Kathryn Stangel, 35, of Enterprise is the daughter of Chris and Dennis Gisi of Walla Walla. He father was a banker and her mother was the first woman to graduate in the construction school in Walla Walla and became the first woman construction contractor in Walla Walla. She built houses.
Kathryn went to school at Walla Walla High, graduating in 2001. Then it was on to Gonzaga and WSU where she majored in business and social sciences. She didn’t find the job path she wanted, so quit university in 2004 and got her real estate license and started out with Windermere Real Estate in Walla Walla. She still holds her Washington State real estate license.
Soon her whole family was in real estate and the family opened the John L. Scott Real Estate offices in Pasco, Milton Freewater, and Walla Walla. Kathryn still does the books for the family business, though she now works for Stangel Industry & Machine Shop in Enterprise.
She came to Stangel Industries and Wallowa County because of her husband, Eric Stangel. Kathryn and Eric met in 2007 in Walla Walla when he was attending Walla Walla Community College and working at Douglas Gisi Fabrication – Kathryn’s brother’s business.
The couple married in 2011, and now has two daughters, Quinn, 4 and Lilly, 2.
Eric belongs to the Elks Club and volunteers through that organization and the family also enjoyed coaching t-ball this year. They keep busy volunteering to support community events including the Main Street Show and Shine car show (coming up Aug. 17-18) and the Wallowa County Fly-in (there are a number of pilots in the extended family).
Why live in Wallowa County?
We came to help out in the family business. Eric grew up here, it’s beautiful, the weather is cooler, I like the small community. I thought it would be hard to live in a small community but I love it here. It helps that we travel back to Walla Walla now and then to visit family.
What have you learned from living in Wallowa County?
I love it here. I think it taught me slowed down, laid back living. Everything closes here by eight or nine o’clock at night. There’s no traffic light. There’s no fast food. There’s no late night shopping. (But) there’s not really an adjustment (between Walla Walla and Wallowa County) as far as entertainment. We go to Terminal Gravity and listen to music and letting the kids play in the water and hang out.
Can you recall an early book that really had an impact on you? Can you recommend a book you’ve read recently?
I remember “Hatchet” (Brian’s Saga Series # 1) by Gary Paulson. It stuck with me. A boy survives a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a hatchet. That’s probably the earliest one I remember.
I just finished “The Scavenger’s Hunt” by local writer Mike Rich. It was good. You should read that.
(Both are available at The Bookloft in Enterprise.)