Katherine was born in 1926 to George and Ethel Kawkes in Chicago, Illinois. She had one sister, Ann, and one brother Tom. Katherine grew up in the Chicago area obtaining her basic education there as well as attending Northwestern University and majoring in journalism.
After college Katherine moved to Houston, Texas where she worked as an oil and gas accountant for private oil executives.
Katherine enjoyed stamp collecting, gardening, and had a flare for oil painting. She thoroughly enjoyed needlepoint activities and maintained her own private collection of various types of artwork.
Katherine was active socially and had many friends and associates with whom she enjoyed a full active life. She also enjoyed traveling abroad with her family.
All her life Katherine believed that life on earth originally came from the stars. It was always her wish to return to space and become part of the origins of life.