by Michele Martin Taylor
You’ll frequently find Kate Bayne at the Senior Center desk shouldering her share of responsibility in reception as well as being the Center Secretary. These roles come naturally to her after a 26 year career in project management for Pacific NW Bell where she juggled national and regional businesses like OSU, US Bank and Salem government telephony resources. Handling career, parenting and other activities was a balancing act she relished.
She’s a local gal from the beginning, born and raised on a small farm in Salem. Later she raised her own family on a farm on the outskirts of Corvallis. There her young family tended a menagerie of geese, chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats and horses. 4H was prominent in their lives, along with competitions. One horse Simba was so well trained that when she heard commands over the loudspeaker she would turn, reverse, and perform tricks whether she was in the ring or not.
Kate and her late husband Del were active in multiple civic arenas for many years. She’s served on the Board of the Smith Fine Art Series 6 for 6, a series of concerts hosting accomplished musicians from across the globe.
She and Del volunteered for many worthy causes through the years. Among them were Salem Heights Community Hall, the Willamette Heritage Hall and the Kairos Community which prepares 52 Sunday dinners a year, feeding up to 150 homeless folks a midday meal weekly. Kate still remembers their legendary chili and cornbread, hearty soups and baked goodies.
Before marriage and career, Kate studied art and history at Oregon State University in Corvallis and retains an artistic streak. She loves to draw and belongs to the Silverton Art Association. She also felts, an arcane skill that involves mashing wool with soap and hand forming it into shapes like hats and shawls. It would be fun to see some of her creations first hand!
Kate was married to Del for 35 years. She misses him dearly and as a testament to their love she combined her husband’s ring with her own to make a new ring. It is beautiful, and when she misses Del she feels closer to him looking at the ring. That ring, her seven grand-children and four great-grandchildren and being active keeps Kate fulfilled.
We adore Kate’s down to earth qualities. Creativity, loyalty and dedication to helping others make her an exceptional asset. The Center is lucky to have accomplished volunteers like Kate who bring a wealth of gusto and breadth to our Center!