|“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson|
This memorial website was created in memory of our wonderful mother, Kathie Milano, who passed away at her home in Berkeley, California, in 2013, at age 70, with her family by her side. She had battled mantle cell lymphoma for four years.
We invite you to add your own memories, stories, and photos to this website under the "Stories" tab above and to the Gallery. You can also share this site with friends by sending them the URL kathie-milano.forevermissed.com. Thank you for visiting, and we hope you find and share many fond memories here.
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Born in 1942 in Marin County, California, Kathie was a precocious, creative tomboy who graduated from Berkeley High School at only 16 years old and, in 1965, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in architecture.
Kathie first worked at the architecture firm of Leo S. Wou & Associates in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she met and married Paul Howarth (they later divorced), and then at Architects INTAREN in Bangkok, Thailand, where her daughter was born, before returning to resettle permanently in the Bay Area, where her son was born. In the Bay Area she was an architect with world-class international firms SOM and HOK, then Elbasani, Logan, and Severin in Berkeley, and finally the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, from which she retired. Her projects were described as “massive monumental” and included the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Pioneer Place in Portland, Oregon, among many, many others.
Kathie was a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority and the American Institute of Architects. Her love of not only modern art and architecture but also of art from around the world is evident in the home she designed and raised her family in—a modernist retreat in the hills and trees of Berkeley. She was herself an artist in the tradition of Picasso, filling her home with vivid abstract human-figure paintings. She loved classical music, early rock n’ roll—Buddy Holly and Elvis—and Hawaiian crooner Don Ho. She had such a sweet tooth that she commonly asked for the dessert menu first at restaurants. She loved fast cars, no matter how impractical.
She was insatiably curious about history and culture, so she traveled the world during her lifetime, including visits to Mongolia, Cambodia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Italy, France, Greece, and Mexico—but Hawaii always held a special place in her heart, and she returned there often. An avid reader, she always had a thick book on her nightstand, whether it be a novel or nonfiction, and had very-well-informed opinions about current events. She met and remained friends for life with people all over the world.
Kathie will be especially remembered for her compassion, her gift of seeing only the good in people, her wacky humor, her unflagging positivity, and a quiet determination that enabled her to succeed in an unforgiving profession, build her own house, and raise two children on her own. During her tough battle with cancer, she persevered beyond expectations while never, ever complaining. She had many loving friends who inspired her and whom she inspired with her kind and giving spirit.
She was an incredible mother. She is survived by her daughter Heather, of Utah, and her son Paul, of California, in addition to two adored grandchildren (ages 5 and 2), cousins, nieces, nephews, and numerous friends who are as close as family. At her request, Kathie’s ashes will be scattered in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Maui by her children.
We wish to extend special thanks and appreciation to the doctors, nurses, family, and friends who helped care for her and support her during her long illness.
With love and gratitude,
Heather and Paul
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CELEBRATION OF LIFE: A joyous memorial reception celebrating Kathie’s life and spirit was held for family and friends at her home on May 5.
"Thank you to the family and friends for sharing such beautiful memories with us all. On this, her birthday, we are missing her all that much more. And remembering her in our hearts."
"Today would have been my mother's 71st birthday. Yesterday dozens of friends and family gathered at her house to remember her, and it was wonderful to be surrounded by so many incredible people who loved her and had fantastic stories to tell. Paul Jr. and I are grateful for the love and friendship you shared with our mother over the years. She adored every one of you!"
"I met Kathie in Berkeley through Kathie's best friend, Carmella. As a fellow architect we would occasionally meet at professional events and discuss architecture. But it was Kathie as a friend over the past 10 years who meant the most to me. Kathie never hesitated to say "I love you!" to me or to her other friends. I will never forget her optimism, cheerfulness and generosity."
"Kathie was an amazing friend and mentor. Working with her at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab was an honor and she saved my hinny more than once. She was dedicated, creative, fearless, and, above all, kind. A more giving person would be difficult to meet. She shared selflessly with her family and friends. I will always be in awe of her strength and optimism in the face of any challenge."
"I was blessed to be one of Kathie's friends for 53 years. We met at Cal and were sorority sisters. I loved being with Kathie because we shared so many things in common and she really was the sister I had always wished for and my best friend who never judged me and gave the unconditional love we all need. She was a precious person and generous in every way. I miss her every moment."
"Kathie and I were married for almost 10 years and remained friends for the rest of her life. Her greatest achievement was raising our two children, Heather and Paul Jr. and instilling in them the values that have made them the caring, loving children and parents that they are. I loved her once and will cherish her memory forever."
"Kathie was a dear friend and colleague of mine. I have happy memories from years of working together at the LBNL, and from our travels: to Mongolia, Russia, China, Egypt, Jordan, Canada, and National Parks we visited. Kathie was a talented architect, and a considerate and generous friend. She had an exquisite taste and loved all things beautiful. I will miss you, Kathie, forever, rest in peace!"
"Our friendship began in Bangkok many years ago and we heard of her passing in Bangkok this Easter. We remembered her by the banks of the Chao Phrya River and lay garlands of jasmine and roses on the river in her memory, the circle completed. Life is full of 'passing ships '-
but lovely Kathie was a true,loyal,friend - gone now but never forgotten."
"I loved Kathie dearly and am so grateful for all the cherished memories of adventures and times we shared...not only here in SLC but in the Bay area. Will miss her wonderful smile, her laugh, her optimism, her sense of humor, her graciousness and goodness, and her contagious sense of adventure. I will so miss her calls..."Hi Karen, it's Kathie!""
"Looking at these beautiful photos, I find it hard to believe that Kathie, so full of love, life and laughter, is gone. I only knew her for a few years, but will remember her always."
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