In memory: Katharine Elizabeth Compton

Katharine Elizabeth Compton jumped from our world, unexpectedly, on July 6th at the age of 24. A few years ago at Camp Mystic, we watched Katharine and her co-captain lead a quadrille team of eight riders and horses through the intricate woven patterns they had choreographed and set to music. The drill performance was a remarkable display of strength, control and daring, all characteristics that best describe Katharine's life.

Born and raised in Houston, Katharine graduated from Memorial High School. She was a four-year letterman on the golf team and was awarded the Mustang Heart Award by her peers and faculty for her compassion. She ventured to Furman University in South Carolina for her undergraduate studies, where she was a proud member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. As a senior, she was named the Outstanding Greek Woman of the Year.

After college, she attended the Indiana University Geological Field Camp and then Colorado State University where she earned her master of science in geology. In May, she successfully defended her research and had recently received word that her thesis was approved for publication. Three weeks ago, she moved to Houston and launched her career with Sandia Technologies, LLC. She was primed, ready and excited for the life ahead.Those are the facts. What that information leaves out is who she really was. She was the daughter every parent dreams of, and the sister every brother needs. She lived more in her short life than most. She loved, well, her friends and her family, and that love was reciprocated. She was often the glue that held relationships together. She was funny and silly and, strong. She took pictures of herself jumping everywhere from the golf course to the mountaintop to display her joy of life. She was undaunted as she entered new locales and new situations flying solo. She climbed mountains, she jumped from planes, she traveled to exotic places to work with elephants and conduct research, she was unafraid to dry-camp for a month in Yosemite for her master's thesis research. She enjoyed riding her bicycle to the brewery for an afternoon with friends in the sun, baking cupcakes and collecting rocks. She had just found the love of her life. She was thoughtful and artistic and beautiful. But most of all, she was loved. She leaves behind family and friends whose hearts she touched and forever changed with her own caring and compassionate heart: her parents, Steve and Caroline Compton, her brother, Campbell Compton, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends too many to name. We were blessed with her in our lives. Nothing will ever change that. Happy trails, Katharine. To celebrate Katharine's life, family and friends gathered in the Wisteria Ballroom at The Westin Houston, Memorial City (945 Gessner Road, Houston TX, 77024) on Saturday, July 18, to have an uplifting gathering of Katharine's many friend circles to retell stories, raise toasts with the craft beer she loved so much, and celebrate her life. In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests that gifts in memory of Katharine be directed to either Boys and Girls Country, 18806 Roberts Road, Hockley, TX, 77447, or the "Katharine Compton Memorial Fund" at Austin County State Bank, PO Box 1466, Bellville, TX, 77418, to establish Geology Field Camp Scholarships for students at Furman University, Colorado State University and the Indiana University Geologic Field Station.

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Grant to CSU helps faculty, staff bike to work

Faculty and staff 50 years and older can get Back on the Bike, thanks to a Kaiser Permanente grant. The grant, awarded to Parking and Transportation Services, supports a program to help faculty and staff become more comfortable riding a bike to work. The program, Back on the Bike, is now seeking participants for sessions starting the fall semester. The program, geared toward engaging more people in active transportation and physical activity, helps CSU employees who want to bike to work assess their health, tune up their bike, get safety gear, and learn tricks to travel in traffic and overcome other safety or comfort obstacles through personalized travel training. To qualify, faculty and staff must be at least 50 years old, live within a Fort Collins zip code, and want to commute by bicycle. Training helps with health, safety concerns Back on the Bike will offer faculty and staff travel training programs including:

  • Confidential health assessments administered by the Recreation Center
  • Free bicycle tune up
  • Free bike safety gear including a bike lock, helmet, light, and carry bag
  • Hands on travel training and bicycle skills development
  • Eight monthly training and discussion group sessions with lunch provided
  • Online participation tracking system
  • The opportunity to recruit other eligible employees
“CSU is in one of the nation’s friendliest biking cities, but it can be intimidating to commute to work when the ride includes traveling in traffic, navigating trails and planning your day around the commute,” said Aaron Fodge, alternative transportation manager for CSU, housed in Parking and Transportation Services. “Many faculty and staff members may be tempted to try commuting to work during the summer, but don’t want to get stuck on campus during an afternoon rainstorm, or just simply haven’t hopped on a bike for a while. This grant is designed to provide them with everything they need to be able to get on their bikes this summer and enjoy all that campus and Fort Collins have to offer for those on two wheels,” Fodge said. Because of this program, many employees are overcoming these obstacles and biking to work. CSU employees offer testimonials for the program Sign up by August 4 to participate Participation in the program requires that employees attempt to commute by bicycle to work three times per week from September-November and March-May, and one time a week during December-February. To participate, employees should sign up by August 4. To participate in the Get Back on the Bike program, contact Amanda Fitzpatrick at (970) 491-7600 or

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