Kathleen, also known to friends as “Jeanie” or “Kathy”, passed away Nov. 27, 2018, at the age of 73 years. She was born Feb. 21, 1945, in Morton, Wash., to Wayne Edward Read and Flora Pauline (Orr) Read. Jeanie was raised in Centralia, Wash., with her three siblings, Robert, David and Becky.
She graduated from Centralia High School, and then earned a degree in education from Eastern Washington University. After graduating, she taught kindergarten to underprivileged children in a Head Start program in Auburn, Wash. There she met Werner Edgar Klee, they were married Nov. 23, 1968.
Jeanie and Werner moved to Switzerland immediately after the birth of their first daughter in 1969, they lived in Switzerland and Germany until 1976. They then moved to Curtis, Wash., to farm. In 1989, they moved back to Germany until 2000, when they returned to Curtis permanently. The raised four daughters, Ilse, Jennifer, Ursula and Christel. Jeanie and Werner were blessed with 50 years of marriage, their 50th wedding anniversary preceded her death by four days.
Jeanie loved children. As a teacher, she was awarded teacher of the year. As a mother, she gave her children the extraordinary gift of equal and unconditional love. For many years, she operated a day care out of her home in Curtis, giving extra encouragement to those with special needs. She also taught English to German students in her home in Germany. Her grandchildren were utterly loved by her, she danced with them, brought them countless toys and had a boundless child-like joy when playing with them. She is remembered as “Oma Funny”.
During her young life in Europe, she took a great interest in food, art and culture. She filmed everything, and to see this footage is to experience a breathtaking culinary and cultural tour. When she moved back to Washington, she decorated her farm kitchen with German spice bouquets, tools for cutting cabbage, rasping nutmeg, and forms for impressing butter, etc. She spent most of her time in the kitchen, preparing the most wonderful meals, and harvesting the garden and the orchard.
The church was central in her life. She found a church family wherever she went, and those relationships were a deep source of happiness, comfort and strength.
Jeanie was preceded in death by her sister, Becky Thompson in 2014.
She is survived by her husband, Werner; her daughters, Ilse, Jennifer, Ursula and Christel; sons-in-law, Richard (Elmo) Mecsko and Eike Rau; grandchildren, Quae, Thomas, Vivienne, Noah, Aiyana, Emerson and Estelle; and brothers, David and Bob Read.
A memorial service will be held Dec. 15, 2018, at 10 a.m., at Sticklin Funeral Chapel, and will be followed by a graveside service at the Boistfort Cemetery.