Katherine Louise (Pope) Leland


image of Kathy Leland

Kathy Leland

Kathy Leland – beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend and lover of life – died January 5, 2019.  She lived with cancer for over 30 years; the disease ultimately claimed her body, but it never conquered her unending spirit.

Kathy was born May 21, 1951 in Oakland, California to William and Helene Pope.  The family, which included her older brother Bill, moved to San Diego, Yakima, Bellingham, then Olympia Washington. Kathy’s love of travel began early, with frequent family trips to Colorado and New Mexico and to her mother’s childhood homes in Switzerland and Belgium.  She inherited her mother’s skills as a cook and entertainer, together with her father’s love of Christmas and the holiday season.

Kathy earned a Bachelor of Education from Western Washington University, and Master of Library Science from the University of Washington.  Her career as an elementary librarian began in 1974.  As librarian at Wellington Elementary for 28 years she impacted the lives of thousands of children and made deep and lasting friendships with Wellington staff, other Northshore librarians, and many others she met through her work.

Kathy married her high school sweetheart, Greg Waddle, and their son Ben was born in 1980.  She married Larry Leland in July 1988.  In Larry she found her true love, life partner, and the person who would make her life with Ben a complete and loving family.  This incredible love story lasted 32 years.

Kathy’s positive spirit and energy came from dealing with all life’s ups and downs with honesty and a zest for living.  She loved family, cooking, shopping, reading children’s books, traveling and spending time with her many friends. Her greatest joy came from being mother to Ben, and her thrill of being mother-in-law/best friend to Ben’s wife Stephanie and grandmother to their two children, Rose and Henry.  Kathy was the center of her extended family that often included neighbors and close friends.  She could be counted on to host family holidays, including Christmas, her favorite time of the year, that included extensive decorating and multiple joyful gatherings.

Kathy’s family sends its profound thanks to the professionals and staff at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Halvorson Cancer Center and Evergreen Hospital, and particularly to her doctors, for their compassionate care over the years of Kathy’s journey with cancer.

Kathy is survived by her loving husband Larry, son Ben (Stephanie), grandchildren Rose (6), Henry (3), brother Bill, niece Ashley (Casey), and nephew Matt Evans, all living in Washington, as well as a large extended family in Belgium.

Friends and family will celebrate Kathy’s life at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Medina WA. January 21, 2019, at 1:00 pm.  Remembrances can be made to Halvorson Cancer Center at Evergreen Hospital or to St Thomas Episcopal Church. You are also invited to buy a Glassybaby and light a candle in tribute to the light Kathy brought to everyone who knew her.  She would like that.

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