KATHY ANN VAN HOOK, There was really no more fitting phrase to describe all 4 foot 11 inches of Kathy Ann Van Hook than "larger than life." Kathy came into this world in Milan, Tenn., on August 21, 1944 and passed away on August 22, 2019 after a short, but valiant fight against COPD and respiratory disease. She lived 75 years and 1 day. All of her days and all of her years were lived with high octane energy, love and passion for the things and people that mattered to her. In any room she was in, Kathy's smile was always the biggest. And in any group of people she was with, Kathy was always the life of the party. She had a gift for getting other people to happily do things for her. She was a 25-year breast cancer survivor. She was fierce in her friendships, her love and her approach to the world. Her family was her heart. She is survived by her only child, son Mark Van Hook, grandson Clark Van Hook, daughter-in-law Lisa Van Hook, granddaughter Sophia Bondurant, brother Terry Hancock (Becky) of Milan, Tenn., and countless Hancock and Chapman cousins, nieces and nephews, along with her beloved chiweenie dog, Bentley. Her home in Little Rock was her haven and home base for years of happiness. Her incredible group of girlfriends were her extended family; they include Sandra Ogden (Riley), Susan Kittrell, Johnnie Smith, Judy Bentliff, Nancy Newcomb and a host of other fast friends. Kathy and her girlfriends shared hundreds of adventures together, but truly some of her happiest times were spent with her family and friends on her deck, overlooking her manicured backyard, with a cold beverage and a lot of laughter. Her girlfriends never stopped visiting her during her illness and praying for her recovery. Kathy was a graduating member of Milan High School in Milan, Tenn., Class of 1962. After high school, Kathy attended college, received her bachelor's degree and had a long career in academics and banking. She retired from ARVEST Bank in the early 90's. Kathy grew up in Milan, Tenn., and lived her adult life in Memphis, Tenn.,, Tulsa, Okla., and Little Rock, Ark. She was a proper and proud Southern lady and was a member of DAR. Kathy's manners would make her mother and British royalty proud: she set a beautiful table, used the good crystal and made incredible meals around which her family gathered. Her legendary deviled eggs were a popular Thanksgiving favorite and were typically devoured in the first 10 minutes of any gathering. She never let anyone leave her house without a hug, some sage advice or something that she either made, found on sale or mischievously curated from her overstuffed closets. Kathy was predeceased by her mother, Katherine Lucille Chapman Hancock, her father, Dewey Chapman, and her friend for life and Mark's father, James (Jim) B. Van Hook. Jim may have been the biggest fan of Kathy's legendary deviled eggs, one time consuming eight in a single sitting before Thanksgiving dinner. The family is forever grateful to the exceptional nurses and medical staff in the Baptist Medical Center ICU South. Services to celebrate her life and share memories will be Thursday, August 29 from 6-8 p.m., handled by Ruebel Funeral Home, Little Rock, Ark. Kathy Van Hook's larger than life personality will be missed, but her soul, the happy memories she made, her abundant love and her gigantic smile will be remembered forever.
Published August 25, 2019