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Official Obituary of

Katie Karrin (Sullenberger) Morningstar

February 25, 1977 ~ February 5, 2024 (age 46) 46 Years Old

Katie Morningstar Obituary

Katie Karrin (Sullenberger) Morningstar, author of “Bruce the Ant,” countless poems, and endless oral legends, has outgrown her earthbound vessel. On Monday, February 5, 2024, she rejoined her parents, Juel Rittenhouse, Jim Sullenberger, and John Greer, and her granddaughter, Aurora Carmon, for eternal birdwatching, gardening, and merry mischief. Her inexplicable death has left those who love her open-mouthed, aghast, and inconsolably distraught.

Born on February 25, 1977, Katie grew up in the mountains around Charlottesville reading, writing, and adventuring with her horse, Heritor. She had uncanny insight and compassion from an early age, writing and illustrating an environmentalist mini-novel, “Bruce the Ant,” before reaching the age of 10. Those who read it could never again mow the grass without a tinge of grief, as all were haunted by the unseen world of the little beings working steadfastly amid the spinning blades of human artifice.

Katie graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelors in Sociology and was working on her Masters in Sustainable Tourism with plans to go to Africa.

Much to her amusement, Katie’s intelligence and intuition were juxtaposed with a perpetual defiance toward propriety and pretention. If she caught you gasping in judgment, she giggled with glee. Her determination to stare directly into the face of the most enormous of feelings was both terrifying and inspiring.

She leaves behind many who loved her, including many who couldn’t handle her. Remembering her always are her fiancé, Sherman (Lee) Pierce, beloved pig-friend Jezabelle, friend Bob Morningstar, sisters Ginger, Christy, and Huxley, brother Michael, and cousins, nephews, aunts, uncles, and friends.

Katie’s touch is everywhere, from the chocolate fingerprints she left on the pages of thousands of books to the memories we hold in our hearts. Those who love her will continue to feel her restless energy in the breezes that ruffle the hair, the welcome warmth of spring, and the twinkling of eyes, large and small, that carry her special spark of magic. Carrying on the relentless merrymaking and good mischief are her children: Samuel Marsh, Adam Monroe, Meadow Monroe, Elliott Pierce, Elijah Pierce, and Savannah Pierce.

A service will be held at Calvary Baptist Church in Scottsville on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 1:00 PM.

Family and friends may share memories and photos at

Thacker Brothers Scottsville Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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