Katharina (Kathy) Cripe, 86, passed away on May 8, 2024, in Templeton, CA. Born Katharina Gross on September 14, 1937, in Felldorf, Romania, she was the fifth of eight siblings. Young Kathy’s family endured WWII’s ravages in Europe, eventually settling in Austria in 1944. 

Kathy immigrated to the U.S. in 1956 aboard the USS Langfitt and settled in Cleveland, OH, where she began a career with Stouffer Food Corp (restaurants). She later transferred to Orange, CA, where she met Daniel (Dan) Lee Cripe in 1964. They married in 1966. Her son, Daniel E., was born in 1968 in Orange, CA. 

When Dan, a U.S. Marine, deployed to Vietnam, Kathy and Daniel lived in Austria before returning to El Toro, CA, where her son Dustin P. was born in 1973. Kathy supported her family through several moves over the following decade and provided her children the opportunity to live with family in Austria, providing their young minds with global perspectives. Kathy and Dan divorced circa 1984, which was hard on Kathy. In the following years, she brought joy to families of patients at Palomar Hospital through her work in the gift shop where she was beloved for her kindness. She was also a regular volunteer at the Escondido Performing Arts Center. 

Throughout the rest of her life, Kathy was devoted to her sons, remained close with Dan’s mother (Vera M. Cripe, who passed away in 2021) and family, enjoyed the California sunshine, and spent time tending her plants and knitting for her family. Her Christian faith was lifelong and important; she regularly attended services wherever she lived. Despite the distance, she remained connected to and deeply loved by her family in Austria.

Kathy is survived by sons Daniel (55) and Dustin (50); daughters-in-law Jennifer and Rebecca; grandchildren Carter (19), Haley (16), Austin (13), and Gracelyn (10); and siblings Stephan and Heda.