Kathleen Elizabeth Marshall died from cancer on July 3, 2008, at her home in Bellingham, Wash. She was 62.
She was born on April 17, 1946, to Oscar E. and Elizabeth H. White in St. Joseph, Mo. During her eight-year illness, she never lost her passion for living, her family said. She worked nearly every day until her retirement in March 2007 and continued an active and joyful life with her family and friends.
Known to her family and friends as Kathy, she received her master's degree in social work from Eastern Washington University in 1976. Her career was dedicated to improving the lives of others, especially women and children, her family said. Over the course of 30 years, she held several leadership positions in nonprofit and government organizations. She married her husband, Jon Wolfe, in Bellingham in December 1980.
They immediately moved to Juneau, where she was executive director of the Juneau Women's Resource Center. After that, she spent 14 years in senior management positions in various state and local government agencies, including three years as the director of the Alaska Women's Commission, for which she successfully worked to pass numerous pieces of legislation to improve the economic status and rights of women and children. Following her work in state government, she served as executive director of Health and Social Services for the city of Juneau.
According to her family, she had a passion for improving the lives of women and children and was tenacious in her effort to affect positive, lasting change. Her work in the community was motivated by her belief in "The power of one in collaboration with others." She avoided the limelight but was a beacon for change, they said.
She was, at her core, a warm, fun-loving person and she will be remembered for her love of family and friends, her wonderful sense of humor, and her ready laughter, they said. She will be deeply missed.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Ann Buer; and father, Lt. Col. Oscar E. White (USAF Retired).
She is survived by her husband, Jon Wolfe; sons, Garrett Marshall and Allen Wolfe; grandchildren, Donovan Marshall, Brianna Klaffke and Bailey Small; mother, Elizabeth H. White; sister, Christina Methven; brother, Robert White; nephews, Don and Aaron Buer; and mother- and father-in-law, Myrna and Raymond G. Wolfe.
A private internment will be held on Friday, July 11, at Bayview Cemetery. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Memorials may be made to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County, 1407 Commercial St., Bellingham, WA 98225, or Hospice Foundation of Whatcom County, 800 E. Chestnut, Suite 1-C, Bellingham, WA 98225.
Thoughts and memories of Kathleen may be shared online at www.molesfuneralhomes.com.