Katherine Brown Barrow

katherine barrow
A memorial service, honoring Kay Barrow, will be held Tuesday, April 22nd at 11:00 in the Chapel at Givens Estates Retirement Community. The service will be followed by a reception for friends and family. Katherine "Kay" Brown Barrow was born May 21, 1942 in Halifax County, NC and departed this life on April 13, 2014. Kay leaves a legacy of dedicated service within the Buncombe County Department of Social Services exemplifying the best of professionalism, compassion, and commitment. Kay was the daughter and only child of Samuel Trueblood Brown and Lucy Mayfield Brown, both of whom preceded her in death. She graduated from Western Carolina University and in 1966 began work at the Department of Social Services in what was then known as "Aid to Families with Dependent Children." Several years later, Kay obtained her Master's Degree in Social Work through the Chapel Hill part-time program and returned to DSS as the Adult Services Supervisor, a position she held for over 25 years. Kay was known for her steady, unflappable presence, her wry sense of humor, her ability to see people as individuals, her fairness and common sense. Kay's high expectations of herself, and for her staff, inspired others to reach their best selves. She would not ask a subordinate to do a job she was unwilling to do herself. Kay was humble in the highest sense of the word, and in her quiet way, she changed a corner of the world. Kay Barrow was loved and admired by many, and she will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, Kay's desire would be for gifts to be made to the Nature Conservancy or to an animal shelter of your choice. Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Very sorry to hear of Kay’s passing yesterday. Will miss her very much at our annual Thanksgiving/Christmas meal gathering.

  2. Kay was a special lady and great to work with. She had a passion for her work and helped so many people in need. Thankful that she had so many friends that cared about her. Rest in peace Kay.

  3. This world is far better off due to Kay Barrow’s journey through life. Buncombe County has lost an angel who dedicated her life to excellence in service to others. Kay was the best of the best Social Work professionals. I was fortunate to have been a roommate and fellow student in the UNC-Chapel Hill Master’s Degree Work Study Program. Kay not only talked the talk, but, walked the walk! Rest in Peace Kay, job, and, life well done old friend!

  4. Once again by asking in lieu of flowers for us to think about the environment and animals, Kay is continuing to try and take care of ‘others’ once again. It will be done as you requested dear friend. God Bless.

  5. My first day working for Kay she gave me a poem called the starfish,saying it it matters to each person that you provide care or a service to. I still have it and it has followed on to my new career as a pastor too. My prayers for her loved ones and I know that heaven is a brighter place.

  6. Kay was a wonderful person and friend. I will miss her. I hope Sadie and Sugar Pie are in a good home. I loved them also. My prayers with her family.

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