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Obituary: Barbieri, Kathryn Kimmel

Age 93

BARBIERI, Kathryn Kimmel (Age 92) After a happy and active life, Kathryn Kimmel Barbieri passed away on March 4th, three days before her 93rd birthday, following a brief illness. She was preceded in death in 1997 by her loving husband Lou. She is survived by her seven children, Dick Barbieri (Lyn), Mary Kay Barbieri (Linda), Don Barbieri (Sharon), Ann Bell (David), Jan McAvoy (Jim), Tom Barbieri (Eileen), Mark Barbieri (Heather), and daughter-in-law Heather Barbieri. Known to her friends as Kay, she is also survived by 15 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, her sister Babe Lee, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. A lifelong Spokane resident, Kay was born on March 7, 1920 to George and Margaret Kimmel. Kay’s grandfather came to the Pacific Northwest in 1889 as a carpenter to help rebuild Spokane after the Great Fire, making her great grandchildren sixth generation Spokanites. While attending Holy Names College in 1936 she met the love of her life, Lou Barbieri, while he was an undergrad at Gonzaga University. After he graduated from Gonzaga Law School in 1940, she and Lou were married. Kay was a fervent Gonzaga supporter and fan and would have been proud that, on the day she passed away, the Zags reached #1 in the national polls. When Kay celebrated her 90th birthday, she insisted that her children join her in Las Vegas for the WCC basketball tournament. Kay served on numerous community boards and volunteered for Sacred Heart Medical Center, the Spokane Symphony, St. Ann’s Children’s Home, her parishes and her children’s schools. She also served as a member of Gonzaga’s Performing Arts Committee and the Jundt Art Museum as a board member and docent. Kay was an avid reader and lifetime learner, instilling the value of education in all she touched. She attended classes at Gonzaga University well into her 80s. While her loving touch is evident throughout the community, her first love was always her family. Kay also had a love of travel and adventure, often dragging her husband around the world. That same sense of adventure, and a love of the water, led to Kay and Lou’s purchase of a lot at Priest Lake in 1957. For the next five years Kay and her children would spend their summers at the lake in a two room bunkhouse with no electricity, running water, or phone. These times are fondly remembered as some of the best, and set the foundation for a lifetime at Priest Lake. This created a legacy for her family that includes a love of the lake, the great outdoors, summer storms and power outages. A vigil service will be held on March 14th at 7 pm at Gonzaga Prep’s Chapel of the Three Companions. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Aloysius Church on Gonzaga University’s campus on Friday March 15th at 3 pm, immediately followed by a reception across the plaza at Cataldo Hall. An interment ceremony will be held for family at Holy Cross Cemetery on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Catholic Charities of Spokane or Gonzaga Prep’s scholarship fund. Please visit Kay’s online tribute at, and leave a message of condolence. Arrangements entrusted to: