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Kate Rodd Moffett

1882 ~ 1961

Kate Rodd was born in New Orleans, Louisiana January 8, 1882 in a devoted Christian home. She was reared in the Prytania Street Presbyterian Church of which her father was an elder. In 1904, she married the Rev. Lacy I. Moffett and in that same year they departed for China as missionaries. They were initially assigned to work in Soochow (Suzhou). It has been said that "this was a marriage, most surely made in heaven."

In 1908, the Moffetts were transferred to Kiangyin station, where they spent the rest of their missionary life. Into the Moffett home were born five sons and three daughters: Alexander Stuart(1905), John Rodd (1906), Lacy Irvine (1908), Robert Breedlove (1910), Florence Crawford (1911), Newton Craig (1914), Martha Ethel (1918), and Catherine Aline (1923). For many years Mrs. Moffett was almost constantly in the home, surrounded by her growing family. She was the children's teacher until they left for the Shanghai American School, usually in the seventh grade.

Her home was always a haven of peace and happiness. In all the trials of her busy home, Mrs. Moffett’s voice was never raised nor did she ever show the least sign of impatience. This was the one quality, above all others, for which she became known, admired and loved by everyone privileged to know her. Mr. Moffett’s missionary work required him to be away from home a great deal of the time visiting the country churches. Kate always carried on with no sign of fear or anxiety. It was this spirit, more than anything else, that made that home a place of peace and light.

Mrs. Moffett was an accomplished musician. The missionaries met once a week for worship and fellowship. A highlight of this service was always her playing of Christian hymns on her portable organ. Mrs. Moffett was one of those rare persons whom everybody instinctively loved because of her transparent goodness and unquestioning love and devotion to her Lord and Master.

Kate continued to hold her family together even as they left for college in the States. A set of her letters written to her children between 1935 and 1940 have been preserved and tell of the last difficult years of their missionary service in China. She tells of her husband and oldest son, Alex, returning to Kiangyin to provide services, even as the Japanese occupied the region. During this period, Kate remained in Shanghai and ministered to Jewish refugees from Europe.

Kate (Rodd) Moffett died 30 September 1961 in Taylorsville, North Carolina and is buried beside her husband.

Notes

This biography is from a lightly edited eulogy delivered by Charles W. Worth at the memorial service for Kate (Rodd) Moffett, wife of Rev. Lacy I. Moffett. Charles Worth was a fellow missionary at the Kiangyin (Jiangyin) Mission.

About the Author

By Dale J. Dailey

Dailey is a retired automobile engineer from DeWitt, Michigan who now serves as family historian. Both of his wife's parents were born and grew up in China, the children of missionaries.

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