Curriculum and Supervision at the University of Pittsburgh. She then obtained a Juris Doctor from University of Pittsburgh School of Law in the mid-1980s.

After raising four children with first husband, Dr. Art Clouse, in Edgewood, Katie married Tom Fairley in 1987, and they eventually moved to Topsail Island, N.C., where she started her law practice. Katie and Tom retired to Woodstock, Ga., suburban Atlanta, to be closer to her youngest son and his young family.

Katie will be admired for her intelligence, wit, courage and pluck in the face of adversity, and learning to reinvent herself when things got tough. Katie’s smile, laugh and generous heart will be sorely missed.

A memorial service will be held in her honor at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Honeycreek Woodlands Monastery, in Conyers, Ga. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Kate’s name to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. A guestbook can be signed online through www