Marion native Kathryn Luzadder was a lifelong servant leader with a special heart for honoring veterans. She graduated from Marion High School in 1969 then attended Sam Nabier Beauty School. Her career began with the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System in Marion, then after 13 years she worked as a dietician and food service director for Lakeview Christian School. After 17 years there, she pursued a passion to start a dance studio called, “Stars of the Future Dance Company,” and also taught at Playhouse Studio of Dance. Luzadder also began a catering company with her son, Brad.
Kathy Luzadder was devoted to serving her hometown in many ways. She devoted over 40 years with the Marion Easter Pageant, led the Koinonia Red Hatter’s Group, and even started and popularized a local Euchre club. As a member of Sunnycrest Baptist, she served her church through catering meals and fostering fellowship. Her obituary stated she famously said, “If you see anything that needs done, do it yourself and don’t ask anyone else to do it.”
Most importantly, Luzadder founded and served as President for the Let My Light Shine nonprofit organization to honor fallen veterans. She was inspired after visiting the John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, and began to rally friends to start the group and work toward a monumental goal to eternally shine light on the graves of all veterans at the Marion National Cemetery. They started with 400 lights in 2009, and now shine solar lights on 13,000 graves through special permission from the National Cemetery Administration in Indianapolis.
Son, Brad Luzadder, stated, “She never stopped. She was never defeated and always kept going.” Reflecting on their cooperation with state representatives and senators in Washington, he said, “It’s pretty unique that we are the only place where they allow this. Mom and Dad always said, ‘We do this for the men and women who stood for the flag, and now we’re able to help them stand. They will stand forever because the flame will never go out.’”
To learn more about Let My Light Shine and how to volunteer or donate toward their mission, visit letmylightshinemarion.org.