Kathryn Jane (Hunt) Brod 1936 - 2021

Kathryn Jane (Hunt) Brod, 85, of McAlester, Oklahoma, passed away Sunday, June 20, 2021, at Mitchell Manor.

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Bishop Funeral Service and Crematory.

Kathryn was born January 11, 1936, in Page, Oklahoma, to John A. Hunt and Grace Estelle (Yearwood) Hunt.

Kathy was active in music from the age of four, singing a solo in church, and she began piano lessons at the age of five.  While in school in Talihina, she participated in the music program at school and at the Southern Baptist Church where she was a member.  She played piano and sang as well as played trombone in the high school band.  As a senior in high school, she won a first division in voice at both District and State level. She graduated from Talihina High School and married Myron Gilstrap of Durant.

 After several moves in Oklahoma, they moved to El Paso, Texas, with their two children, Shaun and Megan. She graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso, receiving her teaching degree.  Kathy taught elementary education in El Paso. While residing in El Paso, she sang with the El Paso Symphony Chorus and played for the Texas Western Civic Ballet Company.  She held the position of Dean of the American Guild of Organists.  She also began working in musicals and worked with the Fort Bliss Dinner Theatre as their accompanist and musical director, working on "Annie Get Your Gun," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," and "Guys and Dolls."

 After divorcing her first husband in El Paso, she met and married the love of her life, Eugene Brod, in October of 1975.  In 1976, they moved to Iran, where she taught at an International School.  They returned stateside one year later and moved to Edmond, where she taught in public education and taught piano and voice out of her home while earning her master's degree in Music at Central State University in Edmond.  While in Edmond, she and her husband Eugene adopted their granddaughter, Kristy Ann. They moved to Clearwater, Florida, for a short time and then moved to Plano, Texas.   

In July of 1987, Kathy moved to Oregon, where she lived for the next 13 years while working at the Delphian School, an international boarding school in Sheridan, Oregon.  Soon after her arrival, she was hired by Trinity Lutheran Church in McMinnville, Oregon, where she played the organ for seven years.  When the church hired a full-time musician, Kathy played the organ for more than five years at Joyful Servant Lutheran Church in Newberg, Oregon.

 While working at the Delphian School, she and friend Jordeen Hays teamed up their talents and started performing in local restaurants.  Their "Class Act" performed old standards, new songs and basically easy listening music. 

Kathy also had a small music studio in her home, where she taught  piano and voice.  Kathy worked at the Delphian School as secretary to the head mistress.  She was also the accompanist for the choirs at the school.  During her time there, she worked on four major musicals: "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "Meet Me in St. Louis," "Anything Goes," and "Oklahoma!"  

After spending 13 years in Oregon, she moved to Los Angeles, and finally to McAlester in 2005.   She opened a music studio in McAlester and taught piano, music and voice.  She was the organist for St. John’s Catholic Church for 14 years.  Kathy was very active in the community and was a member of the McAlester Area Arts & Humanities Council, serving as their secretary.  She was the catalyst behind the local Community Choir, which has performed Christmas concerts for the last ten+ years.  She was a member of GFWC Oklahoma McAlester Fortnightly and served as president of the board as well as president of the Southeast District of GFWC Oklahoma.  She was also a member of the McAlester Music Club and DAR. She will be greatly missed in the community, both as a musician and teacher, as well as a supporter of various volunteer activities through her clubs.

Kathy was preceded in death by her parents,  John A. Hunt and Grace Estelle Hunt; first husband, Myron Gilstrap; second husband, Eugene Brod; brothers, John Arden Hunt, William “Bill” Hunt, Ovid “Mickey” Hunt, and Charles Hunt; sisters, Grace Devota Baker, Lela Jaggers, and Joyce Hunt; and grandson, David Pattee.

She is survived by her son, Shaun Gilstrap and wife of Augusta, Georgia; daughter, Megan Gilstrap-Ciolli of McAlester and husband, Mike of McMinnville; adopted daughter, Kristy Ann Zahra of Kabul, Afghanistan; stepdaughters, Betty Duke of Lawndale, California, Carol Nutt of Mustang, and Judy “J B” Brod of McAlester; stepson, Richard Dale Brod of Denver, Colorado; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and various nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family would like to thank the staff of Southeast Hospice of McAlester and the staff of Mitchell Manor for all their care of Kathryn in her final days. 


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