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Susan Ruth Kathren
12/10/1941 — 06/21/2023
From Richland, WA | Born in Kirkland, WA
Susan Ruth Kathren
Third generation Washingtonian Susan Ruth Kathren, nee Krafft, passed away at Guardian Angel Homes in Richland on June 21, 2023, after a long illness. Susan was born in Kirkland on December 10, 1941, three days after the Japanese. bombing of Pearl Harbor and was the first World War 2 blackout baby in the area. She grew up in Kirkland, graduating from Lake Washington High School with the class of 1960 before enrolling in the University of Washington. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1964 where her former UW roommate lived and met the man with whom she would ultimately celebrate 58 years of happy marriage, moving with him to the Tri-Cities in 1967. During her 56 years of residence she made numerous philanthropic contributions to the Tri-Cities. A lover of books, she started the used book sale room in the Richland Public Library, managing it for a decade and continuing to serve as volunteer for about two more decades before illness restricted her activities. She managed the Friends of the Library Annual Book Sales for many years and also served as a member and a term as President of the RPL Board. She was also President of the Three Rivers Foundation and led the effort that obtained federal funding to build the first low income public housing in Richland which is situated on McMurray between George Washington Way and Jadwin, where her contribution effort is recognized by a plaque in the lobby. In addition, she worked with other charitable civic organizations building homes for low income residents and recovered addicts as well as participating in Women Helping Women and a number of other civic groups. Together with her husband she is a Silver Benefactor of WSU, endowing a scholarship at the Tri-cities campus and creating the special Radiological and Affiliated Sciences Collection (RASC) which includes original editions of such luminaries as Madame Curie and is the only special collection at WSU that is not in Pullman. She also created an endowment at Children’s Hospital in Seattle to provide for parties, field trips, other entertainments, and pet therapy and service dogs.
Susan loved to travel and visited 15 countries over the years, often joining her husband on his business trips. But she was largely a stay at home mom who was always there for her children, often providing them lunch when they snuck home from their nearby school at noontime. She is survived by her husband Ronald, son Judge Daniel (Ellen) Kathren and grandchildren Joan and Mia, all of Richland, and daughter SallyBeth of Portland, Oregon. She was preceded in death by daughter Elana who died as a small child from an accident. The family requests contributions in lieu of flowers to the Ronald and Susan Kathren Scholarship at WSU or the Elana Kathren Endowment at Children’s hospital, or to the charity of choice. Funeral service 10 am on Monday June 26 at Einan’s.
I am so sorry for your loss. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting and getting to know Susan and her family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. She will be missed.
Ron, Dan , Sally Beth and loved ones. our thoughts and prayers are with you. Susan and Ron have been our extended family in Richland. We remember many gatherings with Susan and her kindness to us. We all miss Susan very much. May God be continuously blessed her soul.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Ron, I’m so sorry for your loss. Susan was such a great asset to the Richland Library. I loved chatting with her over the years. Sorry I missed the service, I just heard the news.
To Ron and family,
My sincere condolences on the loss of Susan. The “…until death do us part” seems to come all to soon.
Ron, Dan , Sally Beth and family. Although I will not be able to attend Monday’s services, you will be in my thoughts and prayers. We had so much fun together when our children were little. I will always remember our gourmet dinners. They were enjoyed by all!