Katherin Anna (Sherling, Sutton) Tracy peacefully passed on May 30, 2014 at North Valley Extended Care in Tonasket.
Katherin was born in Oroville, Washington on July 10, 1919 to Ernest and Emma Sherling of Molson. It was in the Highlands that Kay spent her younger years and started school at Lone Star on Mary Ann Creek, traveling to and from by horseback. By third grade the Sherling family moved into Molson to be closer to school. During the Depression the family moved to the valley for work, living in Mallot then to Omak where Kay attended High School and graduated in 1938, receiving the Honorable Citizenship Award.
At the age of six, her father purchased an upright piano for Kay and her mother taught her the basics… the rest is history. She played for income, dances, programs, weddings, funerals, enjoyment for others and pleasure, playing until a stroke ended it at 94 years old. Music was a BIG part of her life.
After graduation Kay married Bill Sutton on Dec. 26, 1938 in Omak. They lived there until after Sharron was born in December of 1939. After moving to the Molson area to farm with family, Michael Dean was born in January of 1943. Relocating to Chesaw, another son, Steve, was born in 1945. Soon they moved to Dwinnel Orchards near Oroville and Danny Lee came along in 1947.
Then it was again to Chesaw where she and Bill had a small dairy, soon back to Oroville. Kay went to work full time, from restaurant work, clerking, thinning/picking and sorting apples, and her favorite was a day care business. With the four children, she and Bill moved to Almira in 1954. The opportunity to run a small café was available and with that experience she moved on to be a cook at the Almira Hotel. Almira was good to her family because there was always work for her and all of the kids.
Another move… this time Grand Coulee, where all three boys would graduate from GCHS. Now that the family was raised she could pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. At age 47 she started college, earned her BA in Education at 50 and taught fourth grade in Oroville for ten years. Next to the joy of her own children were those in her classroom. She was respected, competent, caring, and happy in her vocation. Education was vitally important to her and desired for her children. During her teaching years she designed and helped build a cozy log house with the help of her family. Through necessity she accomplished many skills and always looked at the positive side. Her homes though sometimes humble were always inviting and open to many; friends, family, or those in need.
Following retirement Katherin married Glenn Tracy Jr. in 1979 and again she moved many more times first following his employment and then for pleasure, from coast to coast and Alaska. Kay loved flying and enjoyed two trips to Germany and other European countries. Eventually they returned to settle near Oroville and started skiing at age 65. Excitement of the first heavy snowfall brought them to the slopes. It soon became their passion and for many years they enjoyed it.
After Tracy passed she moved to Tonasket and lived at the North Valley Assisted Living for ten years where the residents and staff became an important part of her life.
Kay is survived by her daughter, Sharron (Geral) Cox of Tonasket; son Steve (Marsha) Sutton of Soap Lake; step-sister Darlene (Hank) Allen of Oroville; step-son Jeff Tracy of Petersburg, Alaska; five grandchildren, one great grandson, three step-grandchildren, plus nieces and nephews
She was preceded in death by husbands Wesley (Bill) Sutton and Glenn Tracy Jr; sons Michael Dean and Danny Lee Sutton; grandson Michael Sutton Jr.
Memorial Services for Katherin Tracy will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 14, 2014 at the Oroville High School Commons with a luncheon to follow at the Molson Grange. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Oroville Scholarship Foundation or the Molson Museum.
Bergh Funeral Service of Oroville/Tonasket in care of arrangements.