Kathleen “Kate” Buckley Collins, horsewoman, naturalist, animal lover, mother and friend died peacefully on December 26, 2021, at Doey’s House in Hagerstown, MD.
She was born to the late Mary Lynn and Edmond Buckley of Bethesda, MD on March 15, 1947. She was extremely proud of her father, Edmond who was an official with NASA for over 35 years where he developed research instrumentation used in aeronautical research and helped developed the Wallops Island Station in Chincoteague, VA. He received NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal in 1968. Residing in Chevy Chase during her childhood, Kate attended Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls high school in Bethesda; later graduating from American University in Washington D.C. where she studied sociology.
Her professional career began in Washington D.C. working for IBM where she oversaw servicing major government and corporate accounts, many of which were in the Tristate area. Marriage brought her to Hagerstown in the late 1970’s where she became a homemaker and mother of two. Once her children were grown, she ended up retiring from the U.S. Census Bureau in Hagerstown.
Kate had many loves and interests. She was an active member with the Woodland Garden Club in Hagerstown as she loved gardening and making beautiful arrangements; she was a very accomplished needle pointer creating beautiful works of art many admired; a long-time horsewoman having foxhunted with Antietam Hunt and then later becoming active with her daughter in the Shenandoah Valley Pony Club. It was no surprise to see Kate leading a pony around Fountainhead with Kristen; and she was a true nature enthusiast giving nature walks to anyone who was willing. Kate’s love of dogs was also very evident. She enjoyed sharing her dog training knowledge with others and it wasn’t uncommon to find her practicing obedience with her giant Irish Wolfhound at Snavely’s Garden Center. Additionally, she was known for her pet therapy visits at Washington County Hospital where she brought her dog, Badger and grand dog, Marley in to work with the brain injury patients. Her love of animals extended to her rescue efforts as she would rescue any animal in need or come to anyone’s aid that needed help rescuing an injured or distressed animal. She was even on speed dial at the local airport to help herd geese away from the runway.
Kate is survived by her daughter Kristen Cochran and her son Matthew Cochran and his wife Isabel.
A funeral service will be held at 1pm on January 15, 2022, at Rest Haven Funeral Home in Hagerstown, MD.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, MD or Doey’s House in Hagerstown.