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Santa Barbara News-Press : BELDEN, Katherine Katie


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BELDEN, Katherine Katie

July 14, 2013 12:25 AM

Katherine "Katie" Belden passed away on June 26, 2013 after a full life cut short by a fall and resulting injuries. She was born on May 15, 1932 in Kokomo, Indiana. She is survived by her husband of sixty years, James (Jim) Belden of Santa Barbara, her daughters Elizabeth (Beth) Belden and Katherine (Kath) Belden-Hillery, her granddaughter Genevieve (Gen) Hillery, her son-in-law Paul Hillery, all of whom live in San Diego, her sister Elizabeth (Betty) Canright of Chesterton, Indiana, her second cousin Marilyn Morgan of Santa Barbara, and numerous nieces, nephews and other family all around the country.

Katie and Jim moved to Santa Barbara in 1958 after a particularly harsh winter in Michigan City, Indiana, where they lived after they married in 1953. Their home of 50 years in the San Roque area had a view of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands that they enjoyed as an ever-present reminder of their reasons for moving West.

Katie pursued education for herself and to benefit others by earning a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Indiana University in 1953 and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Washington in 1978. She loved books and brought that enthusiasm to her twenty years in the Santa Barbara City Schools District as a librarian at Monroe School, as well as at both Franklin and Lincoln Schools.

Her passion for books and the richness that they can add to one's life spurred her to be actively involved in raising funds to support the establishment of the Martin Luther King Room that is part of the Eastside Library.

Katie was a member of the Goleta branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for many years.

Katie and Jim shared an interest in the game of bridge, and each earned Bronze Life Masters honors as members of the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). The couple also used their bridge proficiency to sail on many cruises as the Bridge Coordinators for the cruise ship passengers. Katie also enjoyed sharing her experience and expertise as a bridge teacher with many local people for over 20 years.

The Belden's travels all over the world (and to every continent) included family trips all around the USA, Hawaii, England, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Australia. They also went on many trips, and participated in many bridge tournaments and house exchanges, with Katie's sister Betty and her husband Warren, notably to Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, Hawaii, and throughout the continental U.S.

Katie loved life, her family, her friends, her work, her home and garden, all enhanced because of her love for Santa Barbara. She will be remembered at a Celebration of Life on Sunday, July 21. In addition to her family and friends, Katie's bridge students are welcome to attend that event. For details, please e-mail her daughter Beth at KatieCelebration@gmail.com.

In lieu of flowers, please remember United Way.


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