KK (Kathy Keller) Haspel, owner of The Farm in Southold and a local educator, died Saturday at the age of 63.
Ms. Haspel ran an organic farm and played an instrumental role in creating school gardens across the North Fork.
Ms. Haspel was born on Dec. 13, 1950 in Rockville Centre to Elizabeth and William Keller. She is survived by her husband, Ira, their son, Max, his wife, Gaby, and their children: Georgina and William. She is also survived by her mother, her brothers, Coty and Bob Keller, and her sisters, Patty Max and Lisa O’Brian.
Ms. Haspel and her husband bought their farm in 1999. As an advocate of biodynamic farming, Ms. Haspel held workshops and taught community members about restoring soil vitality.
Before moving to the North Fork, Ms. Haspel worked in the construction industry — building and renovating commercial and residential properties on Long Island. Ms. Haspel was also previously a Montessori teacher in Manhattan.
She was an athlete who played soccer, tennis and platform tennis.
Paula DiDonato, owner of The Giving Room in Southold, said in an email that Ms. Haspel helped her create her yoga studio and described her as a “visionary and warrior for good.”
“Last week, I was sitting with KK and she told me about a dream she had,” Ms. DiDonato wrote. “She said that she was concerned about children going to school hungry. I was not surprised to hear this, as KK dedicates her time to creating school gardens and helping those in need.”
Ms. DiDonato said Ms. Haspel was working to create a student group called “Young Gardeners Club,” where children would receive fresh organic juices while they learned about farming before school.
“We will feed the children and ‘plant the seeds’ of our future farmers,” Ms. DiDonato said. “I love the idea.”
Those wishing to remember Ms. Haspel can volunteer their time with a local school garden, or make a donation in her name to the Fiver Children’s Foundation (www.fiver.org) or the Lustgarten Foundation (www.curePC.org).
Additional details about Ms. Haspel’s death and memorial services were not immediately available.
Read more in the Oct. 9 edition of The Suffolk Times.