Cathie Jane Koetje was a fiercely loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She died peacefully with her husband, son, and daughter by her side on November 26, 2021, at Harborview Hospital in Seattle, WA. Her death was the result of a ruptured aneurysm that occurred the morning of November 24th.
Born on May 8th, 1951, to parents Glenn and Oena Vallance in San Angelo, Texas, Cathie grew up in Morrison and Denver, Colorado. She graduated from Denver East High School where she enjoyed sports including soccer and track. Her favorite activities as a young woman included hiking, riding motorcycles, and camping in the mountains with her dad. Cathie graduated from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and Harris School of Nursing as a registered nurse in May 1974.
She married John Koetje on November 23rd, 1974, in Baton Rouge, LA where she worked as a registered nurse. In 1978, Cathie, John, and their five-month-old son, Tom, moved to Oak Harbor, Washington. Cathie’s daughter, Sarah, was born in 1979. Having decided she would homeschool her children starting in preschool and continuing through high school, Cathie also worked as a registered nurse at Whidbey General Hospital until 1994, when John, Cathie, Tom, and Sarah moved to Magadan, Russia for one year. On returning to Oak Harbor in 1996, Cathie worked as a home health nurse and visiting nurse, then at Headstart of Oak Harbor, and finally as New Parent Support contractor for NAS Whidbey from where she retired in 2015.
To many, Cathie will be remembered for her intense and tempered faith. She was a woman of prayer, who was willing to interrupt conversations in order to speak directly with God about other’s needs, or request help from God for herself. She studied her Bible daily and wrestled to understand all that she could about Jesus her Savior. She spoke openly and honestly about how she was growing in faith and where she might be failing. She asked questions of others regarding faith that could not be taken lightly, nor easily answered. The prayer journals in which she had written the morning of her passing include the following prayer that we read hearing her voice, “…that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all perseverance and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
Cathie is preceded in death by her father, mother, brother Pat Vallance, and nephew Charles Lee Vallance. Cathie is survived by her husband John, son Tom, (Kat), daughter Sarah, brother Mike (Ann) Vallance, niece Kimberly Vallance, nephews Mike and Derrick Vallance, and grandchildren Aleksandra, John, and Sophia Koetje.
A memorial for Cathie will be held at First Reformed Church of Oak Harbor at 1pm on December 11th. Services will also be broadcast by Youtube video link and recorded for those not able to attend in person. (Please refer to the webpage below for precise link closer to time of service). Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences, at www.whidbeymemorial.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Cathie’s name to Mighty to Save Ministries of Oak Harbor, WA.