Kathy Sery, born August 14, 1967, passed away peacefully on March 18, 2021 surrounded by those who loved her. She was an active member of the Haddonfield community, participating with HOMH (Hometown Opportunities for the Mentally Handicapped), the Possibility Players theater group, Pegasus The Arts, and the Sparrow Program (an enrichment program for adults with special needs). Beginning in 1984, her parents, Ted and Doris Sery, established these programs for developmentally disabled children, youth, and adults.
Kathy loved giving strong hugs (she should have been a chiropractor!), playing with her stuffed animals, looking at pictures in her family albums to cherish memories, and using bright crayons to color in her many coloring books. She especially liked drawing rainbows (she was quite the artist like her mother). Her favorite part of the Sparrow Program was the art class.
Her favorite holidays were Halloween and Christmas, and Santa was her best friend. She loved swimming and could hold her breath for so long that it was worrisome! Kathy looked forward to going to the God’s Special Children Sunday school at the Collingswood First United Methodist Church every week to see her friends and worship – she loved singing hymns during the church service and her faith was strong. She was an inspiration to all.
Kathy’s verbal and motor skills were challenging for her and she had difficulty communicating with people who did not know her. But she saw and felt things deeply and would dictate her thoughts into spoken poetry. Her portfolio of original and inspiring poems was recognized, and in 1988 she was invited to compete in the NJ Governor’s Award in Arts Education. To confirm that her previous dictated poems were authentic, the judges met with her alone and asked her to create a poem. She showed no nervousness and went into the room. When she came out, the judges had unanimously awarded her the prize in poetry.
Heart is like a trap door –
You cannot go through it.
And it’s dark in the middle
and spooky too – and the beat of a drum.
The heart is a red apple
that you cannot eat
because it’s made from skin and organs and gushy.
The heart is full of rainbows –
the meaning of life.
Oh heart – how I love thee,
let me walk in your path of rainbows.
And I start my journey through the heart and out.
Long and bumpy road over rocks and
through the swamp over the sleet and mud.
The endless journey begins to thicken.
It’s hard to go through the heart.
It’s a rough and tumbly road of life.
It’s hard to stop walking through the heart.
I keep on going.
And the end is near – I feel something happening to me.
Now this is the end of the heart.
Welcome to my heart.
Now I open the door of my heart and let
the light in, and I walk out and shut
the door to my heart.
Now I walk up to heaven and say
goodbye, my friend,
Some day your children go through it, too.
by Kathy Sery
Kathy touched the lives and hearts of everyone, and she will be missed. Her family wants to thank all who had a special place in her life and are grateful for the love and care and kindness given so generously over the years.
She is survived by her brothers Paul Sery (and his wife Lidia, Albuquerque, NM), James Sery (and his wife Nancy, and children Abigail and Alec, Clarksboro, NJ), and her sister Liddy (Sery) Tuleja (Haddon Township, NJ).
When: March 26, 2021, doors will open at 10:45 am
Location: Collingswood First United Methodist Church
Address: Park & Dayton Avenues, Collingswood, New Jersey
The service begins at 11:00 a.m. Please join us as we celebrate Kathy’s amazing life.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
The Sparrow Program, PO Box 36, Mt. Ephraim, NJ 08059
The Possibility Players (c/o HOHM), 95 Balsam Road, Lumberton, NJ 08048