Teacher killed in freak accident remembered

August 7, 2009 5:35:31 PM PDT
The father of a young teacher killed by a falling tree limb speaks to Action News.It's the call a parent hopes they never get.

"I was going to bed, just turned off Sportscenter, and a phone call came from the detectives in Philadelphia," Katie's father, John Ledany, said.

On his porch at home, John Ledany recounted to Action News when he learned his only child Katie was killed by a falling tree limb in Fairmount Park on Wednesday night.

It was a tragic end to the life of a young schoolteacher who took her Bucknell diploma to teach inner-city kids despite her parents' reservations.

"We had visited Murrell Dobbins and we were a little bit worried about the neighborhood and we asked her about the students and her comment was, 'Well, these kids need good teachers, too,'" John said.

This compassion was a quality Katie had even as a little girl.

"Katie was a dream child," her father said.

Her father says Katie was fast to make friends, a whiz at math, and always sensitive to others.

Friends and family in her hometown are now preparing for her funeral.

"We're all going to miss her so much. You can never imagine the circumstance; this freak accident, the odds of it are 1 in a billion," John said.

First in Bucknell then in Roxborough, Katie spent her final years in Pennsylvania, but it was in Montclair, New Jersey, where she grew up, where she will be laid to rest on Tuesday, surrounded by loved ones.

Her father believes Katie's legacy will be the kindness she showed to so many, her students, her parents, and her friends.

"She was just somebody that was so kind and caring and I don't think you can find anybody that would ever say a bad word about her," John said.