Katherine Middleton Huger, widow of Daniel Elliott Huger, died peacefully August 19 at her home at Bishop Gadsden surrounded by the love and support of her circle of friends and close family friends.
Katy was born Oct. 6, 1941, in Buffalo, N.Y., the daughter of John V. Middleton and Margaret Litzinger Middleton.
Her father’s career as an engineer for the railroad took her family from Buffalo to Yonkers, Watertown and Syracuse before settling in Jersey Shore, PA. Not only was Katy a kind and loving young woman, she was also very bright and graduated from The Shipley School for Girls, and then Bryn Mawr College and went on to earn graduate degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University in Medford, MA.
Katy put her fine education to work as a business research officer and economist for the Bank of Boston. While in Massachusetts, Katy met Daniel Elliott Huger and they were married on July 24, 1971. Katy and Danny decided to make Charleston their home after their wedding. They shared a passion for exploration and traveled the world to appreciate both natural and cultural wonders. At Danny’s death in 2015, they had been married nearly 44 years.
Katy had an impressive career as an economist. In 1972, she joined the faculty of the Department of Business and Economics at the Baptist College of Charleston, now Charleston Southern University, and remained on the faculty for 32 years until her retirement in 2004. She was a gifted teacher and was greatly appreciated by her students.
At a time when women in finance were in the minority, Katy was an organizer and founder of the Bank of South Carolina, and also became a director when the bank was chartered in 1986. She served in that position until 2016. She brought her depth of knowledge of the banking industry to her role as an educator.
Katy’s interests were not limited to finance and education; one need only peruse her bookshelves to know that Katy loved art history, explored the importance of a variety of cultures, was an advocate for environmental conservation, became an avid gardener and birder, to name just a few of her passions. Katy was a member of the Charleston Horticultural Society and helped establish the Arboretum Council at Bishop Gadsden. She was a leader in the growth of Bishop Gadsden’s Community Garden as well. Her love of history was evident in her involvement and support of the Charleston Museum where she served two terms on their board of trustees. Katy also gave her time to the Natural History Department of the Bunting Natural History Gallery where she and Danny were strong supporters.
Katy Huger dedicated her time and intellect to supporting the Curatorial Department at the Gibbes Museum of Art as a researcher, editor, and member of the collections and exhibitions committee for over 30 years. Her curiosity and love for the Japanese Print Collection led to many new discoveries, a traveling exhibition and the first major catalogue of the collection entitled “Lasting Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Read Simms Collection” which was published and dedicated to her in 2021.
She was a member of the World Affairs Council, the Junior League of Charleston, and First (Scots) Presbyterian Church. Because wildlife habitat preservation was so important to Katy, she was an active member of the Edisto Island Open Land Trust, the Edisto Island Historic and Preservation Society, the Nature Conservancy, the Coastal Conservation League, and the Lowcountry Open Land Trust. Katy loved being immersed in nature, and spent time bird watching, identifying butterflies, animals and plants. Away from the Lowcountry, she hiked in numerous National Parks, traveled to the Galapagos, to the monarch butterfly winter home in Mexico, and visited Nepal where she watched the sun rise over Mount Everest on New Year’s Day.
One of her most recent projects, preservation of Buckfield Plantation, is just now coming to fruition through collaboration of the Open Space Institute and the Nature Conservancy. The plantation had once belonged to Danny’s family and has now been placed in a conservation easement. The 7,300-acre plantation has been combined with adjacent acres to form a 12,000 plus-acre ecological anchor in a largely unprotected section of Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties, where the protected lands will be preserved for wildlife management and public use.
While Katy did not have any living family members, she is survived by two long term family friends, Lillian Li and Cornelia Dopkins and their families. She is also supported by dear friends that she made over the years.
There will be a memorial planned for a later date. Arrangements are by Stuhr’s Funeral Chapel Downtown.
Katy wanted to express her gratitude for the support of the Bishop Gadsden staff and asked that contributions in her memory be made to the Bishop Gadsden Employee Assistance Fund, 1 Bishop Gadsden Way, Charleston, S.C., 29412.
A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com.