Kate Helena Belcher was born on April 2, 1924 to Dr. Harold S. and Dr. Anne S. Belcher in New York City. She was raised in the Gramercy Park neighborhood until her seventh grade year, when they moved to the Upper East Side. Kate attended Friends Seminary and Brearley School.
Her summers were spent at her Grandparents’ farm in Far Hills, New Jersey. There, she would gather with her cousins, aunts, and uncles and learn about life, family, faith, and would develop her love of nature and gardens.
She attended Smith College where she had an unparalleled educational experience and met some of her lifelong friends. After graduating from college, she moved to San Francisco. Shortly thereafter, at the wedding of her college roommate to her cousin, she met Holt Webster, a family friend of her roommate.
After six dates over the course of four months, the two got engaged and married on May 27, 1947. They welcomed their first child, named Kate (Kelly for short) in 1948, followed by Craig in 1950, and Anne in 1952. They made their home on Capitol Hill’s Newton Street, where many lifelong friends lived and gathered.
Though Kate did not maintain a traditional career, she proudly dubbed herself a “professional volunteer”. New to Seattle during its post-war growth, she first became involved with the Junior League, and would go on to serve on the boards of more than 30 educational, health, and religious organizations. She and Holt received countless recognitions in appreciation of their service.
In 1972, Kate and Holt moved permanently to Bainbridge Island, where their home continued to be host to many parties, weddings, and fundraisers. Following Holt’s sudden death in 1992, Kate expanded her service work.
Called a “towering leader” at the time of her death, Kate was most importantly the matriarch of a very proud family. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Holt and son Craig. She is survived by her sister Suzanne Bunzel, daughters Kelly Webster and Anne (Jon) Fox, her grandchildren Alex (Jinny) Scribner, Sarah (Jim) Hopper, Jennifer Scribner, Peter Webster, Ben and Katherine Fox. She leaves the great-grandchildren whom she dearly loved, Nicolas, Oscar, Chase, Stella, and MaryKate. She also leaves behind her adored caregivers Ted Avery and Suzie Oens.
Gifts in her memory can be made to one of Kate’s beloved charities, or one that you love. She would have loved hearing your passion for it.