Born in Manchester, in 1912, Dame Kathleen became deaf at the age of eight. She gained a place at St Leonards in the 1920s, and her fascination with mathematics informed her life and her career, leading her to complete not only an undergraduate degree in the subject in 1931, but also a doctorate (1945), at Somerville College, University of Oxford.
Appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to education in 1970, she also served as Lord Mayor of Manchester from 1975 to 1976 and was a published author and accomplished amateur astronomer.
Ollerenshaw Housemaster John Taylor commented that it was “with fondness, respect, awe, and sincere admiration that we remember Dame Kathleen today. Everything Dame Kathleen achieved in her life serves as an inspiration to all of us that, against the odds, we can aspire towards great things, we can fulfil our passions and we can live our lives according to our beliefs.”
The boys of Ollerenshaw ended the service with, a now traditional, Ollerenshaw handshaking.