We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Haven Of Rest Gig Harbor
Kathryn “Katie” Louise Wekell was born December 12, 1945, in Tacoma, Washington to Shirley and Lois Wekell. She grew up in Orting, Washington, with her 2 brothers, C. Thomas “Tom” and Robert “Rob”, and her sister Shirley “Lee”, and lived there until after her graduation in 1964. Of all the things Katie was known for during her school years, the one she most recalled was her time playing the saxophone in the Orting High School Band. After graduation, Katie attended the University of Washington, but left college early to pursue a family and a role in the family business, North Star Glove. Katie mastered every facet of the glove making business, prepared the payroll for the company for years, and ultimately rose to the position of Company Vice President. Her vast knowledge and skill lead to her nomination to “Who’s Who of American Business Women” in the mid-1980s. Katie lived a full life, camping the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, road tripping the West Coast, and walking the beaches of Ocean Shores. She was an avid knitter, sewer, and gardener. When watching football, there was always a hook in her hand. If the weather was peaceful, she was sculpting the yard. Katie cared about the environment. She recycled as much as she could back before it was hip, and she loved to upcycle clothing and furniture. She would travel from event to event, saving antiques and repurposing them. The thought of keeping treasures from the landfill brought her great joy. Despite all these memorable accomplishments, Katie was most fulfilled by her time with her children and grandchildren. Katie married Paul Woods Brown Jr., of Pueblo, Colorado, and together they had 4 children: Anna Kathryn, Deborah Lynn, Stephen Matthew, and Nellie Rebecca. Katie loved her children dearly and shared her respect for nature and community with them. A former Rainbow Girl, Katie introduced them to the Masonic Orders where they continued to develop their sense of society. Katie believed in the world and hoped for the best for it. She believed that understanding others was valuable and the key to success, so she registered her children in German School on the weekends and enrolled them in classes at the local community college so that they would develop a foundation fit to springboard them into the world. Katie and Paul enjoyed hosting numerous exchange students from Germany, Japan and Israel. Once the children were grown, Katie stayed active and involved by helping to care for her 8 grandchildren: Angus, Aidin, Tala, Declan, Kael, Teagan, Maxwell, and Oliver. Katie traveled with family and traveled to see family incessantly. With two children serving their country in the military, Katie would help move households between states and attend graduations… whatever there was to do on her part to contribute. She was known to put “one foot in front of the other” each day while her children served throughout the Middle East. In her later years, she tackled the biggest challenge of her life: Parkinson’s disease. Painful and debilitating, Katie marched on. Those who knew her well in her last years, like Cousins Kay and Charlie and all her friends at Brookdale Harbor Bay, would likely recall her jokes and smiles and silliness despite waves of pain and the frustration that comes with the inability to control arms and legs to the same degree one had in the past. Katie loved coffee and Cheetos up until her last days. She left us way too early on August 9, 2022. Our hearts weep, but she now soars overhead… on the wind, perhaps with friends and family that who before her, and chasing her beloved dog, Shinma. She now watches down on us, free of pain.
God, please keep her always in the palm of your hand! The family has requested - No flowers please. Thank You