Huntsville murder victim and MSFC retiree Kathy Lundy remembered as 'colorful, adventurous, social glue'

Kathy Lundy
Kathy Lundy
Updated: Aug. 31, 2016 at 6:38 PM CDT
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Kathy Lundy
Kathy Lundy
Kathy Lundy
Kathy Lundy
Kathy Lundy
Kathy Lundy

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Kathy Lundy was gunned down in her front yard while on her way to a neighborhood pool party on Aug. 26.

Huntsville police say it was a random murder in Morland Pointe, the gated community where she lived with her husband, Rusty. She didn't know Warren Hardy, the man charged with her murder.

Police say Hardy killed the 72-year-old retiree while demanding her car keys as she walked out her front door. According to investigators, the shot was fired after she had thrown him her keys.

Lundy was a long-time employee at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Over the 17 years she spent there before retirement, she held various administrative positions, lastly was in MSFC's Engineering Directorate.

Friends say she was a NASA cheerleader and a great advocate for America's space program. She traveled to see the shuttle launches and even helped on the chartered buses that were the traveling from Huntsville to see them.

At Marshall, she acted as a project manager of "people," and that carried over into her personal life. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, the family matriarch and a world traveler. She loved people and she loved life.

Most of her friends can't speak publicly about her horrific death without breaking down. But two stood strong on Wednesday to share how Lundy lived rather than how she died.

Lynn Garrison said Lundy was like a sister to her. She said Lundy was close to her work family and her biological family, describing her as the life of the party, the one who organized the party, and someone who was larger than life.

Lundy was one of 11 children born to a huge Irish-Catholic family in Randolph, Massachusetts, near Boston. The last "sister" to live in a sea of brothers who became the matriarch, watching over her dozens of nieces and nephews and keeping in touch on social media and at family reunions.

"She loved life," Garrison said. "She loved her family. She adored her grandchildren, her children and her husband."

"Oh, she loved people. Oh, she did." said her friend Bennie Jacks. "I don't think she ever met a stranger."

"Her husband always told her that she could talk a cat off a fish wagon, so she just had a knack for people and relationships and she always was having a good time," Garrison said.

Garrison and Jacks said their friend was quite the character, and one could never know  what was going to come out of her mouth.

"She was so colorful and you could say that 80 to 90 percent of what she said and the jokes she told was not for prime-time TV, but that's
what we remember when you think about Kathy. You can't help but smile or laugh," Garrison said.

They say Lundy was hysterically funny, irreverent, a practical joker. One time she told Garrison's son "that she worked at Hooters. That she was a Hooter girl and from that time on, he called her 'Hooter Girl'."

Lundy's bags were always packed. She traveled and lived around the world and never missed an opportunity to nuzzle up to someone who had been on top of the world. Her friends say she was always first in line to get an autograph or snap a picture with an astronaut.

That's why her friends say her murder is so shocking. Her life could have been threatened in any foreign land, but it ended in her own yard.

She and Garrison were even planning a trip to Alaska next summer. She was also awaiting the arrival of her third grandchild.

Lundy's visitation will be Thursday night at Berryhill Funeral Home from 5 to 8 p.m.

Her funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph Catholic Church at 2300 Beasley Ave. in Huntsville.

Her family said another memorial service will be held in mid-October in her birthplace of Randolph, Massachusetts.

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