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News > Family Announcements > Remembered with Affection - Katie Woodland née Welland (HH 1978)

Remembered with Affection - Katie Woodland née Welland (HH 1978)

Obituary published in OGA Chain magazine 2020
Obituary published in OGA Chain magazine 2020

12 Feb 1960 - 14 Jan 2020

Katie came to St Swithun’s in 1971 and spent a year in Chilcomb (a boarding house on the hill) before moving to High House. In the early days she kept the mischievous side of her nature well under wraps. She was academically gifted and very diligent as well as incredibly tidy. Her complete lack of self-satisfaction meant that she was treasured and admired but never resented by others.

It was therefore no surprise that she was made head of house and later head of school, both of which she performed with quiet efficiency, fairness and leadership. However, there was also a fun-loving side to her character which sometimes came into conflict with her sense of responsibility.

In the sixth form, as well as being head of school, Katie was the only one of the year to take four A-levels, which was almost unheard of in those days.

She was a very dear friend both at school and afterwards when she was able to shed her responsibility and reveal her true colours. Katie is one of the few people of whom it is impossible to think of anything negative and she is sorely missed. 

University followed school, and Katie decided that she wanted to study engineering - still quite a novelty for women back in the 70s. She went to Exeter and had three very happy years there, making friendships that would stand the test of time.

After a short time in a design office she moved out onto site work on big projects like the Hayes by-pass and the M1/M25 interchange.

In 1987 Kate had a serious car accident, and it took many months for her to recover.

She’d always wanted to travel and the accident prompted her to travel the silk route down through Europe, into Turkey, India and up through Nepal and on to Thailand where she met up with an old school friend.

When she was in Hong Kong getting her visa to visit China she met an RAF pilot who was serving there, and a whirlwind romance followed. Katie and Russ then travelled through Indonesia and onto Bali where Russ proposed at sunrise on the rim of a volcano in Java - they were married in Hong Kong in 1989.

Despite never having had any previous experience of the military, Katie quickly adapted to RAF life and the nomadic lifestyle that it involved. The fairy tale life of Hong Kong was soon replaced by the harsh reality of two years in Northern Ireland. Unable to do site work, for security reasons, Katie did a course in computer skills and was so good they invited her back to teach the course. Later in Oxfordshire, Katie built on her computer skills and worked as a project consultant to deploy a secure computer system for the MOD.

Their daughter Harriet and son Hamish were born and Katie gave up work to focus on her family. Once the children were of school age, Katie worked as a teaching assistant in their primary school. As the children grew, Katie retrained as a complimentary therapist specialising in aromatherapy and reflexology.

Katie and Russ celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a trip to New Zealand in November 2019, where she was able to meet up with two old school friends.

Sadly, on the 14th December 2019 Katie was admitted into hospital with a brain haemorrhage. Katie passed away a month  later surrounded by her family.

She truly was a person who was loved by all and will be remembered for her warmth, compassion, sense of fun, and particularly her infectious smile.

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