Katiana Christiana Vaxter

December 3, 1997 ~ September 7, 2022 (age 24)


The Celebration of Life Service for Ms. Vaxter will be live streamed on the Facebook Page of Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor.



Katiana Christiana Vaxter, 24, of Durham, NC went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 after battling upper respiratory failure associated with her health condition. 

She entered our lives and touched our hearts on December 3, 1997. Born in Montclair, New Jersey, to Watonah Harris and Christopher Vaxter, diagnosed with Marshall-Smith Syndrome (MRSHSS) - a genetic disorder in which individuals typically have advanced bone age, difficulties gaining weight (failure to thrive), unique facial features, and intellectual disability.  

 Katiana was affectionately called “Kati or Kat” by her family and friends. She never met a stranger and was known for her bright smile and exuberance as well as her art work. A graduate of Riverside High School,  Katiana spent her time in the Day Program at Rainbow 66 Storefront. She also spent her early years participating in numerous marathon races with the Team Hoyt Virginia Beach family, a running inclusion foundation that helps individuals with special needs compete together in marathons and triathlons. Katiana loved to dance, listen to music, and comfort others with her smiles, fist bumps, and hugs.

 She is preceded in death by her Grandparents Clovis (Gladious) and Frederick (Josphine). Left to cherish her loving memory are her mother, Watonah, and father, Chris; siblings: DeDreana (Antoine Sr) of Durham, NC, Nikita (Luis Sr) of Edison, NJ, Yana of State College, PA, Kyle of Raleigh, NC, Danielle of Virginia Beach, VA, Chris of Montclair, NJ, Zanobia of Newark, NJ, and Araya of Montclair, NJ; beloved nephews and nieces, aunts, uncles, including Uncle Philip (Leslie) of Charlotte, NC, and many cousins, and so many friends.

May Kati forever rest in peace and rise in glory as her loving energy continues to bring the family comfort.



In honor of Kati’s life, the family has set up a Celebration of Life Fund, which you can contribute to through her mother’s Cashapp account -  $Watonah or by mail, P.O. Box 222 Durham, NC 27701.


Contributions can also be directed to the following organization


Rainbow 66 Storehouse Community Life Center 

This organization has been a bedrock for families with adults with special needs and brings peace of mind to families in need of care for their loved ones, promotes independence among special needs individuals, and provides support and relief to primary caregivers. Their support for both Katiana and Watonah has exemplified grace and wellness.

 Team Hoyt

The Hoyt Foundation, Inc. (EI #22-2940515) is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1989. The Hoyt Foundation aspires to build the individual character, self-confidence and self-esteem of America’s disabled young people through inclusion in all facets of daily life; including in family and community activities, especially sports, at home, in schools, and in the workplace. Each year, the Hoyt family led by Dick and Judy’s oldest son Rick Hoyt, show the world how to do this by speaking before community and professional groups, and by direct participation in many road races, triathlons and other endurance events. The Foundation also provides advice and support to groups and individuals who share this mission.

 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

The is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Please include "In memory of (Katiana Christiana Vaxter)” in your donation



Katiana's Family Poem

“A beautiful life that came to an end,

She died as she lived, everyone's friend.

In our hearts a memory will always be kept,

of one we loved, and will never forget.”

– Unknown



 We are eternally grateful for the many expressions of love, sympathy and kindness extended to us during our grief. The outpouring of care, support and concern has given us added strength to face our tomorrows. It is our prayer that God would continue to richly bless and keep each of you.

On Website - please note

In lieu of flowers the family asks that expressions of sympathy and love manifest as donations directly or indirectly in hopes to continue to highlight the organizations that support  the research and adults living with physical, cognitive, language, or behavioral development conditions.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Katiana Christiana Vaxter, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Katiana

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor

Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree


September 16, 2022

1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor
3137 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27707

September 17, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Saint Phillip's Episcopal Church
403 E. Main Street
Durham, NC 27701

Celebration of Life
September 17, 2022

11:00 AM
Saint Phillip's Episcopal Church
403 E. Main Street
Durham, NC 27701

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