Kathryn Frances Hackenbruck Olmstead passed away on July 5, 2018, in her home with family by her side. Kathryn was born on December 29, 1918, and was 99 years of age at the time of her death.
Our beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother passed gently in her sleep from a long battle with Alzheimer's. She was continually cared for in her home by family and in the end included exceptional care from Providence Hospice of the Gorge.
Kathryn was born in The Dalles, Ore., to John E. and Jessie F. (Blakeney) Hackenbruck. Due to the 1918 influenza outbreak the hospital was full, so she was born in the home of Jessie's mother. To keep Kathryn warm, they put her in the warming chamber of the wood fired oven.
Kathryn's family (Blakeney's) left Illinois in 1852 traveled through The Dalles to get to the Kelso, Rainier, Longview Washington area. The family returned to The Dalles in 1864 starting a freight hauling business, stable and boarding house on third street.
Most of Kathryn's childhood was spent in The Dalles with a few years in Wisconsin, after the death of her father, when she was eight years old. She graduated from The Dalles High School in 1936.
After graduation she spent her work career alongside her mother as owner/operator of Jessie's Flower Shop. She married her high school sweetheart, Melvin E. Olmstead in 1942, just a few days before Mel left to serve for the army during WWII. They had six children. Kathryn closed the business in 1975 to retire. Mel died in 1980.
Kathryn was an active member of St. Peter's Catholic Church and Wasco County Master Gardeners. She was passionate about gardening and knitting.
Our treasured mother is survived by three daughters, Melanie Junker, Palmer, Alaska, Jill Townsend (Vern), Canby, Oregon, Kim Olmstead, The Dalles; 12 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and six great-great grandchildren. Preceding her in death were her husband; parents; brother; two daughters, Kathryn “Kit” Kirk and Marcia Dierks; and her son, Melvin John Olmstead.
At her request, a private family party and cookout was held at her home of 80 years after a brief graveside gathering.
We miss our mom, yet we are greatly relieved that she has been released from the burden of her illness.
Information from The Chronicle and our advertisers (Want to add your business to this to this feed?)