Founding member of Women in Defense’s Dayton chapter dies

Katie Stroup-Kasper — a retired U.S. Air Force civilian who helped organize a Women in Defense chapter in Dayton to promote networking among her and her peers — will be remembered by friends and family Tuesday.

She died this month at age 64.

As a founding member and incumbent president, Stroup-Kasper saw the Women in Defense Greater Ohio Valley chapter grow to 138 members across government, military and industry, said Suzanne Sumner, the chapter vice president.

“Katie was an amazing woman who obviously left here way too soon,” Sumner said. “She was one of the women involved in getting the Women in Defense chapter started, which was not an easy thing to do.”

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Stroup-Kasper, of Huber Heights, died a natural death on May 8, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. Donations in her memory are directed to the Hospice of Dayton.

“Katie dedicated herself to the service of the United States, working as a civilian in the business sector of the United States Air Force,” her obituary said. “She will be fondly remembered for her hard work and dedication to service.”

Lynn B. Moad, a colleague and member of the Women in Defense chapter, said Stroup-Kasper was “enthusiastic about providing opportunities for women in aerospace to network together.”

“She just worked tirelessly to get different speakers in, setting up panels of folks from not only government positions but industry and academia,” Moad said. “Katie was also an incredibly good facilitator and moderator.”

She was “a lot of fun,” too.

“Her smile is something we will all miss,” Moad said. “She always greeted everybody with a smile. She was just a fun person, at the same time she was someone who was very intentional about getting results.”

The organization awards a scholarship in Stroup-Kasper’s honor.

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Stroup-Kasper retired in March with a retirement ceremony attended by a general, a major and other officers in the Air Force.

Stroup-Kasper was born in Dayton to Elaine and Edward “Mike” Stroup, who proceed her in death, according to her obituary. She graduated from Wayne High School in 1971 and was a piccolo player in the school’s alumni band. She earned an undergraduate degree from Wright State University and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix.

She is survived by her sisters, Peg Stroup, Michele Campbell, Nancy Burns, and Laura Stroup; nephews, Brian Burns, Kevin Leaver, Kyle Leaver, and Alex Campbell; and life-long friends and caregivers, Caryn (Dann) Chappelear and Mandy (Kurt) Geyer, according to her obituary.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday at Newcomer-North Chapel at 7 p.m., with a visitation from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“She was as patriotic as you could be not wearing a uniform,” Sumner said. “She really enjoyed her job and what she was doing, and serving her country as a civilian.”

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