Kate Nilssen


Kate Nilssen Of Taos, New Mexico, passed away on May 2, 2020, after a long and valiant battle with pulmonary fibrosis. She was born Katherine Elizabeth Wells in 1944, in Brooklyn, NY, but grew up in rural Maryland. In 1975, Kate’s adventurous spirit brought her to the Findhorn Foundation on the Moray coast of northeast Scotland, where she met her future husband, Morten Nilssen. It was also at Findhorn that Kate learned to weave, and thus began her lifelong passion and successful career as a textile artist. Kate and her family moved to Taos in 1981 and she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in 1996 from the University of New Mexico. She loved the Taos landscape where she could enjoy hiking, horse-back riding, cross-country skiing, and every precious moment spent in her garden. She liked to cook, but her appetite for learning was her true passion, be it history, psychology, ancestry or politics. Kate was also proud to serve as secretary of the board of trustees for *Nina’s Fund*, a non-profit foundation established in 2010 to support artistic, humanitarian and social justice efforts in her daughter’s memory. Kate designed and created her beautiful handwoven garments — prized for their sophisticated styling and vibrant colors — until 2017 when the lung disease forced her to retire. She is preceded in death by her parents Sydney and Katherine Wells, and by her daughter Nina Nilssen. She is survived by her husband, Morten; her children Kim Hughes (Steven Weiss) and Liv Nilssen (Luke Miller); siblings, Deeds Wells and Hannah Decker (Paul Decker); grandchildren Mason and Campbell Hughes Weiss; and by her devoted puppy Jango. Kate will be lovingly remembered as an empathetic and caring wife, mother, grandmother, sibling, aunt, cousin, and friend, as well as an engaged member of the Taos community and the inspired creator of thousands of beautiful woven garments. A memorial service for Kate will be announced when it is safe to gather to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to www.ninasfund.org/support-2/. Arrangements by Rivera Family Funeral Home, Taos. To share a memory, please visit our website at www.riverafuneralhome.com


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