Kathy Lundeen will be remembered for her kindness, her wit and her generosity of spirit. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Kathy was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in Eugene. She spent several years in California, where she earned her bachelors degree, her masters degree and a PhD in English literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 1991, Kathy joined the English Department at Western Washington University as a specialist in British Romantic literature. Always devoted to expanding her knowledge and interests, she also became known for courses as diverse as physics literature and biblical literature. Kathys activities in her department included a term as department chair and several terms as associate chair. Kathy was active in professional organizations as well, and served as president of PAMLA (Pacific and Ancient Modern Language Association). She also mentored post-doctoral instructors and was active in the AAUW (American Association of University Women). (An account of Kathy's professional career at Western can be found online in the 2018 WWU English Alumni Newsletter.) After completing her long-range study of William Blake, she began pursuing the engagement between Romantic texts and the discoveries of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century astronomers, notably William Herschel. Her work in this area has appeared in several journals and was solicited for a book on literature and science. Upon her retirement in 2018, the department wrote that, We will miss her warm and compassionate presence. Students themselves often said much the same thing about the kind of faculty member she was. Retirement gave Kathy the opportunity to spend more time on her numerous other interests, not the least of which was her passion for dance, having studied ballet from an early age. In recent years, she took up competitive ballroom dancing with grace and enthusiasm. She is remembered fondly by her fellow dance students as well as the members of her long-time book group. She also loved music and theater and actively pursued her interests in travel and biblical studies. Her many friends were nurtured by her joy, her modesty, and her compassionate nature. Friends and family loved her annual holiday poem, which frequently featured her cat, Felicity, who was her adored companion for many years until Felicity peacefully passed away a few months ago. Kathy was a devoted Christian Scientist her whole life, and she greatly valued her friends at the Bellingham Christian Science Church. Kathy is survived by her sister Ellen (Eugene), her sister Nancy and brother-in-law Richard Hill (San Francisco), her niece Jessica (Washington, DC), and her nephews Spencer and Trevor (San Francisco).
Published in Bellingham Herald on Jul. 31, 2020.