In Memory

Kathy Surprenant (Dorenbos)

Kathy Surprenant (Dorenbos)


Kathleen's Obituary

 Kathleen Ann <I>Surprenant</I> Dorenbos










If you have any details, memories or photos of Kathy,
please post them in a comment below.

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06/17/19 04:12 PM #1    

Suzanne Swanson (Pohle)



Today marks twenty-five years since OJ Simpson took a knife to the throat of his ex-wife, Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.  Unbeknownst to probably any of us at Millikan, a classmate had suffered a horrific death at her home in Washington state just a few months prior.

I have been helping Norena locate people for the reunion and Kathy Surprenant was on my list.  I searched several times and thought I had located her safe and happy and aging like all of us, in Massachusetts.  Wrong Kathy.  Later I found our Kathy and I lost it when I saw her picture next to the Find a Grave photo staring back at me.  She was barely Into her forties.

Please read her obit published in the Seattle Times from 1992, and see the attached article about the murder and the trial of her husband.  

She was the mother of three kids and her youngest, Jon, who was just twelve, was playing outside across the street with neighborhood kids while his dad was busy killing our Kathy, in the most brutal way.  I watched a video of Jon sharing his story and showing pictures of his mom to the reporter in one of several interviews available online.  After her murder he found the art of magic, which he said gave him an outlet to battle the grief.   He played sports in school and found his way to the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles.  And he forgave his father.  Living a good life was important to Jon, and he thought to do so was the best way to honor his mother.  I’m sure our Kathy would be very proud of him and her other two children.  That is a mother’s legacy.

I sat next to Kathy in gym class at Millikan.  Dressed in our blue shirts and bloomers, our waistbands and pocket areas embroidered with white thread from Quigleys, crisply displayed our names.  Surprenant always preceded Swanson during roll call.  We giggled, gossiped and griped as teenage girls would do.  

She was just sweet, really.  Laughing, friendly, sincere and honest.  Pretty smile, beautiful black eyes.  Like a doe.  

06/18/19 02:42 PM #2    

Kristie Fawcett

Lovely memoriam, Suzanne, for a lovely woman. Rest in Peace, Kathy.

06/18/19 02:43 PM #3    

Phyllis Reisman (Kasparian)

Thank you for uopdating us on our missing classmate, Kathleen and her tragic death. What a wonderful legacy to see her son honoring his mother's memory with forgiveness and love. On this, what would have been her 68th birthday may she always rest in peace and her memolry will be a blessing.

06/18/19 05:04 PM #4    

Suzanne Swanson (Pohle)

Thanks Phyllis for pointing out that today is her birthday.  I totally missed that!  That is amazing after  all this time, and the tragedy that occurred, that today is really the day she is being honored!  Blessings to her, I hope she can somehow know we care and we miss her.  If you search her son’s name, Jon Dorenbos, or her husband Al Dorenbos, there are articles and videos online to learn more, including the NFL, the Ellen Show and   America’s Got Talent.   Wow.  Hi Kathy!!!

06/19/19 09:44 AM #5    

Bonnie MacEvoy

So very tragic.

06/20/19 02:58 AM #6    

Kristie Fawcett

What a moving interview. Bless Kathleen and her son

Thank you, Suzanne.

07/30/19 09:44 PM #7    

Anna Volta (Katsuki)

i hope she is in peace I was so so shocked to see Kathy's name and then to find out how she died.  I am devastated.  We would walk to school together as she was on the way.  Usually Nina Sutton was with us.  She was funny and fun to be with.  I was just in shock as I am with everyone on this page.  


09/22/19 05:53 PM #8    

Jenn Falk

Thank you Bonnie MacEvoy and Phyllis Reisman Kasperian. I just ran across the obit of Kathy. I’m so sorry for what you suffered Kathy!  You had what on the outside appeared a beautiful family; home and life in the PNW. May you RIP. Your son appears to know your spirit and the surroundings of the feeling that you are with him always. As a severe domestic violence survivor too, ( 30 years; my high school steady my Jr year;) I too relate to your sons knowledge. My heart and prayers go out to you and the surviving children. As a classmate of our High School, I wish our paths could have crossed. The PNW is beauty beyond beauty, but it can hide the internal dismay of families that really are hidden in such beauty. Blessed are the survivors and Peace be with you. Life is a blessing and should be acknowledged as one! A classmate and transplant Seattleite too from Long Beach Millikan High; class of 69. May God give your Son Peace and understanding! (Jann Falk) 







09/23/19 12:00 PM #9    

Susan Beaver (Saint)

Thank you all for your beautiful sentiments. And Jann, thank you so very much for your insights. It was very moving and brave for you to share your experience as well. My heart goes out to both you and Kathy, as well as anyone else who relates to such a horrific life. It is often generational and sometimes difficult for others to understand such abuse. Thank you again for your kind words.

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