Cover photo for Kate A. Shaftel's Obituary
Kate A. Shaftel Profile Photo
1980 Kate 2022

Kate A. Shaftel

April 25, 1980 — June 13, 2022

Kate A. Shaftel, 42, of Athens, Ohio, passed away on Monday, June 13, 2022 after a long battle with metastatic ocular cancer. Born April 25, 1980 in Trenton, New Jersey, she was the daughter of L. Christine Albe and Richard Albe.

She was an award-winning fine-arts fundraiser who was essential to the ongoing transformation of the Ohio University College of Fine Arts. Prior to that she helped alumni and friends to make positive change as a fundraiser at Westminster Choir College and the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey. During her lifetime she raised over $15 million to support the arts. She was an alumna of Westminster Choir College, where she earned a BA in Music and sang under the batons of some of the greatest conductors of our time.  

She was known especially for her buoyant personality (and blonde curls) and cheerful demeanor. Her colleagues and many, many friends remark on her heart, tenacity, generosity, positive parenting, and incredible ability to raise money for the arts. She was able to make everyone around her feel special! Kate had a special soprano voice that few people were honored to hear; she was simply too modest to share it more broadly. 

Even if tragedy kept her from living broadly, Kate lived deeply. Over the past three years and sometimes struggling with harsh and experimental chemotherapy drugs, she ticked off every travel destination on her bucket list with adventures across the globe. She was especially proud of making it to the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park as well as her favorite spot in the world atop Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch.

She is survived by her mother, L. Christine Albe; husband, Matthew Shaftel; and four children: a daughter, Elena Wadley; and three stepchildren: Veronique, Alexandre, and Genevieve Shaftel; and many lifelong friends who were also family to her. 

A memorial service to celebrate Kate's life will be held on Monday, June 27, at 11 am at the First Presbyterian Church in Athens, Ohio. There will be coffee and cookies after the service.For those who cannot attend in person, a livestream will be available on the church’s youtube channel:

A portion of Kate’s remains is interred in the Southwest corner of Clarks Chapel Cemetery. It is a beautiful place, and her friends and family all know that she would welcome visitors. That said, Kate would always say that she could be found in any tranquil natural spot: a river, an ocean, a mountain, or a forest.

In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the College of Fine Arts Lift Student Support Fund in her honor:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kate A. Shaftel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, June 27, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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