Cover photo for Katherine Ann Iverson's Obituary
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1943 Katherine 2023

Katherine Ann Iverson

June 1, 1943 — November 15, 2023

Katherine was born Katherine Ann Dunbar on June 1, 1943 in Lafayette, Indiana. Her parents were John and Loretta Dunbar.


Katherine was born in Indiana, but also spent a fair amount of her formative years with relatives in Pecos, New Mexico and visited aunts in Chicago numerous times. She always said that her love of nature came from her time spent on the Pecos River and that her love of fashion and the finer life was forged when she visited her aunts in Chicago where they would go to all of the elegant department stores in downtown Chicago.


Katherine’s father was a professor at Purdue University at the time of her birth, but he soon took a position at The University of New Mexico, so the family moved to Albuquerque, where Katherine attended Catholic school and graduated from Saint Mary’s High School in 1960.


Katherine met her 1st husband – Gerry Adkins – while she was working for the United States Atomic Energy Commission and he was a budding architect in Albuquerque. They married in January 1966 and then moved to San Francisco, looking for better opportunities in Gerry’s field of architecture. Their son – Mark – was born in San Francisco in November 1966.


Katherine, Gerry, and Mark moved to Spokane, Washington in 1969, where they established roots and built a house on the Spokane River. Katherine worked as receptionist, office manager, bookkeeper, and marketing manager for various architectural firms in Spokane throughout the 1970’s. Katherine and Gerry divorced in 1982, with Katherine retaining custody of their son and ownership of the house on the Spokane River.


Katherine met her 2 nd husband – Brian – while they were both working at the architecture firm of Ernie Hicks and Associates in Spokane. Katherine married Brian in September of 1983. Katherine continued to work in architecture firms and worked briefly for a mining company – Cominco America – prior to taking the position of Assistant to the Dean of Professional Studies at Gonzaga University in 1987. Katherine worked at Gonzaga until 1997. Katherine also studied at Gonzaga for much of the 1990’s and received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Gonzaga University in 1994 – with Summa Cum Laude designation. She became a member of Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honor Society in 1993.


Katherine and Brian moved to Seattle, Washington in 1999 – to be closer to her son Mark who had married Tanya in 1998 - looking at the future potential of grandchildren. Katherine was recruited to Seattle University by a dear friend Father Peter Ely and Katherine took the position of Assistant to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Katherine was affectionately nicknamed “Lady K” by the Seattle University faculty and staff. For everyone at Seattle University she will be remembered for her impeccable designer tastes, her beautifully written “If a Tree Falls…” newsletters, trading in “Katherine’s Koveted Gold Stars” for specially-selected gifts, her lavish all college party planning, and her deep commitment to Jesuit reflection and values.  Katherine retired from Seattle University in 2011.


Katherine and Brian traveled extensively through the years. The couple traveled to Katherine’s ancestral namesake of Dunbar, Scotland when they honeymooned across Great Britain. They walked the hills and small towns of the English countryside – principally the Dorset Region – during a walking tour of Thomas Hardy Country. Katherine and Brian visited Paris a number of times, enjoying the sights, food & drink of Paris – as well as shopping Chanel, Lanvin, and other fashion houses.


Katherine’s wish for grandchildren was fulfilled by her son Mark and his wife Tanya. In 2001, her first grandchild, Benjamin, was born, followed by her granddaughter, Emmalina, in 2005. Katherine was known as ‘Nana’ to Benji and Emma. She loved taking the grandchildren on outings and spending weekends with them. A big highlight of most years was a family trip to Lake Crescent, where Katherine especially loved enjoying a roaring fire while overlooking the beautiful scenery from her favorite lakeside cabin. Lively games of Yahtzee and Clue were enjoyed by all.


Katherine felt fulfilled to have witnessed Benji’s graduation from high school in 2019 and from college in 2023, along with Emma’s graduation from high school in 2023.


Katherine and Brian moved to Bainbridge Island, Washington in 2013. Katherine lived out the remainder of her life – with her beloved Havanese dog “Desi” – on Bainbridge Island, enjoying the small town atmosphere and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Katherine loved to take long, contemplative strolls at Bloedel Reserve on the northern tip of Bainbridge Island.


Katherine is survived by her husband, Brian Iverson. She is also survived by her son Mark Adkins, his wife Tanya and their two children Benjamin and Emma. Katherine is also survived by her brother John Dunbar, his wife Mary Ann and their two children John Kenneth and Ashley.


Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA.

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