Katherine Ann (Kit) Norwood was a younger daughter of Joe and Elaine Norwood, long time members of Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. She was diagnosed as hard of hearing in the first grade. This progressed each year until she ended up with 2 hearing aids by the 5th grade. She did well by sitting in the front of the room and by also attending lip reading classes at Greenville Memorial Hospital. At age 16, she was having mental problems and after years of misdiagnoses, it was decided she was bi-polar.
She graduated from Wade Hampton High School and Gallaudet University. She loved being at Gallaudet and quickly learned to sign. She had several jobs, the most satisfactory was at McKinney House, a place for mentally ill deaf people. She enjoyed it there and was able to sign even in the hand of a deaf-blind client. This gave him the pleasure of feeling he was included in activities. Eventually her meds failed again and she had to leave that job. She went back to Gateway House program for the mentally ill and back to living in their apartments. By this time she was almost totally deaf and didn’t fit in too well. She developed epilepsy and had a few seizures.
New apartments opened up in Spartanburg for deaf and handicapped individuals located across from the SC School for the Deaf and Blind. Thanks to Roger Williams, she was given one of these apartments. She enjoyed being in a community with other deaf or handicapped people and did some volunteer work at the School.
Kit was a strong advocate for civil rights and the deaf and mentally ill. She had good use of language and wrote on their behalf.
She loved GUUF and the people who attend and would come often over the years. The epilepsy got worse and the seizures more frequent. This took her life. She put up a good fight and contributed to many causes. That is all anyone can do.