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Catherine Olive (St. Clair) Kirk

 

Catherine Olive (St. Clair) Kirk, 69, of Brewster, Washington, passed away peacefully in her sleep November 23, 2017, at the University of Washington Hospital with complications from her 35-year battle with a genetic liver disease. She was surrounded by family and friends who reminisced with her, prayed with her and sang her favorite songs and hymnsCathi was born January 16, 1948, in Coulee Dam, Washington. She moved to Brewster at the age of 10. She was blessed to have four sisters and two brothers. Cathi attended the SDA Elementary School. While in school she volunteered as an aide at Okanogan Douglas District Hospital (Three Rivers Hospital), where several veteran nurses mentored her and sparked her interest in nursing. Of course, volunteering at the hospital was her way of avoiding work in the family orchard! Cathi then went to high school at Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, Washington, graduating in 1966. She entered nursing school at Walla Walla College and graduated in 1969 as an LPN. Cathi was in nursing for 40 years and began her career at Bellevue Convalescent Center. During that time, she married Ralph Smith on May 24, 1980, and they were married for 20 years. She later worked at a hospital in Portland, Oregon, before returning home to Brewster and ODDH again. She worked there a short time when a very wise physician lured her away to work as his nurse at the Community Medical Center, where she spent the rest of her nursing career until retirement. Along the way she formed wonderful lifelong friendships with staff and patients.

In 2001, with encouragement from friends, Cathi got to know a former neighbor boy from her childhood. Eventually, on June 23, 2002, she married the love of her life, Johnny Kirk.

Cathi had many hobbies including camping and hiking. Her faithful friend and constant companion was Brandi, a German Shorthaired Pointer who accompanied her on many of these adventures. Foggy Dew Campground is one place where the family had many fun times and made happy memories. Cathi loved the 4 "C's": Cooking, Canning, Collecting, and Card Making. She always had a great, home cooked dish to give to a loved one or donate to a church event or fundraiser. She was known for her tasty apple pies and loved baking them and giving them away. Cathi enjoyed cooking for family and made every holiday and birthday special with her delicious dishes. If you weren't lucky enough to get one of her famous apple pies, you may have received her other signature specialty: lemon or almond-poppy-seed bundt cake. Yummy! Cooking and canning was a joy for Cathi and a skill she learned from years of helping her mother, Ruth St. Clair. She got pleasure from stocking the pantry with several dozen quarts of applesauce, tomatoes, or peaches, or a pint or two of pickled beets. Cathi always looked forward to her monthly gatherings with her "Stamp'n Up" family. She enjoyed learning to make cards and giving them to her family and friends. Of course, she collected every kind of card-making gadget, as well as paper, stamps, etc. Cathi also loved to collect thimbles, but her collections did not stop there. She had old salt-and-pepper shakers, teapots, vintage dishes, tablecloths and old cooking implements.

Fred and Ruth St. Clair encouraged Cathi's love of God and Church. They instilled in her many virtues, including honesty, truthfulness, generosity, and kindness. Cathi was a very caring person and cared for many as if they were her own children.

Cathi is survived by husband, John Kirk; sisters: Shirley Goodlake of Wilbur, Marjorie White of Eugene, Gloria Wendel of Spokane, Karen Daniels (Jimmy) of Brewster; and brother, Roger St. Clair (Sue) of Brewster. Many very loved nieces and nephews, cousins, great-nieces and great-nephews, stepchildren, and stepgrandchildren. No matter if you were a biological relative or adopted by Cathi, she treated everyone as her own and gave all very extra special acts of kindness and generosity.

Cathi was preceded in death by her parents; siblings Robert "Sonny" Vaughn, Larry St. Clair, and Abby Bradley (St. Clair); and great nephew, Tyler Johnson.

A memorial service in Cathi's honor will be held at 2 p.m., on Friday July 6, 2018, at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Brewster. Following the service, the Fellowship Hall at the church will be open for snacks and sharing memories.

Many loving thanks to all Cathi's family members as well as the Church family, Medical family, and "Stamp'n Up" family. She felt blessed to have so many loving people close to her, praying with her, and singing by her side.

John gives a special thank you to the wonderful caring and compassionate team of physicians, nurses, CNA's and staff at the University of Washington Hospital on the 7th floor.

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