Kate, our beloved daughter and sister, unexpectedly passed away early Thanksgiving morning. Kate was born Christmas Eve 1982. She was bold, articulate, intelligent, a lover of singing and acting and an excellent expressive writer from a young age. She had a strong desire to succeed in all she did.
Kate asked to go to a Christian School for second grade. Already expressing her independent and capable nature, she would ride an Island Transit bus from her home in Freeland to Oak Harbor Christian School. Coming home, she would get off the bus in Coupeville and come to the Medical Ambulatory Care Clinic at the hospital where her mother worked. She would proceed to read to the oncology patients and have them initial her reading assignments as completed; her teachers were puzzled that she rarely had a parent’s signature on those assignments.
She frequently participated in Whidbey Playhouse productions and the Missoula Children’s Theatre. She played Anne in the production of Anne of Green Gables. She was an active 4-H member and went to state every year showing her rabbit as part of Rock ‘N Roll Rabbits.
She underwent open-heart surgery as a young teenager and approached that challenge with the same fearlessness that characterized her every endeavor.
She attended Oak Harbor High School, the Running Start program and participated in praise and worship groups at several churches. She was also an acolyte at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. She graduated in 2001.
Kate loved fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, which she learned from Monique Levi, her friend and neighbor. She loved to go with Monique to fiber arts shows and spin with her. Kate had a beautiful voice and blossomed under the teaching of Ute Freund.
From an early age, Kate felt called to be a teacher. She attended Seattle Pacific University, majoring in English literature and education. She attended classes in England during the spring quarter of her junior year. Upon graduation in 2005, her first job was as a substitute teacher in Seattle Public Schools. Every day was a different location and a great learning experience. She taught in the Kent School District for nine years, and also in Issaquah for a year and a half. During this time, she and her mother learned to show dogs and, as a result, the family dog, Gracia, obtained her European and American championships.
In 2009, Kate married Nicholas Smith, her second date in high school, after going together for 9 years. Unfortunately, their marriage ended after two years.
Kate continued her education and received her M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Western Washington University in 2012 with a 4.0 GPA. She then took several years off from teaching to audition and perform in Seattle. Kate was teaching at the Giddens School in Seattle at the time of her death. She was a spark of joy for the children in her class and was much loved and valued by the school staff.
There will be a funeral mass at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 12 at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 185 N. Oak Harbor Street, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 with Reverend Paul Pluth, J.C.L. presiding. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in her name to the Seattle Opera Education Program, 1020 John St., Seattle, WA, 98109, seattleopera.org, or the Giddens School, 620 20th Ave. So. Seattle, WA 98144.
All arrangements are entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home, Oak Harbor, WA. Please visit Kate’s page in the book of memories online at www.wallinfuneralhome.com to share memories and condolences.
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