The Loss of a Multi-Talented Woman

Katherine Keleher “Kate” Barber passed away in her sleep on May 10 at home with her husband, John, and rescued dogs, Oscar and Jax, beside her.


She was life-partner to John since their wedding on April 29, 1967, dog-mother to many lovely pets, watercolor painter, urban sketcher, gardener, traveler, spinner and knitter, bicycle commuter, iPad painter, Electric Slider, information retrieval specialist/librarian, and inspiration to many friends.

Kate was born on August 26, 1940, in Norfolk, Virginia. The family soon moved to the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Morgan Park High School, Knox College, and the University of Chicago.


After finishing her master’s degree in library science in Chicago, she worked as a librarian for the American Library Association and the American Medical Association. In Seattle, she was librarian for the King County Medical Society for 35 years.


As a watercolor painter her works were shown in exhibitions of the Northwest Watercolor Association, the National Watercolor Association, and the American Watercolor Association. She taught in Palo Alto at the Mobile Digital Arts Creative Summit. In her later years, she took to heart urban sketching, keeping many journals and attending international conferences. Samples of her paintings and sketches are in several textbooks, and on her Facebook page.


A memorial service will be announced later. Donations in her honor are encouraged to Old Dog Haven, P.O. Box 1409, Oak Harbor, WA 98277-1409.

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