Katherine Patterson WimmerSeptember 12, 1924 ~ April 12, 2017 (age 92)
Aunt K left this world tonight after a nearly 93-year adventure. She died as she lived: on her own terms, fiercely independent, iconoclastic. K was on the DC Capitol Mall for Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream" speech. The famous psychologist Bruno Bettelheim once offered her a job doing research with him. My aunt never married but had two fulfilling professions: first in education, as a teacher and administrator; then, as Head Librarian of St Joseph's Medical School Library in Chicago. She traveled, enjoyed a cabin she built in the Wisconsin woods, knit hats for cancer patients, worked Sudoku puzzles, taught swimming and computer skills, loved white chocolate (like the bunny in the photo), and regaled me with stories. My favorite tale: when she was just 19, she was sent to New York City by the YMCA to teach swimming and take some sort of summer program. She was assigned to dormitory-like quarters along with other young women from around the country. One of the girls, the only African-American among them, was relegated to the hot attic of the Y. My aunt volunteered to have her be her roommate in K's more comfortable quarters, but it was not allowed. So Aunt K promptly packed her belongings and moved into the attic with her new friend in an act of solidarity. The year was 1943. My family, now one recruit smaller tonight, was the better for Aunt K's influence. It was my honor to care for her in her later years. Goodby, K. May you have a soft journey on this final adventure. You will be much missed.
-Laurie Wimmer, Niece