Kathryn "Jane" Humiston Bartel
Kathryn "Jane" Humiston Bartel
Kathryn "Jane" Humiston Bartel, a descendent of the family of one of Worthington's founders, died on October 21, 2013. She was 90 and had lived in Amarillo, Texas, for three years.
Jane, as she liked to be called, spent much of her childhood in Worthington, although her life began elsewhere. She was born on Thanksgiving Day, November 30, 1922 to Burr Humiston and Florence Voak in Newton, Massachusetts. Burr's grandfather, Edwin Ray Humiston, was the brother of Professor Ramsey F. Humiston, who co-founded Worthington in 1871.
Burr died in 1930, so Florence moved to her mother's home in Worthington with Jane, then 7, and her other child, Janes beloved brother Edwin Ray Humiston, two years her junior. Florence quickly built a new foundation for her young family in Minnesota. Two years after their arrival, she became Worthingtons chief librarian and served for 16 years, until 1948.
Jane graduated from Worthington High School and then from the University of Minnesota in 1944 as a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. In her first job after college, she was a medical lab technician in Seattle. After World War II, she went to Holland with the American Youth Hostel Group to help with the rebuilding effort.
From an early age, Jane loved the outdoors. After the war recovery stint in Holland, she and her fellow volunteers spent a month bicycling through that country as well as Belgium and France. She found the love for mountaineering while working in Seattle and also enjoyed hiking, backpacking and skiing. She learned golf in high school and continued playing competitively and for fun throughout her life.
As young adults after the war, Jane and her brother Ray lived in San Francisco, where she met her future husband Allen H. Bartel, while he was completing his doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley. They were wed in 1954 and would go on to raise four children: Ellen, Matthew, Warren and Sarah. The family moved to Texas in 1958, where Allen became a professor of Biophysical Sciences at the University of Houston.
Jane was loved and admired by all who knew her. She displayed a very kind and happy demeanor from the first impression; to know her longer was to see her wit, her generosity of spirit and her strong and forgiving sides. Her wide-open mind and intelligence were products of the Humiston familys long emphasis on education.
Neighborhood children were always welcome in her home. She was a Girl Scout leader and a volunteer in schools. She was well known in their Houston suburb, piloting an old GMC van frequently packed full of children. She and the family enjoyed years sailing in Galveston Bay and summers camping in the western states. There were numerous family visits to brother Rays homes in Wentworth, N.H. and to Los Angeles, CA.
Upon retirement, Jane and Allen moved to Boulder, Colorado, where they took to the mountainous terrain with gusto. They hiked regularly, into their late 80s, often grandchildren in tow. Allen died in 2008 at age 86; in 2010, Jane moved to Amarillo, where her son Matthew lives.
Janes family extends heartfelt thanks to Ray Crippen of the Worthington Globe. In 2011, when Jane was in town to bury her brother, Mr. Crippen took the opportunity to meet her and the two had a lively exchange of Worthington and Humiston family stories. She was very pleased to learn that her mother, the "library lady," was still remembered so fondly. Their long conversation led to his evocative Globe column about Janes homecoming. She proudly led a family tour of her many haunts and revisited her childhood home on 4th Street.
There will be a private ceremony to scatter Jane's ashes, along with those of her husband, in Rocky Mountain National Park. Jane is survived by her four children: Ellen Bartel, Matthew Bartel, Warren Bartel and Sarah Hilburn. She is also survived by her 8 grandchildren: Andrew Murphy, James Murphy, Drew Hilburn, Paul Bartel, John Bartel, Elise Bartel, Sara Bartel and Thomas Bartel.