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home : obituaries : obituaries May 26, 2018


2/21/2018 2:07:00 PM
Katherine S. Livingston June 1, 1915 - October 6, 2017

Katherine S. Livingston, known as Tash, grew up in San Rafael, California. When she was 11, her grandfather wrote "I love Tash because she is always herself. Maybe good, maybe bad, never uncertain, and always Tash - I love her."

A graduate of Bennington College, Tash married Ken Livingston, in 1937, moving shortly thereafter to Boston for Ken's surgical residency.

In 1948 they moved to Portland, where Katherine became active in cultural and progressive political circles. She served on the board of the League of Women Voters, and on the Jane Jefferson Democratic Women's Club. In 1957 Governor Bob Holmes appointed Tash to the State Board of Agriculture to represent consumer interests.

Since childhood, Tash enjoyed summer trips to the Wood camp on the Metolius, as well as visits to the Corbett ranch, whetting her appetite for a piece of Metolius land. Johnny Bruns suggested she talk to Eleanor Bechen, who had 40 acres on Spring Creek. Tash and Ken secured the property, and through a partnership with the Deschutes Land Trust, its natural and undeveloped state will be preserved.

In 1960, Ken was recruited to bring his neurosurgical skills to Shiraz, Iran. The following year he accepted a position as Visiting Dean of Pahlavi University. Tash enjoyed a busy social life with her Persian friends, and also volunteered at the Red Lion & Sun orphanage, playing with toddlers, cleaning and feeding hungry infants, and advocating for time in the garden.

In Shiraz she met Terence O'Donnell, a Portland native living in Iran. His exquisite book of tales, "Garden of the Brave in War," held many poignant memories they shared over the years.

When Tash and Ken moved to Toronto in 1970, Tash became principal of the Montcrest School. Under her leadership, the school grew dramatically and, inspired by her granddaughter Roxanna, who had dyslexia, she added a program for children with learning disabilities. She retired from Montcrest in 1982, when Ken was struck by a catastrophic illness. They returned to Camp Sherman, settling on the banks of Spring Creek.

Over the years, Tash has hosted poetry lyceum every month or so, as well as meditation sits. Her door was always open, and there was always room for an extra place at her table. Her role in honoring her grandfather's century-old promise of a stallion for the Nez Perce led to a deep connection with Silas Whitman, Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee. The generosity of her spirit lives on.

Toward the end of her life, Tash asked herself, "Why have I lived so long?" Her answer was "Love and laughter, and good friends, especially among the young."

Tash is survived by her two children, Bruce Livingston (Bethany Rowland), and Eliza Livingston (Clarke Bingham); and multiple grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and beloved extended family.

Her doctor and friend, Joe Bachtold, cared for her with respect, dignity and compassion. We are thankful to Dr. Joe, his wife, Gwen, and the staff at the St. Charles Family Clinic for the years of kind, thoughtful care.

We are deeply grateful to the Spring Creek Angels, whose devoted companionship and care in Tash's last years nurtured her indomitable spirit and vitality to the very end: Terry, Karen, Sister Bear, Judy, Kathy W, Kathy B, Susie, Tsering, and Joyce. The compassionate support of Redmond Hospice during Tash's last months gave her and us great comfort.

Among the many friends and family who contributed to her care and well-being over the years, we are especially grateful to Kirk Metzger and Glen Corbett, Gail Butler and Les Schell for coming to her aid in so many ways.

We want to express our love and gratitude for the multitude of friends who brought her companionship and love, laughter and joy, a good martini, dark chocolate, and so much more.

We invite you to visit her website at: www.katherinesmithlivingston.com.

Information provided by the family of Katherine S. Livingston.





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