Local Obituaries

WSU employee Kathy Hull led moon dances, helped students discover works of art

Kathy Hull was an Eclectic Wiccan who performed life ceremonies for family and close friends.
Kathy Hull was an Eclectic Wiccan who performed life ceremonies for family and close friends. Courtesy Mike Hull

Kathy Hull spent a lifetime looking for the beauty, peace and spirituality of life.

She often did that in unorthodox ways and, in the process, developed a following of friends and family.

"I grew up in Kansas so I didn't know many art historians, or artists, or pagans, or gay rights advocates, or loud and proud feminists," wrote Ms. Hull's nephew, Michael Hull, on her Facebook page. "I only knew one and she was all of those things and also a spiritual guide and mentor and therapist."

Ms. Hull, the visual resources coordinator in Wichita State University's art school, died Monday. She had been struck March 6 by a vehicle while walking in a crosswalk between Wilner Auditorium and McKnight Art Center on WSU's main campus. She was 60.

A celebration of life service will be held March 31 at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita, 7202 E. 21st North. The time is pending.

Ms. Hull was born May 22, 1957 in Wichita and grew up in south Wichita.

She was a 1975 graduate of East High School. She began working at WSU in 1989.

And soon after, friends and colleagues began to see Ms. Hull had a rather unique spirit.

"She was artistic and spiritual in the sense of really embracing the universe with her spirit. She was an earth mother and very accepting and open to all people," said Annette LeZotte, former associate professor of art history and associate director of the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries at Wichita State University.

Her son, Ram Lama Hull, said his mother was an Eclectic Wiccan who celebrated the cycles of life such as full moons. She was known for her Dances of Universal Peace and her artistry. She created the "Dias de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead) mural at 29th and Arkansas and asked area youth to help her paint it.

In August 2005, she talked in The Eagle about what she did to enrich her life. She replied, "Dancing is what really kind of connects me with people and helps give me perspective. Singing the sacred phrases from the many different religions always helps to center me."

For many students who studied art history at WSU, Ms. Hull was a point of contact.

"When I started at Wichita State in 2000, art history classes used old fashioned slide projectors," LeZotte said. "Kathy was in charge of the slide library. She was in charge of photographing images from books and then processing film and mounting it onto slides. It was a huge room full of cabinets and racks and racks of slides. It was a labor intensive job. She was incredibly versatile and she was able to make that transition from old fashioned slide technology to digital."

In 2002, Ms. Hull was one of the key people who helped design a Sacred Places exhibit at the university. It was a series of panels that served as portals or doorways to sacred architecture. Ms. Hull created a labyrinth and used students from Northeast Magnet High School to help build it.

"The greatest compliment I can pay Kathy was that while she had her particular passion and spiritual path, she never excluded others," LeZotte said. "She was soft spoken but you would be misjudging her to think she didn't have a strong force or spirit or will behind her. She was very nurturing and mothering, particularly to women who were ... returning to school. She understood their personal challenges and how much they had to overcome in being nontraditional students."

The accident that fatally injured Ms. Hull happened about 8:30 a.m. March 6.

"She was just coming to work," said Kirsten Johnson, a WSU graphic design professor and the faculty member who announced to the Faculty Senate meeting on Monday that Ms. Hull had died.

"Most of us park behind Wilner and fairly close to the buildings," Johnson said. "We've walked that crosswalk so many times. This was a senseless thing that happened. She genuinely wanted to help students who were here. "

An impromptu memorial has sprung up at the crosswalk where Ms. Hull was struck.

Ms. Hull was preceded in death by her parents and is survived by her son, Ram Lama Hull, brothers Tom and Steve Hull, and by friends, many of whom she considered family.

Memorials can be made to Trust Women Foundation, P.O. Box 3222, Wichita, KS 67201.