Cover photo for Katherine "Kathy" Marie Green's Obituary
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1960 Katherine "Kathy" Marie Green 2023

Katherine "Kathy" Marie Green

July 16, 1960 — October 8, 2023


Katherine "Kathy" Marie Green passed away peacefully in Bellingham, Wash., on October 8, 2023, at the age of 63, ending a long and courageous journey through frontotemporal dementia. A lifelong resident of Whatcom County, she was a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, educator, artist, sailor, and friend.


The eldest of two daughters, Kathy was born July 16, 1960, in Bellingham, Wash., to Rose Marie (Clymer) and Jack Kirkbride. She graduated from Bellingham High School and went on to study marine biology at Western Washington University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science ('84) and Master of Science ('92).


Kathy met Dave, her future husband, while they raced sailboats on Bellingham Bay. She crewed on her dad's boat, Gypsy Rose, and quickly caught the attention of a certain young man. Dave walked over to meet her after a race, but only got a shy smile at first. He persisted, and soon after their first encounter, they were together. After their first date, Kathy proclaimed to friends that she had met the person she was going to marry. They attended WWU together and Kathy and Dave wed in 1980, one month after the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Once married, they bought their first boat, Spirit, and enjoyed sailing together for many decades. They attended WWU together and later moved to Ferndale where they raised their family.


Kathy had an enthusiasm for all things science and was an educator at heart. As a college student with an interest in marine biology, she spent a lot of time at the Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes. Kathy did her master's thesis research at the Port of Bellingham's Marine Life Center and later served on the advisory board for more than 25 years. As a volunteer at the center, she loved to share interesting facts about marine creatures, like details about their reproductive anatomy, and always ended with a "What? It's just biology!" From 1987 to 1999, she was a biology instructor at Whatcom Community College, and for many years, she taught oceanography to sixth graders on Bellingham Bay aboard the Snow Goose with Burt and Sue Weber.


In 2000, Kathy switched careers and started a wool-processing business in Ferndale. Inspired by her love of animals, she showed up at home one day with a pygmy goat. It turned out the goat was lonely, so Kathy found a sheep to keep it company. It seems that sheep have wool that must be shorn, which led Kathy to learn shearing, carding, and spinning. She already knew how to knit, so end of story, right? Not for Kathy. She learned to spin and joined the Spindrifters. She bought a small loom at a garage sale and set about learning to weave and weave and weave. As her woolen creations began to pile up, she started to sell them, eventually joining the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour and eventually becoming their president. She then joined the Whatcom Weavers Guild, sold more of her work, and became their president as well. The business begat by the lonesome pygmy goat became Ferndale Fiber, which Kathy ran for over 20 years, using a nine-ton wool mill built in 1925. She produced beautiful roving that she sold to spinners and weavers.


Kathy also volunteered and generously gave of her time to many causes. When daughter Kelsey joined the Ferndale High School marching band, Kathy became a "Band Mom." Never one to do things halfway, Kathy was all-in and organized fund-raising efforts by recruiting volunteers, seeking donations, hosting numerous work parties, and rallying the support of all her family and friends along the way. If Kathy was excited about a project, everyone she touched would be swept up in her endless enthusiasm.

Kathy faced the challenge of dementia with unending courage, and in the process brought her family closer together. With her ever-present smile, Kathy continued to teach us the importance of love and family. She will be greatly missed. Kathy was preceded in death by her father, Jack Kirkbride. She is survived by her husband Dave, son Andrew (Lena), daughter Kelsey (Kyle), mother Rose Kirkbride, sister Connie Franks, in-laws Larry and Barbara Green, and many loving relatives and friends.

The family welcomes you to join in a celebration of Kathy’s life on Saturday, November 4, from 1–4 p.m. at the Northwind Circle Clubhouse, 1201 Northwind Circle, Bellingham, Wash., 98226. View map at

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Western Washington University Shannon Point Marine Center, marine and coastal science education fund. To make a gift, go to


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Katherine "Kathy" Marie Green, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Kathy's Life

Saturday, November 4, 2023

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Pacific time)

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