Kathryn Clement

Obituary of Kathryn Ballou Clement

Kathryn “Kaki” Ballou Clement died on August 9th at Litchfield, SC. She is survived by her loving sons, William Caldwell Clement and Walker Randolph Clement. Kaki is also survived by Michael Clement to whom she was married for 28 years. In addition she is survived by her brothers Wade Ballou (Teri), Eric Ballou (Spencer), Robert Ballou (Beth) and the nieces and nephews she cherished, Daniel Ballou, Peter Ballou, Elizabeth Ballou, Clara Ballou, Hoby Ballou, Cole Ballou, Jack Ballou and Amelia Ballou. She was predeceased by her parents, the Honorable Ernest Wade Ballou and Ruth Sachers Ballou of Roanoke. She was their beloved “Kitty-Kat” and only daughter. Kaki was an accomplished and vibrant woman. Her battles with rheumatoid arthritis in the last 18 years of her life never diminished her strength or hopes. A graduate of the University of Virginia, she was a lifelong “Hoo” and proud her immediate family counted 7 graduations from Mr. Jefferson’s University. Kaki was the Chair of the University Union and a member and officer of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She was also, simply, a native of Roanoke and proud of her Virginia heritage. Kaki broke her own barriers and created high bars. A French major, she sold resins from tank cars for Dow Chemical immediately following graduation at Virginia while living in Atlanta. She met Mike in 1982 on a blind date and they never missed a weekend apart until they married. She moved to Charlotte to start their marriage. Soon Mike’s career would take them to Ft Lauderdale, Sarasota/Bradenton, Tampa, Richmond and eventually back to Charlotte. There is no doubt that while Kaki was never employed with Bank of America, she was one of many spouses who helped build the company from its NCNB roots to the modern financial giant it is. Kaki and all of these women, and they were mostly women, deserve their own recognition. Kaki left a trail of deep friendships in each of these cities. The two most important people in her life were her sons. She cherished them from the moment of their births and was always happiest when they were with her. She delighted in sewing Halloween costumes, baking, leading the PTA at Sharon Elementary, their attainment of Eagle Scout rank, camping, celebrating their achievements and nursing their wounds. She supported her son Will unconditionally as he came to terms with his life as a gay man. She taught him about a Virginian's love for a good bourbon. She loved watching Panther’s football with Walker and even accepted his decision to attend Virginia Tech, although at the time, it was hard. There was no greater joy for her than being the Mother to her sons and she will continue in that role through the values she instilled in them. In addition to her children she was most proud of her brothers and their families. Kaki grew up as the only girl among 3 boys. They loved her intensely and fostered a sense of competition despite the egalitarian efforts of their parents. Both of these influences were important. She held Wade, Eric and Robert in her heart every day. They remained closer than any family you can imagine. Kaki was known as a dry wit. Her family loved to laugh and sly humor was a gift she instilled in her boys. She knew every flower in the garden. She loved roses most. She was the rose among the thorns. She loved her friends and was a proud member of the I.C.E Club. Kaki held hope every day that she would heal from the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. She would never let people except those closest around know how debilitating her disease was. But make no mistake this is a terrible disease that needs focus to help the lives of those impacted by it. She rallied every day and in fact felt well enough to be out enjoying her life fully on the day she left us. Despite this she was active in her church and the Guardian Ad Litem program supporting and advocating for women and children in the court system. Although their marriage ended, Kaki and Mike remained friends, supporters of each other and united in their love of their children. In recent years, she was again, a fiercely independent woman making her own way. She was particularly proud of a part-time volunteer role at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Division. Her father was a judge and she was always respected the role of law enforcement. As a child she was known to the entire law enforcement staff in the Roanoke court house and sometimes protected by them. The family is particularly grateful to the team at the Wendover sub-station and their willingness to see Kaki’s gifts despite her illness. While Kaki was of English and German extraction, there was also a great deal of Scotch in her. She would already suggest we have spent too much money and too many lines in this obituary. Please join us at a memorial service to be held at 2:00pm on Friday August 14th at Myers Park Presbyterian Church with a reception to follow. Kaki will be interred at Evergreen Memorial Park in Roanoke Virginia beside her beloved parents on Monday August 17th. A Memorial service will be held at 12:00 pm at Second Presbyterian, Roanoke. Kaki loved flowers, so send those if you wish, but most importantly if you wish to honor her life, consider memorials of time or financial contribution to the Arthritis Foundation or Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Place, Charlotte. Kaki never missed a summer contributing to the Children’s Camp Fund at the Charlotte Observer. We’re sure they would enjoy an early launch to the 2016 campaign. As has been written, “She has worn the honors of Honor. She graduated from Virginia."
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