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Kathryn Kroeger Bowne

May 17, 1933 May 8, 2020
Kathryn Kroeger Bowne
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Obituary for Kathryn Kroeger Bowne

Kathryn (Taffy to almost everyone) was born on May 17, 1933 to Arthur and Estelle Kroeger in Hillsboro, OR in a small house on Washington St. near what is now the Hillsboro Transit Center.

She was the youngest child of four. Patricia, Norma Lou, Arthur and Kathryn. Both sisters passed away some years ago.

During World War II, Kathryn’s father re-joined the Army. The family eventually followed him to Walla Walla, Washington for the duration of the war. Despite the inconveniences and deprivations of wartime, the children enjoyed their time there.

Kathryn attended school in Hillsboro graduating from Glencoe High School in 1951. She entered Oregon State College in Corvallis, OR in the fall of 1951. She joined the Sigma Kappa sorority and graduated in 1955 with a degree in Geology.

Though John C. Bowne met Kathryn at OSC, and asked her out, she declined and claimed in later years to have no recollection of the occurrence. After John graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering (1956), he fulfilled his NROTC commitment with the Navy, and tracked Kathryn down while she was working for Tektronix in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Kathryn later was transferred to Los Angeles, CA to open a Tektronix Field Office, discovering the paradise-like weather of southern California.

John and Kathryn married in Hillsboro, OR in 1959, and moved to Dallas, Texas where John had a new position at Texas Instruments. While in Dallas, the family expanded with the birth of their son, John David.

In August of 1961, they moved back to Oregon. Elise Marie was born in shortly after. They moved to a new home near Portland in 1962, a few months before the Columbus Day storm that ravaged Portland.

As John and Elise were finishing high school and leaving the nest, Kathryn and John started to travel. They greatly enjoyed their numerous raft trips down rivers of the American Southwest, including the Grand Canyon. They traveled extensively around the US.

After the children were firmly launched, Kathryn and John moved to San Diego in 1985 for business opportunities. John’s work included international business trips, so the couple enjoyed travel not just to around the US, but now to Europe, Asia and Central and South America. Some trips were taken for business, some purely for pleasure, exploring the world and the cuisine and wines of each region.

Kathryn continued to work part-time and occasionally full-time, becoming a valued employee at all the places she worked, including NCR. Meanwhile, Kathryn redecorated their home, planted and maintained beautiful gardens, enjoyed watching the birds that visited their oasis, and entertained friends and business associates with fabulous gourmet cooking. John and Kathryn both also enjoyed many reunions of friends from high school, college, and sorority/fraternity.

In later years, Kathryn and John chose to pull up stakes and move inland to Colorado in late 2017, to be closer to family. Kathryn missed the earthquakes that would shake southern California, but at least she had more extreme weather, including blizzards, to enjoy, and no worries about being evacuated from their home due to wildfires.

Kathryn passed away on May 7, 2020 with her husband and daughter at her side. Her son spoke to her earlier in the day, travel being difficult with the current pandemic.

Kathryn is survived by her husband John, of nearly 61 years, her son and daughter, John and Elise, two granddaughters, and Kathryn’s brother Arthur, and a number of nieces and nephews and a smattering of great-nieces and a great-nephew.

Kathryn enjoyed the outdoors, science, geology, archaeology, travel, gourmet cooking and dining, and even had a foray into synchronized swimming.

Kathryn will be missed.

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