RUMFORD — Katharine Gorham Symington, 59, died peacefully Thursday at her home in Rumford. She was surrounded by her family, whom she was determined to be with for the holidays.

Her greatest accomplishment was raising her children. She was the beloved Mother to Christopher Symington and Meghan Symington Hamylak, as well as her son-in-law, Mark Hamylak. She recently became the proud grandmother to Emerson Katharine Hamylak.

Kathy grew up in a large family, the first born daughter of William and Christine Hanson Gorham on Oct. 3, 1951. She was blessed with a magnetic personality and joyous sense of humor. She loved life and had many great friends.

She graduated Stephens High School, Class of 1969, and later moved to Connecticut, where she married Rob Symington, raised her children and enjoyed a long and distinguished career with the telephone company. She was active in the Connecticut Union of Telephone Workers, in which she rose to become chief steward, known to pals as “Agent Symington.”

To most who knew her, she was Kath, a tough but tender, selfless and charismatic person who was spectacular company. She could always start a project, a party… or a lawnmower. She enjoyed spending afternoons in her yard and evenings by the “chim.” She took retirement seriously, and in 2007 moved back home and went straight to work managing Teena’s Restaurant, the family business.

She supported local sports and was often seen on the sidelines of her nephews’ games. She loved to travel and had enjoyed adventures with her in-laws Virginia and Robert Symington Sr.

She often spent weekends camping, skiing, or sightseeing with loved ones. Of all the places she visited, though, her favorite spot was the camp at Roxbury Pond where she did her best procrastinating, always preferring a sunset cruise to… just about anything else.

She donated blood, worked hard, loved children, had a nice smile, a lovely singing voice, and was an activist and a friend. Throughout her struggle, she never complained. She was a fighter. She loved her family. She will be missed.

Katharine is survived by her mother, Teena; her siblings, Bridget, Joseph, Christopher, Patrick, Mark, and Kelly, and their spouses, Steve, Jane, Roxanne and Mindy; as well as many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her father, William Gorham; and her brother, John.

You are invited to share your, thoughts, condolences, and fond memories with the Symington family by visiting their guestbook at

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