Katherine Katama Bonthron died in Munich, Germany, in early March 2014.
Born in Princeton, N.J., in 1939, she was the daughter of William Robert Bonthron and the Vineyard poet Marion Lineaweaver, and sister of the late William James Bonthron of Ottawa, Canada.
Katama — or Kama as she was fondly known to her friends and family — grew up in Edgartown and Montreal, Quebec. She attended Trafalgar School for Girls in Montreal, and the Mary C. Wheeler School in Providence, R.I. In 1961 she graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s of arts degree from Smith College in Northampton.
Most of her adult life was spent in Munich, Germany, where she was employed as an editor at Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe. She played cello with an amateur orchestra and enjoyed traveling all over the world, frequently visiting her family and friends in far-flung places.
Katama was the beloved stepdaughter of Jane Bonthron of Princeton, N.J., half sister of Jennifer Bonthron Waters of Easton, Md., Susan Bonthron of Guilford, Vt., and William Deas Bonthron of Hopewell, N.J., and the late Thomas Spencer Bonthron of Pittsburgh, Pa.; as well as the aunt of Alexandra Bonthron of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Catriona Gannon of New York city, and Fiona Bonthron of Armadale, Australia; and cousin of Matthew Young of Hopewell, N.J., Jim Young of North Falmouth, and Martha Young Tholen of Martha’s Vineyard.
Katama’s lifelong love of the Vineyard is evident in the poem she wrote, included below. She will be sorely missed by her friends and family.
A private memorial service will be held at Hancock Beach in September.
I’ll Give Thee a Wind
Come walk with me to the beach and I’ll make thee a day.
I’ll give thee a tall, clear azure sky,
And put in it a sun that is hot on the sand
And gold on the waves.
I’ll give thee a wind that is warm from that sun
And fresh from the sea,
That will blow back the hair from thine ears
And whip in them the roar of the surf on the shore
And the cry of the gulls.
— Katama Bonthron