Kathryn Lynn Stoltzfus. Photo courtesy of Janet Elisovsky

May 11, 1947 – Sept. 19, 2023 

By Janet Elisovsky 

Kathryn Lynn Stoltzfus was called home by the Lord to be with her beloved husband and departed friends and family on Sept. 19, 2023.  

Born on May 11, 1947 in Lansing, Michigan, Kathryn was the eldest of three siblings. She traveled with her family to Arizona before settling in Goleta, California. 

After graduating from San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, Kathryn attended Westmont College in Montecito. She then took to the skies and served as a flight attendant for 30 years, first with Western Airlines, then with Delta. Despite her busy schedule, Kathryn remained a proud lifelong learner. She earned two master’s degrees: in marriage and family counseling and later in business administration. 

Kathryn’s heart of service knew no bounds. She helped innumerable people as a marriage and family therapist, as well as fostering many children during times of need over the course of many years. Kathryn’s education, innately kind heart, and generosity of spirit afforded her a unique ability to be an amazing listener and confidante to clients and friends alike. 


On Dec. 7, 1991, Kathryn married her true love, Richard Lee Stoltzfus. They moved from Hubbard, Oregon to Salt Lake City, Utah, and finally to their true home in Cordova, Alaska in January of 2000. 

In 2010, Kathryn was called back to Goleta to help her mother Elizabeth Ann Shaver and sister Karen Ruth Hall, who were both experiencing health challenges. She remained there until 2011, when Richard tragically passed away in an airplane accident. Kathryn, her beloved foster daughter Salina, and pets moved back to Goleta in August of 2022. There, she enjoyed a wonderful, laughter- and craft-filled year with her niece Kristin, and other niece Jessica when she would visit. 

Kathryn treasured family bonds, and particularly enjoyed her role of stepmother to Justin and Jeremy, and grandmother to Jeremy and Stacy Stoltzfus’ sons Lucas and Nathan. She was exceptionally proud of them and their accomplishments. Kathryn put her airline perks to great use, and took many trips to Europe with her beloved mother. She was the ultimate adventure buddy, with humor and adaptability to make any trip an enjoyable one. 

Kathryn’s exceptional talents in crafting are the stuff of legends. The backside of her many cross-stitch pieces and quilts are as tidy and flawless as the front, a testament to her eye and capacity for excellence. She enjoyed knitting, weaving, quilting, jewelry making, baking, and numerous other disciplines and dove into any art form with abandon. She shared this passion for art with her nieces, and many others. 

When Kathryn shared news of her husband Richard’s passing, she wrote: “From the Bible that Richard loved, I take comfort in the words from 1 Thessalonians 4:13 that says we have hope in our grief. I know that Richard is with his Lord, is probably enjoying a conversation with his dad, Grandpa and beloved first wife Flossie sharing all the wonderful events that we shared together as a family. I also know that I will see him again someday when my purpose on earth is over and I too am told, ‘Welcome HOME.'” 

Kathryn is home, but will be forever missed by those left behind. A service may take place in Cordova, Alaska at some point in the future, to be determined. 

Kathryn is survived by her stepsons and their families: Jeremy, Stacy, Lucas, and Nathan Stoltzfus of Grantham, Pennsylvania, Justin Stoltzfus and Tracy Bacon of Wenatchee, Washington, and Joel and his wife Julie Stoltzfus of Canby, Oregon; nieces Jessica Hall (Jeff Bayer) of Portland, Oregon and Kristin Hall of Goleta; foster daughter Salina; many cousins and extended family, and uncountable friends of the heart.