From Islapedia
Kathy Van Slyke, All Eight Member #122

VAN SLYKE, Kathy (1939-2018)

In the News~

June 5-8, 2018 [VCS]: “Ventura, CA. Kathleen Lou Van Slyke passed away in the ICU of Pleasant Valley Hospital on June 2, 2018 at the age of 78. She had battled health issues for the last two years and finally succumbed to her third bout of pneumonia since December 31st. She was born in San Francisco, California on July 8, 1939, the daughter of Louis Horace and Dorothy Eva (Jones) Powell. The family lived in Hawaii for about eight years for her father's work returning to the mainland when she was fifteen. She graduated from high school in Winston Salem, North Carolina. She received a degree in mathematics with a minor in biology from Beloit College in Wisconsin. After college she taught mathematics at Hueneme High School for four years. Wanting to teach science she attended Oregon State University to get her masters in biological science. After teaching science and math in a middle school in Eugene, Oregon for a year, she moved to Oxnard where her parents were then living and began work as a mathematician at Point Mugu. It was at Mugu that she met her future husband in June of 1971. They married in Oxnard on May 13, 1972 followed by a honeymoon trip to Yosemite. Kathy took a leave of absence from her job in December 1973 prior to the birth of their first child and she never went back.

Kathy devoted the remainder of work career to forms of teaching. After her children were in school, she taught several years at the Carden School in Camarillo. She worked for the City of Ventura leading walks at the Olivas Adobe. She led walks for school children for the Point Mugu State Park. She then started as a docent on whale watch boats for the Channel Island Marine Sanctuary. This led her to becoming a volunteer naturalist for the Channel Islands National Park. Through her park work she visited all the eight islands getting inducted into the all eight club in 2011. Her last island was Catalina. After being repeatedly asked by visitors how Santa Cruz compared to Catalina, she and her husband went for a weekend, so she could answer that question. Kathy was named volunteer of the year for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary in 2008 and got a trip to Washington D.C. to compete for the national volunteer of the year. Kathy developed several scripts for walks for the park and developed and performed a first person portrayal for campers in the evening. She portrayed Margaret Eaton, who lived on Santa Cruz from 1908 to 1937.

The other teaching activity that gave Kathy great pleasure and occupied much of her time was that of director of the Women in History program for the Camarillo chapter of the American Association of University Women, which she did for over ten years. Women dress up to do first person portrayals of famous women in grade school classes. She developed many of the scripts and props, coordinated the program, drew up the schedule, coordinated training and performed many other tasks. Fortunately, she started bringing others in to train to take over the program if she decided to retire. Her illness put these ladies to the test for Kathy spent Women in History month in the hospital. She helped with direction from her hospital bed ? ever the trooper.

Kathy was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She is going to be sorely missed by the family and friends she leaves behind. She is survived by her husband, Noel; her son Douglas and his wife Jill (Lusher) Van Slyke of Pleasanton, California and their children Matthew and Erik; and her daughter Linda Tilt and her husband Jody of Hendersonville, Tennessee and their children Kierin and Zaely.”