Kathryn Stewart Speidel Crookshanks June 12, 1919 - March 15, 2013 Kathryn ('Katie') Stewart Speidel Crookshanks passed away peacefully Friday evening, March 15, as her close family were present to pay their final respects. She lived a very healthy, active, and blessed 93+ years. A long-standing Visalia resident, Katie had spent much of her life here dating back to 1948. Katie was born in Dewey, Oklahoma on June 12, 1919 to Flora and Charles C. Stewart, Sr. Being the daughter of an oil field electrical engineer meant that she would move several times as a young girl, finally settling in Ventura, California where she spent her high school years. After high school she attended Stanford University where she earned her BA in English in 1940, then attended the University of Southern California (USC) to obtain her Masters degree in 1941. It was while Katie was attending school at Stanford where she met Robert M. Speidel, the son of newspaperman Merritt C. Speidel. They fell in love and married in the late summer of 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her marriage to 'Bob' Speidel produced four children, three of which survive her and will be listed later. Upon Bob's death in early 1966, Katie began teaching English at the College of Sequoias (C.O.S.). A few years passed before she would remarry, and when she did she made a lucky man out of Dr. Ivan C. Crookshanks, the then President of C.O.S. Katie and Ivan spent an active and happy 35 years together before Ivan passed away in early 2004. They spent much of their time travelling the United States and visiting several foreign countries. They also spent a lot of time at their beach house in Santa Cruz, CA, where they entertained both family and friends, or simply 'camped out' on their own. Katie was known to all of her close friends and family as being incredibly active, and her persistent drive was an inspiration to all that new her until the day she passed. As many of her close friends would say, 'she was a 93 year-old woman in a 70 year-old body!' She was active with her friends in Bible study groups, and Bridge and Investment clubs. Katie chose to serve her church and community as well as her family in many ways. Her accomplishments included being a faithful and long-time member of Visalia St. Pauls Episcopal Church, the co-organizer and president of the Kaweah Delta Hospital Guild, and the past presidents of both Associated Charities of Visalia and Visalia Emergency Aid. These were activities that were very special and close to her heart, as she loved giving back to the community which had been so special and giving to her. Finally, Katie is survived by her three children: daughter Meredith Walters (and husband Mick) of Happy Valley, OR, son Robert M. Speidel Jr. (and wife Bonnie) of Visalia, and son John M. Speidel (and wife Mary) of Visalia. She was pre-deceased by her son, Charles M. Speidel in 2004. Her brother Charles C. Stewart Jr. and sister Dorothy Stewart also pre-deceased Katie. She is survived by eight grandchildren: Kimberly Walters Sanvitale, Tiffany Walters Bagge, Sarah Speidel, Zachary Speidel, Jillian Speidel Mollenhauer, Christine Speidel, Jason Speidel, and Theresa Seufzer. There are also six greatgrandchildren to her credit. There will be a short memorial service at St. Pauls Episcopal Church of Visalia on Friday, March 22, 10:00am. Flowers and/or donations may be sent to the St. Pauls Episcopal Church, Visalia in her honor.
Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register on Mar. 20, 2013