Katherine (Katie) Goss Green, 91, passed away June 30, 2014, at her Mt. Hood, Ore., home with her daughter and son-in-law by her side.
Katie was born Sept. 22, 1922, to Bill and Alma Goss, at home along the Hood River just off Woodworth Road in Mount Hood. She was the baby of five children for nine years – then number six came along. The family moved to their new log home at Highway 35/Leasure Drive when she was little; she walked to the Mt. Hood School for all eight years she attended.
In the seventh grade a new family moved nearby from Oklahoma. Katie said the local kids would visit there just to hear their funny way of talking. One of their boys, Melvin, was quiet and not girl-crazy, but eventually he realized this girl was a catch. They were married Dec. 4, 1939, when they were both 17.
Except for a couple of awful years in Texas and Oklahoma during Melvin's time in the service, her whole life was lived in view of her beloved Mount Hood. Melvin always told her he would build her a fine home one day, and took great pride in logging and milling the perfect trees to build it. In 1968 they moved in to their new home on the "sledding hill," with one of the best Mount Hood views in the upper valley. Melvin was so proud of her fine home he would bring people he just met to see it. She was always the gracious hostess, even when she wasn't expecting guests.
Katie's father started the first Church of Christ in the valley, and God was always foremost in her life. Her devotion to the church included years of involvement in Sunday schools, Bible classes, fundraisers (hundreds of pies!) and celebrations. Her potluck dishes were always favorites.
Like many of her generation, Katie was frugal, thrifty and taught to work hard. She could do anything she set her mind to, from cooking, sewing, gardening, canning, fishing – to hairdresser, wedding cake maker, 4-H leader, PTA organizer, rail splitter, outstanding camp cook, and darned good marksman. She was a proud logger's wife. She owned and ran a beauty shop and a women's clothing store downtown. She wrote poetry and played the guitar and harmonica. And she was fast; when she packed fruit her speed and perfectly faced boxes were so admired, even Mark Hatfield stopped his senate campaign tour to just watch and marvel awhile.
Melvin passed away 33 years ago, but despite losing the love of her life, Katie carried on. She traveled with friends, was caretaker for her oldest brother until his death, and continued a family tradition of hosting numerous friends for Christmas dinner every year and annual family reunions. And she learned to paint when she was almost 70; her beautiful oils grace her home and family and friends, as do her mailboxes, all with Mount Hood on them. She battled cancer head-on and with little complaint, like she faced all her challenges. Always ready to help others, she never wanted to be a bother.
Katie was devoted to family and taking care of others, so when she found she was unable to give birth, there was no chance of giving up. Having too much love not to share, she found the perfect baby to share it with. She chose and adopted Melonee to be her daughter, and no other family could hope to be closer than theirs. Over the years Katie shared her life and love with granddaughter Kirsten, and great-granddaughter Avery, who she helped raise for 10 years. She took delight in teaching her granddaughter and great-granddaughter to read, so she volunteered at Parkdale Grade School to help other children learn to read too. Though she started her family with the choice of a single baby, her family has grown to include not only her grand- and great-grandchildren, but many of the children of the valley, with whom she shared her time, love and devotion.
Katie was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin; her parents and all her older siblings: Vogel, Geneva, Ken and Herb.
She is survived by her daughter, Melonee, and her husband, Bill Gillette; granddaughter Kirsten and her husband, Chris Bolles; and great-granddaughter Avery Green. She is also survived by her sister Elsie and husband Jim Burris, and many, many cousins, nieces, nephews and loving friends, and her two cats.
The family wishes to thank Hospice of the Gorge for their help in fulfilling Katie's wish to stay in her home forever with compassion and love.
A time to honor and celebrate Katie's life will be held at the Hood River Church of Christ on Saturday, July 5, at 11 a.m. Friends are invited to share a note or story with the family at andersonstributecenter.com.
Remembrances may be made to Providence Hospice of the Gorge or the Parkdale Reading Program, in care of Anderson's Tribute Center.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000.
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