Katie loved the Lord all her life, and on July 1, 2021 she’s now with Him forever. She was born in Saskatchewan, Canada to John and Mary Burkart on Nov. 25, 1921. She was the sixth of seven children, and was preceded in death by her four sisters and two brothers.
As a young woman, Katie worked with her father as a market gardener. Later, she went to work “under the glass” at a local nursery and helped to make the bouquet given to Queen Elizabeth on her 1939 visit to Canada. Following her father’s calling to ministry, the family moved to California. There Katie taught Sunday School and led youth activities. While attending a youth conference, she met several students from Pacific Bible College who urged her to attend. She moved to Portland, Ore., and met Nick Kowalko who was attending to further his ministerial training. They married in Portland in 1947.
Katie and Nick pastored at The Church of God in Canada, Aberdeen, Wash., Rainier and Springfield, Ore. They also served in Cottage Grove, where they retired as pastors emeritus. Of all of her many church activities, being the choir director was her favorite. Katie also worked in Eugene as a secretary for SAIF (State Accident Insurance Fund) and later as a legal secretary for a private attorney. Katie’s most notable quality was her positive life view. She was quick to laugh and enjoyed making others smile, too. In retirement, she and Nick traveled annually to The Fountain of Youth Spa and RV Resort, where she regularly performed a stand-up comedy act. She was a resort celebrity!
Katie touched many lives during her 99 years on this earth. She had many life-long friends. She is survived by her sons Ken (Judy) and Dale (Ginger), grandchildren Katie and Kendal, step-grandchildren Donna and Bobby, and six great-grandchildren (Alyson, Hannah, Emma, Kilee, Jordan and Silas).
A memorial service and luncheon will be held on July 31 at 1 p.m., at Riverside Church of God in Cottage Grove.