Kathy F. Lundeen
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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).

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Published in Bellingham Herald on Jul. 31, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
September 17, 2020
I met Kathy at a PAMLA conference, and she went out of her way to support my work as a young scholar. Our paths crossed only occasionally in the following years, but Kathy always remembered me and had even followed my publications. She exuded kindness and generosity. What a special person and what a sad loss.
Joe McQueen
Friend
September 6, 2020
I was lucky enough to meet beautiful, brilliant Kathy Lundeen when I was an undergrad and she a graduate student at UCSB in the 1980s. Her passion for the British Romantics helped fire in me a lifelong obsession for the wonderful poets, novelists, and essayists of that period. I loved our phone conversations over the years--up until just this summer--when we would discuss spirituality, literature, movies, and our dear animals (I feel I really knew her cat Felicity, though we never met). I was honored to read and comment on Kathy's various writing projects, and I had no better reader, advisor, and champion when I sent along drafts to her of my own work.

Kathy was a true original, as a scholar and a woman of warmth, grace, humor, and wisdom. It's hard to believe that I can't just pick up the phone and tell her all this, but I hope, somewhere, she's able to perceive all the marvelous things her friends, family, and students are saying about her. She was deeply loved, and knew better than most how to give of her own deep store of compassion, affection and joy.
Teddi Chichester
Friend
August 23, 2020
I had Kathy as a professor and when she was the department chair she helped me through a situation for which I was grateful. Such a kind and thoughtful person. Condolences to her family and friends.
Anne Brix
Student
August 12, 2020
I had the pleasure of getting to know Kathy a tiny bit since she was a dedicated member and past president of the association I starting directing in 2009, the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA). Not only was she a great president of PAMLA, but more importantly Kathy was always a warm, kind, and supportive person to work with or just chat with. I will greatly miss seeing her at the annual PAMLA conference, and I know so many of her PAMLA friends will deeply miss her. May her memory be a blessing.
Craig Svonkin
Friend
August 4, 2020
I met Kathy in 1991 when she moved to Bellingham. She became one of my closest friends and has been a bright light to me and our church. We taught Sunday school together and met prior to Sunday school to share ideas. Kathy has left a family of ideas which will live on forever - including joy, deep wisdom, wit, kindness, and immense thoughtfulness - and I know that where she is now, she is, as she was here, a great blessing.
Ruth Geyer
Friend
August 1, 2020
Kathy and I have been best friends since we were children taking ballet together. In Junior High & HS we practiced our love of dance
6 days/week. Kathy inspired me to study hard. Since we did homework together at the studio, she also encouraged me to take an AP class. Then later she would visit my son & me and gave him advice since he was 8 years old. She would gently motivate him, saying he was a stellar student. Through his college years she continued her warm guidance.

We are heart broken, as Maggie (Kathy’s SEHS classmate) says. We will miss Kathleen’s care, special knowledge, and amazing love of others!

Our deep sympathy to Kathy’s family!

Photo is of Kathy dancing while we strolled around Oakway Mall, Eugene. 2012
Vicki, Brendan Zhang
Friend
August 1, 2020
Vicki Tsou
Classmate
July 31, 2020
Went to school from grade school on to high school with Kathy. Got to meet up with her a couple years ago at our High School reunion in Blue River. She was the same person I remembered.




Leanna Robins
Friend
July 31, 2020
I was very lucky to get to work with Professor Lundeen. She was a wonderful instructor, and I'll never forget her kindness and warmth. All my love to her family and friends; she will be missed.
Jessica Lohafer
Student
July 31, 2020
I met Kathy ins 2005 when I took a summer senior seminar on epic poetry. It was my first time being exposed to Milton's Paradise Lost. At first, I thought I'd hate it, but Kathy taught me that epic poetry can be full of mystery, intrigue, and a bit of humor. In fact, the writing sample I submitted to the English department at WWU for grad school was influenced by Kathy and her class. i went onto take more courses from Kathy, and after graduating, a friendship developed and continued to flourish even after I left Wa and moved to Ga. We used to go to Red Robin for lunch every quarter. She would watch Judge Judy, and I would skim some of her recommended books to give us things to talk about. One thing we both enjoyed was the TV show Law and Order Special Victims Unit. In fact, she described Christopher Meloni as "a sexy man," which made me laugh, because that just wasn't something I was used to Kathy saying. I will miss her!
Chris Bickert
Friend
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