Washington Women's History Consortium
Women's Clubs and Organizations
Kathy Estep, President, 1978-1980
Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs
Mrs. Allen Estep was the forty-fourth President of Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs. She was born October 1, 1925 in Centralia, WA. She graduated from Adna High School and attended Washington State University. She graduated from WSU in 1947 with a B.A. in Home Economics. She worked for Washington Water Power and Washington State University Extension Service.
She married Allen Estep, May 20, 1954. He retired after 30 years in Extension Service of which 18 years were spent as an area dairy agent. They endowed their four children with the same dedication of education and volunteerism that they reflected. All four received degrees, Debbie, a teacher; Ron, a major in animal science worked for Farm Credit Services; Jan, a vice-principal of a high school; and Linda, an executive accountant for WSU Student Book Corporation.
Many honors were awarded to Kathy. She served six years and was Past Chairman of Washington State Fair Commission and was a member of the National American Defense Council, Washington, D.C.
She was Past President of Ridgefield South Ridge PTA, Past President of Vancouver Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, and wrote a state manual for auxiliaries. She was a grange member for 46 years, Christian Women, Governor's Committee Future 2000, Eastern State Committee on Ageing, and Health and Welfare Planning Council.
She was a certified food judge and judged many local fairs. She was Clark County Mother of the Year, 1969; and Washington State University Mother of the Year, 1981.
She was well-known and respected nationwide because of her speaking ability, enthusiasm for Federation, and friendly outgoing personality.
A member of the GFWC Evergreen Woman's Club, Kathy served as Treasurer, and twice as Vice-president and President. She was elected Second Vice-president, First Vice-president, and President of Columbia District, where she received the Clubwoman of the Year Award. Going on to state level, she served as chairman of the Speech Division, Secretary, First and Second Director and was elected President in 1978. She was named State Advisor of the Year to the Junior Membership. She was a friend and mentor to them, serving three terms as their Advisor, as well as Advisor to two WSFWC Presidents.
Mrs. Estep had two major goals for her two-year administration: to develop leadership and strengthen communications.
A newsletter called "Open Line" was established as an effective link between the state and the clubs. By using a bulk rate mailing permit, it was economically feasible to mail whenever the need arose and was invaluable as a means of getting new information from department and division chairmen and GFWC to members.'
For the first time, Fall Board for both the Juniors and Generals was on the same weekend and in the same town with a partial program presented for both groups. There was an excellent response, developing friendships as well as presenting program materials beneficial to all.
Leadership training was a top priority for Washington State clubwomen during the 1978-80 administration. A leadership team was named of Kathy Estep, Bonnie Walden, Louise Allworth Tucker, Rozlyn Lemon and Shirley Phipps, Junior Director. During the 1978-79 club year, nine two-hour workshops were presented at the district level. Topics included membership, report writing, duties of elected and appointed officers, duties of chairmen, communications and knowing the junior organization. Topics were covered in a variety of ways: skits, talks, group discussion, handouts, etc.
A similar program was designed for the 1979-80 year and carried leadership to a higher level of understanding. This project received a national award.
After serving as State President, Kathy was appointed to five terms on the GFWC Board of Directors. When GFWC President Marl'o Shide developed laryngitis at her installation, Kathy was asked to read her speech to the assembly.
Kathy died suddenly of heart failure at the age of 66, January 26, 1993. A large delegation of clubwomen from around the state attended her funeral. A scholarship was set up in her honor.