Gateway: Opinion

Swedish reality TV star has deep roots on KP

Katie Malik has deep roots on the Key Peninsula, and even deeper ones in Sweden. She competed with nine other Americans on a Swedish television reality show, “Allt för Sverige.”

“The best part of the experience was meeting people I otherwise would never have met and laying the foundations for life-long friendships. My long-lost Swedish family, of course, but also the other American participants of the show who have become an ‘Allt för Sverige’ family, and our Swedish host families who opened their homes and hearts to us all.”

Katie came in second, and returned to Sweden to film a Christmas special. A day of skiing in Lapland was included.

Katie provided known background of the families of her mother’s grandparents, Andrew and Ellen Olson, who married in Tacoma and raised their family on a homestead in Vaughn. Parts of the original homestead still remain in the family, including Katie’s aunt Joyce Niemann’s Sunnycrest Farm, listed as a Bi-centennial homestead.

Katie, raised in Gig Harbor, is a classically trained soprano who sings opera, sacred and traditional music. She teaches music and yoga.

She’s spent a lifetime dealing with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that comes through the lines of both parents, even if they show no signs of it. Katie knew of family members in her father’s family with the disease, but not in her mother’s. Given a family history by a Swedish cousin, she suspects many infant and early childhood deaths were results of then unknown cystic fibrosis.

Even though she didn’t win the top prize of a huge family reunion, Katie did meet one family of cousins on her great-grandmother Ellen’s side, and as a result of the show, was contacted by other relatives in Sweden. She plans a future trip with her parents to show them the house where her grandmother Ellen’s grandmother was born and raised. That grandmother lived to be 100 and held Ellen at her christening ceremony.

You can see more of her story at

Katie will present a program of her experience at the annual membership meeting of the Key Peninsula Historical Society this Saturday (March 28). For more information, call 888-3246.

Dorothy Bouvia/Lusby, a former Peninsula High School English teacher, recently turned 104. A group of alums from the first dozen years of PHS gathered to celebrate with her.

She arrived from Illinois to teach at Vaughn Union High School in 1945. Two years later she moved to Peninsula to teach for 23 years before retiring. She sponsored Thespians and Penmasquers, drama organizations.

Dorothy loved to travel. Besides seeing much of this country, she once said she’d been to a small part of the world, including China, Russia, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark, The Netherlands, France, Greece, Egypt, Portugal and Japan!

Holy Week begins Sunday (March 29), and Key Peninsula churches host various services and events.

On Thursday (March 26), Longbranch Community Church hosts a 5:30 supper with communion. Key Peninsula Lutheran Church presents its live drama of The Last Supper at 7 p.m. that evening.

Good Friday services include a noon to 6 p.m. vigil at Longbranch, with the sanctuary open for prayer.

Evening services are at KP Lutheran at 7 and at Lakebay Community Church and WayPoint Church at 7:30.

Easter Sunrise services are 7 a.m. at Camp Woodworth, 7:30 at Vaughn Bay Cemetery and 8:15 at Herron Island — ferry leaves at 8.

KP Lutheran hosts breakfast from 8 to 10 with worship following at 10:30. WayPoint’s breakfast is 9:30 with worship at 11.

Other morning worship services are Lakebay at 9:30, Historic Vaughn Bay at 10 and Longbranch at 10:30.