Katherine Duce Wood

Katherine Duce Wood

Katherine Duce Wood, age 98, finished her journey on this earth June 6. She passed away peacefully, with her family near.

Katherine was born in Cardston, Alberta, Canada on June 23, 1916 to Thomas and Fannie Knowlton Duce.

One of a large family, Katherine’s summers were spent on the Alberta prairies and in swimming holes of nearby creeks.

The family moved to Everett when Katherine was 16. There, she finished high school and attended nurse training.

In 1938, she married Stanley M. Wood of Marysville, a dashing young man whose life was as vibrant and busy as her own.

They lived in Marysville for the next 12 years, where Stanley built a cabin cruiser and summers were spent cruising Puget Sound with their young children.

In 1953, they moved with their four children to Whidbey Island and purchased the old Hohl Farm on Saratoga Road (now known as the Saratoga Woods Preserve). The family raised their own beef and pork and grew their own vegetables and fruit.

Katherine was a keen observer of nature and enjoyed working in her gardens, listening to the eagles call along Saratoga Passage, and daily walks in the woods, always on the lookout for wild mushrooms.

Katherine, an avid reader and life-long learner, was instrumental in bringing the first Sno-Isle Bookmobile to Whidbey. She was also a president of Island County Homemakers.

Her husband, Stanley, with the help of three sons, built an airstrip on the farm. Katherine, always ready for adventure, spent many years flying with him in their small planes, with many trips to Alaska. They also flew to Mexico in his home-built plane. She loved to explore history, culture and architecture, and made several trips to Europe.

After her family had grown, Katherine took up painting and became an accomplished artist. She won awards in juried shows for her watercolors.

She was also active with Ladies of the Beach, walking many of the island beaches.

In 1992, they sold the farm and moved to Orcas Island, where they enjoyed sailing throughout the islands. After Stan’s passing in 1996, Katherine moved back to Langley to be near family.

Katherine was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley, and a son, John, in 1964. She is survived by her children, Marian (Rodger) Bergquist, Bill (Cheryl) Wood and Jerry (Joanne) Wood; 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

To these, she leaves a legacy in her love of family, cultivation of flowers (particularly rhododendrons) and in her art. Her hallmarks were industry and enthusiasm for life.

There will be a private family celebration of her life. Remembrances may be made to the charity of your choice.