Kathleen Fairbrother – Guthrie
March 3, 1949 – March 29, 2016
Resident of Burlingame
Kathy passed away peacefully at home on March 29 at the age of 67. The daughter of David and Gertrude Fairbrother, she is survived by her husband Jim, son Jason, daughter Kristen, brother Mike, sister in-law Franny, uncle Joe Skinner and cousins Suzy and Patty Skinner.
Kathy was born and raised in San Francisco and truly loved the City and was proud to be a native San Franciscan. She grew up in Saint Francis Wood, attended Commodore Sloat elementary school, Aptos junior high and Lowell high school. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of the Pacific in 1970 and a Master of Science degree in Marine Biology from the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo in 1972.
Her Master of Science degree thesis was a study of the impact on marine life due to the construction of the breakwater at the PG&E Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
At Cal Poly, she met her future husband Jim Guthrie. After their graduation, the couple moved to Burlingame, CA where they joyfully lived together for the next 44 years.
Kathy was an amazing woman with a constant desire to learn and achieve. She was always busy reading, gardening, cooking, sewing or taking classes. She was a fountain of knowledge on everything she was interested in. She loved to travel and go to concerts. She loved making and maintaining friendships and socializing.
She was an age group, high school and college swimmer. Soon after her marriage, she joined the San Mateo Master Marlins swimming club to continue her joy of swimming where she made many life long friends.
Kathy was an accomplished volunteer counselor at Planned Parenthood for sixteen years, where she also met many lifelong friends, including Mary Marshall, a distinguished rose exhibitor who encouraged Kathy to grow roses. As an avid gardener, Kathy soon had over 100 roses in her garden. She joined the San Mateo Rose Society, the Golden Gate and Peninsula Rose Societies where she exhibited her roses and arrangements, winning many awards and became a consulting rosarian.
Kathy also won many awards at the San Mateo County Fair for her cut flowers and flower arrangements. She became a member of the distinguished Bay Area Floral Arrangers Guild and Furyu Floral Designers, where she obtained a wealth of knowledge from her older mentors.
Kathy enjoyed sewing, which she learned from her mom Trudy, a talented seamstress.
She loved to entertain and host dinner parties. She took many classes in French and Chinese cuisines at the Burlingame Recreation Center and enjoyed sharing these culinary delights with our friends, hosting many dinner parties and lively Halloween costume events. Kathy was known by her family and friends, for her love of life, outgoing personality, her wit and creativity.
Kathy was an active member the Gamma Phi Beta sorority alumni group for many years.
Kathy also loved music. She played the piano and her first love was jazz. She constantly listened to KCSM’s radio jazz broadcasts and participated in KCSM’s jazz appreciation classes.
She supported many charities of all kinds.
Kathy will truly be missed by all of her friends and relatives. She was a soul mate to her husband Jim, and was a wonderful mother to her children. A wonderful wife, a wonderful friend, and a wonderful mother. Kathy, a beautiful life cut way too short. Be at peace, for your long and painful suffering is finally over.
All of us truly loved you.
The family would like to thank the caregivers, especially Jan Bergren, and Mission Hospice who were instrumental in providing excellent care for her, making her comfortable and supporting our family until her ultimate death. If you are moved in some way to remember Kathy with a donation, please contribute to the Mission Hospice and Home Care, 160 South Amphlett Blvd., Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94402.
There will be a celebration of her life service on Monday, April 11, 2016 at Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo at 1:00 PM.