Katrina “Tina” Kern Weaver Ross Duke of Mint Hill passed away peacefully and on her own terms on July 6, 2018, but her unflagging spirit and determination live on in the many lives she touched and the many projects and causes she championed.
Tina was born in Beaufort, South Carolina on August 23, 1953 to Thomas Alton and Salli Kern Weaver. She entered the world headstrong and with an unwavering sense of justice and fairness—traits that would define her life. Despite given only a 6-month outlook to live, she successfully battled Hodgkin’s Disease at 16, and graduated from Independence High School in 1971. Tina graduated from UNC Greensboro in 1974 with her bachelor’s degree in home economics. Dedicated to life-long learning, she returned to UNC Greensboro in 1985 to earn her master’s degree in education.
While at Independence, she met her high school sweetheart, the late Ralph Stephen “Steve” Ross, and the two were married in 1975. That same year, Tina started a 23-year teaching career that began in home economics and grew to include middle school science and counseling. Tina belonged to the faculty of multiple Charlotte-area schools, including South Mecklenburg High School, East Mecklenburg High School, Northeast Middle School, and Mint Hill Middle School. Thanks to Mrs. Ross, thousands of students learned vital life skills, from how to sew straight seams to how to cook a well-balanced meal, and in her later years, the wonders of the natural world. Tina dared students to dream big and strive for their ambitions, ideals she herself embodied.
Along with her mother, she also owned and operated LaTisa Flowers in Mint Hill, bringing smiles to so many faces over the decades, especially her kids, who learned far too early about making bows and cutting stems. Combining her floral and organizational skills, she not only arranged flowers, but also organized, catered, and directed weddings for dozens of very grateful newlyweds.
Her energy and fervor were endless and contagious—evidenced by her decades of civic leadership. She believed in her town and dedicated her life to being a public servant for its betterment. She was instrumental in conceiving and organizing the first-ever Mint Hill Madness, and wrote the first check of the Mint Hill Business Association, now the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce. She served on countless PTA boards, church committees, and was a Girl Scout leader. She served at Servant’s Heart in Mint Hill, on the Mint Hill Historical Society Board, and as chairman of the Bain School Restoration Committee, leading the charge to restore and transform the historic schoolhouse at Bain Elementary into an arts and community hub. She served on The Arts & Science Council, the Matthews-Mint Hill Health Alliance, chaired the Levine Senior Center Board in Matthews, and belonged to the Mint Hill Rotary Club, Mint Hill Women’s Club, and the Mint Hill Kiwanis Club. In 2003, she was elected Mint Hill Town Commissioner and has served her neighbors ever since. Tina received the most number of votes in the last two elections, earning her the position of mayor pro tem, until her health forced her to resign.
Tina was also an active member at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church since her teens. Hardly a Sunday passed without Tina volunteering her time and talents by playing bells, arranging flowers, chairing women’s circles, teaching Sunday School, working tirelessly as a youth advisor, serving as church hostess, directing weddings, and so much more.
She also loved to travel, a trait that her children have happily inherited. Tina loved to explore far-flung destinations, from Alberta, Canada, to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. She marveled at tropical climates in Hawaii and Puertro Rico, witnessed the fall of the USSR in Warsaw, road-tripped through Ireland, moseyed the alleyways of time-forgotten Havana, and took in the vistas of South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. Despite her many travels, she always loved to return home.
She loved white linen tablecloths, fine china, and gourmet food with exotic ingredients, but was equally at home with fried chicken, deviled eggs and watermelon served off paper plates. Tina was truly a renaissance woman, squeezing the maximum amount of life out of every minute of every day. She met each challenge head on, and the bigger the obstacle, the harder she fought. Adversity merely fanned the flames making her burn brighter than ever. She lived to serve and always referenced the prophet Micah who said, “What does the Lord require of you but to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Tina was preceded in death by her parents, brother Christopher A. Weaver, and first husband Stephen Ross. She is survived by her loving husband Brode Thomas “Tom” Duke III, who provided her with unending patience and support, sister Laurie Allyson Lindaman of Houston, Texas, children Christal Allyson Cathey (Eric) of High Point, Bryan Patrick Ross and his partner, Stewart Atkinson, of New York City, Erin Duke of Mint Hill, Julie Duke of Fort Mill, South Carolina, and her beloved grandson Ross Franklin Cathey, age 2, who kept her busy and glowing until her final days. Tina is also survived by her mother-in-law Helen Duke of Mint Hill, sister-in-law Patricia Broadnax of Mint Hill, sister-in-law Katherine Duke-Carten of Millbrook, New York, and brothers-in-law Keith Duke of Carnation, Washington, and Ron Ross and Bob Ross, both of Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition, Tina has numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who all consider themselves so very lucky and grateful to have had Tina in their lives.
To her we say, “Well done good and faithful servant, and thank you. Until we meet again…”
Visitation will be Thursday, July 12 at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, 11501 Bain School Road in Mint Hill, from 5 to 8pm, with the funeral on Friday, July 13, at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church at 3pm. Memorials may be made to Philadelphia Presbyterian Church’s Columbarium Fund, 11501 Bain School Road, Mint Hill, NC, 28227, or to the Bain School Restoration Fund, 7427 Matthews Mint Hill Road, Suite 105-155, Mint Hill, NC, 28227.
The family of Lowe-Neddo Funeral Home has been given the privilege of caring for Tina. To share memories and condolences, please visit her online memorial at www.LoweNeddoFuneralHome.com or call 704-545-3553 for more details.