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Katherine B. “Kay” Troxell

Posted By DeBord Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory On January 13, 2021 @ 1:29 pm In Obituaries | 24 Comments

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Katherine B. “Kay” Troxell, Lancaster, an area leader in sacred dance and Christian clown ministry passed away at home on Sunday, January 3, 2021. Born in Washington DC on October 28, 1926, she was the daughter of the late Marion Smith and Dorothy (Sweeney) Badollet. She was the wife of Robert Merrill Troxell, with whom she celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in November.

As a liturgical dancer, choreographer, and workshop leader, she had been active since 1974 in introducing dance as an element of contemporary worship. Kay appeared as a soloist, a member of two dance trios and as a speaker-demonstrator in churches throughout south central Pennsylvania. She was the Editor of Resources in Sacred Dance, an Annotated Bibliography from Christian and Jewish Traditions published by the Sacred Dance Guild in 1986 and enlarged and revised in 1991. An article, “Lamb of God, a Dance of Lent” appeared in Modern Liturgy magazine.

Mrs. Troxell was a member of the national Sacred Dance Guild and served as Recording Secretary of the Board of Directors and as a member of the Board-at-Large from 1985-1989. She was the Chapter Representative of the Eastern PA area of the Guild for nine years. She was a guest lecturer on sacred dance at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster Theological Seminary, Harrisburg Area Community College, and led workshops for church schoolteachers and adult classes, youth groups, choir directors, church women’s associations, and the Parish Resource Center, Lancaster.

A member of First United Methodist Church, Lancaster, Kay served on worship planning committees both in her church and on Methodist District and Conference levels. She danced in worship services at annual meetings of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, United Methodist Church, as well as at a National Synod meeting of the United Church of Christ. She was a founding member, Secretary and Danceletter Editor of the Dance Council of Central Pennsylvania from 1978-1984.

In addition to her dance activities, Kay was the founder and director of “The Fools of Faith” Christian Clown ministry at her church. She began clowning in 1979 in her father’s nursing home and was active in clown ministry in hospitals and nursing centers, teaching at national conferences and area workshops.

She was a charter member of the Board of Directors and from 1986-88 served as Secretary of Phoenix Performing Arts Ministries. She was honored by that organization with the first annual Father Dave Mura Award for her contributions and loyalty to the ministries. Several of her articles on Christian clowning have been published in Phoenix Rising, the organization’s magazine. She was Community Arrangements Chair for the National Clown, Mime, Puppet and Dance Ministries Conference in 1983.

Kay served as charter member and secretary to the Spectrum Lay Advisory Committee, Lancaster Theological Seminary. She was a member of the Lancaster YWCA and in the 1960s was an officer in the YW Newcomer’s Club and Editor of the YWCA’s newsletter, “Lancaster Young Woman” from 1961-1967. She was member of the Public Relations Advisory Committee, Manheim Township School District in 1971.

Kay grew up in the Scotch Plains/Fanwood, New Jersey area and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1948 with a degree in journalism. She was the Publications Manager for Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, 1948-1954.

Along with her husband, Kay is survived by a daughter, Merrill K. (Judi Skilton Horry), Charleston, SC, and a son, Robert B. (Diane Martin), Lititz, as well as 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Kay’s interests were gardening, France and speaking French, and playing the piano-especially boogie woogie. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date. Details will be announced when plans are finalized.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in remembrance of Katherine B. Troxell can be made to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, www.cbf.org, or to Choice Books of Pennsylvania, 121 S. Main St. Manheim, PA 17545.  To leave an online condolence for the family, please visit: www.DeBordSnyder.com

Condolences for the family of “Katherine B. “Kay” Troxell”

Condolence from Jenny Droz Switch on January 16th, 2021 9:59 am

Rob and Merrill,

My thoughts and prayers are with you , your Dad and your families at this time. I have such fond memories of your mom and our families being together for picnics and fun. Your mom was so full of life and I remember all the music surrounding her. Your mom had a wonderful life and lived it her way to the end. Even with her passing, we keep the happy memories alive.

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 16th, 2021 6:39 pm

Thanks Jen,

I appreciate the kind words. We are both blessed to have had amazing parents.


Condolence from Belinda Viers on January 16th, 2021 1:02 pm

Condolences to Merrill and Rob. Your mother will be remembered in the hearts of those she knew. Blessings to your family.

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 17th, 2021 8:47 pm

Thanks Belinda! I appreciate the kind words.

