Kathleen Swanson

Kathleen May Swanson died Feb. 16, 2024, at the age of 80.

August 20, 1943 – February 16, 2024

Kathleen May Swanson – our sister, mother, aunt and grandmother – died on February 16, 2024 at Northwest Hospital in Seattle following a brain hemorrhage a week prior. Family members and friends stayed by her side, recalling years of love and companionship. Kathy resided at Aljoya Thornton Place in Seattle. She was born on August 20, 1943 to Richard and Merle Black of Seattle. She attended Lincoln H.S. and earned a Home Economics teaching degree from Washington State University.

She began her teaching career at Decatur Junior High and Totem Junior High School in Federal Way. In 1966 Kathy married Kenneth George Oswald, history teacher at Federal Way High School. They had two daughters: Stacy Lynn Oswald (B.1970) and Shelley Ann Oswald (B.1973). Kathy was later married to Robert Swanson. Both were teachers at Sumner High School. Years later, Robert died from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.

Kathy didn’t limit herself to the prescribed Home Economics curriculum of the time. She taught budgeting, family living and sewing-for-profit. She also created a child-care program at the high school for teen parents. It was a brave, progressive initiative to assure students could complete their high school education. Always eager to help people, Kathy contributed her time and talents to numerous community organizations, particularly Unity Church of South Sound where she videorecorded and posted Sunday services for those unable to attend. She was a gregarious, fun-loving person, always ready to try something new, including scuba diving in faraway places. Multigenerational family gatherings were an integral part of her life.

Kathy is survived by her two daughters, her son-in-law Patrick Sullivan, and two grandchildren Keira and Liam Sullivan of Los Gatos CA; her sisters Estee Beard and Barbara Dougherty (spouse David) of Seattle; and her brother Robert Black (spouse Diane) of Bellingham. Kathy will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered by all who knew her. A celebration of life will be held at Aljoya Thornton Place, March 2 at 10:30.