Obituary of Katherine Elizabeth Wright
Katherine Elizabeth Wright was born on New Year’s Eve, 1924, and joined Christ, our Savior in Heaven, on July 3, 2023, after 98 years of life, well-lived. Her life-long Catholic faith helped to guide her in weathering the many gales of the world during the tumultuous twentieth century, and well into the twenty-first century.
Mom was born in Manannah, Minnesota, near St. Paul, third of six children of Robert and Cecilia Walker. She and her five siblings were orphaned when she was only twelve. At that young age she strove to hold her siblings, split into orphanages and foster homes, together, while continuing her schooling. Beginning then, and throughout her life, Katherine said, so many times, how very important family is.
After high school, and working while in school, Katherine headed west, taking the train to Seattle in 1941. Soon, she met her future sister-in-law, who worked at the Boeing airplane company. The two worked on the B-17 assembly line as a riveting ‘team’, where she was photographed for Life Magazine as a ‘Rosie, the Riveter’. She remembered, not entirely fondly, ‘bucking’ rivets for hours/days on end. One weekend she was invited to Eileen’s parents’ ranch near Cashmere, Washington, where she met Herbert Wright, her future husband. Later that same year Dad joined the navy and was on the USS Tennessee at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Katherine and Herb continued to correspond throughout the war years, as Dad saw action in North Africa, and again in the Pacific. They married in Seattle, Washington, February 16, 1946. They lived in Montana, and in Spokane, Kent, and Seattle, Washington, before moving to Edmonds in 1954, when the city’s population was just over 1400…
Katherine bore four children, Jonathan, Christopher, Mitchell and Tammi. She adored her boys but often told how happy she was when she finally gave birth to a daughter!
In Edmonds ‘Kitty’, an early nickname, was involved in her children’s schooling, Holy Rosary Parish, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts’ Troop 75, and provided a loving, supportive and inspirational environment for her children. Katherine loved animals, and a long succession of pets were always part of the family, including Tammi’s beloved horse, Charlie Brown.
In 1963 Kathy and Herb built a new home near Picnic Point, between Edmonds and Mukilteo, where Mom settled in and loved to garden and give her children some room to run. Mom loved to hike with groups, and alone, into her early nineties. She often explained that her penchant for hiking was because of her maiden name, Walker.
In 1971, while working at Frederick and Nelson in Seattle, Kathy bought a 1967 Mustang from a coworker. The car became her favorite material delight in life. She babied the car and told stories about the car, well after she had given up her keys. Still in the family, it has aged well, much as has Mom. After Herb passed in 1994, she bought a condo close-in to her beloved Edmonds, where she lived until a fall in late 2022 caused her to need constant care. Throughout her life, Katherine was always cheerful, supportive, considerate, compassionate, and positive, and remained so until her passing.
Katherine had a tough childhood and was buffeted by the early loss of both parents, the Great Depression, World War II, subsequent wars and conflicts, societal upheavals and a sometimes-unsettled nation. As did most in her generation, she stayed her course. She was always supportive, optimistic, and had a great sense of humor, to the end. She always remembered and recounted times of her youth and said, to the end, ‘family is most important’.
Katherine Wright is preceded in death by her husband, Herbert Wells Wright, her son, Christopher Dean Wright, her granddaughter, Devin Elizabeth Wright, her parents, Robert and Cecilia Walker, her sister, Margaret Sauer, and her brothers, Robert and Elford Walker, WWII combat vets, and Francis and Frederick Walker. She is survived by her children, Jonathan, Mitchell, (Machelle) and Tammi Bulzomi, daughter-in-law, Pam Wright; ten grandchildren and twenty-four great grandchildren, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Katherine loved her family, she loved the Lord, and she loved her country and its traditions.
We love you Mom; always have, always will.
Katherine will be interred at Holyrood Cemetery, reunited with her husband, Herbert, forevermore.