Condolence from Wilda Drake on January 16th, 2021 2:53 pm

May the joyous memories you shared be a comfort to you all in the days ahead. Kay and I were Grandmother in laws to two beautiful Grandchildren.


Condolence from Judy Bowser on January 16th, 2021 3:19 pm

Kay was the Grandmother of my great niece and nephew. I was drawn to her sense of humor and friendliness. We may not have seen each other for several years but when our paths crossed, we picked up where we left off. She was a treasure!
May God comfort her loved ones with great memories of a life well lived.
Judy Drake Bowser

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 16th, 2021 6:24 pm

Thank you, Judy. Praying you are well.

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 16th, 2021 6:23 pm

Thank you, Grandma Drake. Hope you are well.

Condolence from Debbie English Hammond on January 17th, 2021 9:08 am

Rob- so sorry to hear about your mom. She was a wonderful lady and instilled in me a love of clowning. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 17th, 2021 8:39 pm

Thank you Debbie. We had a good time with the clowns. It was such a unique way to do church.

Condolence from Wendy Morrell on January 17th, 2021 11:13 am

All of the dancers in the Sacred Dance Guild village send deep waves of grace out to you as you celebrate the most amazing life of Kay! I have many nourishing memories of Kay who played many pivotal and important roles in our history. As the Sacred Dance Guild turns 63 on February 10th, we honor all of the dancers who shared their time, energy and passion over those many years. We continue to grow into the future and that is a legacy to Kay and all of the others who were with us on the journey!

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 17th, 2021 8:42 pm

Thank you for the kind words Wendy. 63 years! Wow! That’s awesome. Mom really enjoyed her time with the Guild. Keep worshipping our great God.
Rob Troxell

Condolence from Andrea Shearer on January 17th, 2021 12:25 pm

I met and danced with Kay at Sacred Dance Guild Festivals. She was such a joyful presence…and that smile! Even I, who did not know her well, am saddened at her passing and will keep the family in my prayers and in my dancing. You have my deepest sympathy.

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 17th, 2021 8:44 pm

Thank you Andrea. There were very few times where she didn’t have that smile…even to the end.
Rob Troxell

Condolence from Stacey V Brennan MD, Columbia, SC on January 17th, 2021 5:39 pm

Sending condolences to Bob, Rob and Merrill. Kay was a dear friend of Sally Van Pelt (my mother) and one of her last remaining Chi Omega Sorority sisters from Penn State. Kay was always so caring – from the years we all lived on Hiemenz Road to these days with Mom now residing at Homestead Village. We will remember Kay’s creativity, spunk, courage and love, and her close ties with Mom. Blessings.

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 17th, 2021 8:46 pm

Thank you Stacey. Our mothers had a very special friendship for a long, long time. I hope your mom is doing well.

Condolence from Ken & Linda Husler on January 18th, 2021 9:00 am

Dear Bob and Family–
Please accept our sincerest condolences on Kay’s passing. We have SO many great memories of how Kay was wonderfully welcoming, outgoing, influential, and gracious. She was a very bright light in the world, and will not be forgotten. God Bless!

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 19th, 2021 1:12 pm

Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge her. Your kind words are greatly appreciated.

Condolence from Kay Kneisley on January 18th, 2021 6:43 pm

To the family of Kay Troxell:
I will always remember the fun we had at the Better Bones and Balance class that Tim Kauffman gave. There were several Kays in the group and I often sat next to Kay Toxell. I was glad to get to know her. I am sorry for your loss.
Kay Kneisley

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 19th, 2021 1:13 pm

Thank you Kay. She enjoyed the classes with Tim as well.

Condolence from David Loughery on January 19th, 2021 11:10 am

I got to know Kay firsts when I was UMC District Superintendent in Lancaster and later as pastor in Lancaster area and Parish Resource Center. I’ll never forget at Christmas one year while at First Church she gave out nose flutes which we gave to our adult sons home from college that proved to be a fun time!?!
She was a true artist and leader
Dave Loughery

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 19th, 2021 1:14 pm

Thank you for the kind words Dave. She was one of a kind. I forgot about the nose flutes, but that certainly sounds like Mom.

Condolence from Carolene Brubaker on January 22nd, 2021 11:14 am

What a beautiful, gracious woman! I’m so sad that she’s no longer with us. I remember her most of all for the beauty and inspiration of her sacred dance at church. As I recall the way she moved, my heart is still touched by that memory.

Condolence from Rob Troxell on January 26th, 2021 6:30 pm

Thank you, Carolene. I’m pleased that she left such a lasting and positive impact on you.

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