Kathleen Fae Wilson, 59, passed away peacefully Sept. 27, 2020, after a courageous battle with cancer. A graveside was held Oct. 3, 2020, at Saint Francis Cemetery, Friday Harbor, Washington.
Kathleen was born Aug. 9, 1961, in Bellingham, Washington, to Donovan and Rosaia Wilson and was the youngest of their six children. She was a life-long resident of Friday Harbor and sixth generation Islander.
Throughout her life, Kathleen participated in many clubs and organizations. In elementary school, she joined the Girl Scouts and the 4-H sewing and knitting club. She entered many of her clothes and projects in the San Juan County Fair, consistently winning Grand Champion awards. In high school, Kathleen was a member of the varsity track team, where she threw discus and set the school record for the shot put. She was Team Captain of the varsity tennis team and gave memorable performances as part of the Drama Club.
Kathleen was in Honor Society and was class president her senior year. She excelled in music, playing the flute and piccolo in the high school band, where she was band president for two years and, most notably, a Seattle Symphony Gold Medalist. She graduated with honors from Friday Harbor High School Class of 1979.
Kathleen attended her freshman year at Washington State University and then transferred to Western Washington University, where she graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in business and economics. She was the first in her family to graduate from college.
In 1977, she started her lifelong career in bookkeeping and management, working for San Juan Bulldozing, the Port of Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor Resort, all while in school. In 1984, she went to work for San Juan County: first in the auditor’s office, then the prosecutor’s office, eventually retiring as a computer systems specialist in 2019. Kathleen was respected and well-liked by her coworkers who appreciated her intelligence and dedication, as well as her humor and incredible laugh. In 1985, she was certified as an Emergency Medical Technician and volunteered for the San Juan Island Aid Unit, working with her brother, Frank, the Aid Unit Chief. She was awarded EMT of the Year in 1989 and enjoyed 10 years of camaraderie and service.
Music was Kathleen’s lifelong passion, and she was a gifted vocalist. She sang at more than 250 weddings and funerals for friends and strangers alike, and she never turned down a request. She was known for her powerful renditions of Patsy Cline and beautiful church hymns. Always challenging herself, Kathleen learned to play the guitar, and then took her talents to a whole new level when she learned to sing opera. She had many talents and excelled at all she endeavored.
Kathleen will be remembered for her kindness and loyalty. She was thoughtful and generous, always willing to help, and was an inspiration to her many nieces and nephews, encouraging and supportive of their endeavors. Kathleen was a loving daughter, sister, aunt and friend who will be greatly missed by those that knew and loved her.
Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents Donovan and Rosaia (Doyle) Wilson; brother Frank Wilson; brothers-in-law John Christensen and Warren Jones; nephew Mark Johnson; and niece Trinidy Cameron.
Kathleen is survived by sisters Donna Christensen and Joyce Jones; brothers John (Rynnie) and Gene (Kelle) Wilson; sister-in-law Janet Wilson; 13 nieces and nephews; 20 grand nieces and nephews; and four great-grand nephews.
To share memories of Kathleen, please sign the online guestbook at https://www.evanschapel.com.