Klu Crowther

Klu CROWTHER She was a child of Alaska born in New Jersey. Named Mary, her parents called her Kluahne, a name she shared with a lake in the Yukon Territory. Her first art teacher was a family friend and renowned painter of Alaskan landscapes. She lived in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Seattle and Yakima before starting college in Walla Walla. After attending Whitman College, she moved to Seattle and worked for Northwest Airlines and married a man she met at a dance (our beloved Dick Crowther.) They moved to Minnesota for JC Penney's, then moved to Nebraska to run their own clothing store. A doomed pig farming side-venture took its rightful place in family lore. Upon returning to Washington with their firstborn, they bought a home in Lake Forest Park on two acres, patrolled by a one-eyed bantam rooster, a dog named Blaze and Jasper the donkey. Ten years later, with their second son in tow, the family moved to Laurelhurst, sans equine. She adored antiques, volunteered at their church's Cloud 9 thrift store and owned a collectibles store in Cannon Beach that was open "now and then." In every place she lived, Klu decorated with distinctive style and flair, creating a personality of place that welcomed visitors and exploration. She was the consummate hostess, and with Dick, created a home of laughter, creativity and love. Central to everything was their generosity of heart and love for their family. They volunteered for low income housing projects, actively worked for fair housing laws, studied Jung through their church at St. Stephens and voted Democrat. Summers meant filling the small cabin in Cannon Beach full of family and friends and later, watching the sunset and fighting blackberry brambles at the small cabin on Vashon Island. The big trips were to London (oh, how she loved the Cotswolds) and France. Sometime after Dick's passing in 2002, Klu moved to the Bayview Retirement Community in Queen Anne where she continued her hostess role with Saturday lunches that included Jello and sherbet for her youngest grandchildren. She is sorely missed by her sons Ric (Flossie McDonald), Dave (Cherylynne); grandchildren Megan (Troy) Hubler, Ryan, Athena and Maxwell; and beloved cousins Dale Hogle, Alvara Deal and Robin Koenninger. A memorial for her life will be held Saturday March 5th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 4805 NE 45 St, Seattle. Donations to the Bayview Manor Foundation.

Published in The Seattle Times from Feb. 26 to Feb. 27, 2011