Katharine Shannon Wilkes

This is my lovely first cousin, Katharine. We share a name, though I've always been called Kit.
Katharine's body was found in the Mississippi River yesterday in Minneapolis. Whether her death was an accident or a suicide is unknown right now. Dear Katharine struggled with mental illness for her most of her adult life. She, and her parents, lived through many, many ups and downs, scares and scrapes. She was an actress and an artist.
This is what my mom wrote me in an email late last night:
My heart breaks for my sister. So devastating to lose a child however flawed or ill, accident or suicide, still the child was grown in ones body, torn from it at birth and has carried so much love and promise and hope and pride. How does one recover from such devastation? This news makes all other troubles seem small.

Please, if you pray, would you pray for my aunt, and Katharine's two brothers? And for her whole extended family as we process the death of one so young? She was just 35 years old.
When I spoke with John on the phone this morning (he's away), he just said, "Jesus, help." That is all I can manage to pray.


  1. Oh Kit....so devastated to hear about this. Absolutely tragic. Will join you in your prayer "Jesus, help." -Liz

  2. Oh, mercy, Kit. We will pray for your family.

  3. Thank you so much, Liz and Heather. It means a lot to me.

  4. Kit, I am so sorry! Your cousin is beautiful like you... She is in my thoughts. XOXO

  5. Sarah, thanks ever so much for your thoughts. It means the world.

  6. I'm so very sorry for your family's loss.

  7. Kit, I'm so sorry for your family's loss. From the picture, yes, she was a stunning girl. I'll be praying for you and your cousin's family tonight.

  8. oh my goodness -- that is so, so sad. will definitely be praying for you guys...

  9. Hi I am Maria, Kat's friend in Minneapolis. I can assure you that she had dedicated to Christ her eternal soul. Although she was haunted she surely transcended the flesh
    and much Love

  10. May you be safe.
    May you be peaceful.
    May you be healthy.
    May you have ease of being.

    My love Katharine is a ease.

  11. Thanks for sharing this, Kit. I'm praying for your Aunt's broken heart that Jesus would, in fact, help as he promises to do.
    love to you. -biz

  12. just saw this kit and am overwhelmed. hoping Jesus doesn't tarry. praying.

  13. Kit, I am Marty Robin from San Francisco. Our family loved Kat since 1991 thru 2000 and everything written about her is how we knew Kat. OUr son, Murphy Hooker and Kat were in love - lived together while going to school in North Texas University. Our family has had Kat in our lives and grieved before we found this obit. Kat elected to leave Murphy in 1999 and sporadically contacted him from pay phones. Kat came to our home in SF about 6? years ago bringing 2 other young women we knew from the High School days in SF in early 90s but I had no way to contact her after that.

    We knew Tom fairly well. I have met Susan, too. She lived in the Marina and we live on Russian Hill.

    I hope you can understand that our son Murphy is devastated as Kat was the only woman he says he ever loved. He wished he could have known sooner and would have expressed the grief we all feel. Life can be so cruel. THANK YOU for listening.



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