Catherine Emily Schlueter Karr (kay) Marvin-hoeft(1919 - 2013)


Born September 3, 1919, At Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee, her parents were Pastor E. Benjamin Schlueter and Helene Boerner Schlueter. She spent her first three years in Markesan where her father was Pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church. Pastor Schlueter was then called to Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oshkosh; he also served as president of the Synodical Conference Lutheran Churches of North America which included the Wisconsin, Missouri, Slovak and Norwegian Synods.

Catherine grew up in the parsonage with her older brother, Edward, and little sister Helene (Petie). They attended Grace Lutheran Grade School. Then Ed went on to Oshkosh High School and Catherine and Petie went to the Winnebago Lutheran Academy at Fond du Lac, where Kay took classes in German, Latin, Greek and French, in addition to standard course requirements. She was active in dramatics and the W.L.A. choir, which toured the state.

After high school graduation Kay attended Valparaiso University majoring in English, history and French. She was a member of the Alpha Phi Sorority, was elected president of the Inter Sorority Counsel and Vice President of her sorority. She was also a student assistant in the history department and elected to Pi Gamma MuHonsa Society.

At Valpo she met William (Willie) Arthur Karr, a senior law student and an outstanding athlete in football, basketball and track. They married in Kay's senior year and moved to New York City, where Willie played professional football. (In 2002 Willie Karr was awarded posthumously Valparaiso's Outstanding Athletic Award).

When WWII broke out, Willie went to Naval Officers Training School in Chicago and Hollywood, FL. Willie and Kay moved to Hammond, Indiana, where Catherine Gene Karr was born. After graduating from Naval Training School, Ensign Karr was on active duty in the Naval Armed Guard, serving on Merchant Marine ships going to Europe, Africa and India. Kay moved back to Oshkosh with Cathy. Her brother Col. Ed Schlueter, U.S.A.F. was a bomber pilot and later a night fighter pilot in WWII. He also served in the Korean War. Willie and Kay settled in Oshkosh, when Lt. Karr returned from the war.

Catherine worked at the Security Bank and at the First National Bank in Oshkosh as a teller. At the end of the war, she enrolled at Oshkosh State Teacher College, taking courses in education, speech, history and library science. While at WSU-O, Kay had the lead in the Senior Class Play "Over 21. " She passed on her love of theatre to her youngest daughter, Elizabeth, who became an actor and producer.

Catherine taught English, U.S. History and French at Omro High School, had charge of the library and dramatics and, with Ray Hoeft, was co-advisor to the student council. This first teaching experience gave her a love for her profession. It was a sad day, March 9, 1952 when her father, Pastor E. Benjamin Schleuter died at age 72. Catherine and Willie had two more children - Michael Benjamin and Elizabeth Jane Karr. Kay was going to be a full time mother, when President Polk at Oshkosh State Teachers College asked her to teach English and speech at the college. (Many veterans were taking advantage of the G.I. Bill to further their education.) Catherine had found her calling and continued to teach until 1977.

Because of Willie's arthritis, the family moved to Tucson, Arizona where Kay received a position teaching English. While in Tucson she received her Master's Degree from the University of Arizona. Willie and Kay decided to end their marriage. Catherine, Mike and Beth returned to Oshkosh, Where they lived with her mother. Kay taught English at Oshkosh High School. In 1967 and 1968 she was hostess chairman for the Miss Wisconsin Pageant.

Beginning in 1951, Kay spent many summers at Gene's Landing, a beautiful Hereford farm on Seneca Lake in New York State, with her mother and uncle, Eugene S. Boerner, who was director of plant research and Vice President of Jackson Perkins Co. in Newark, N.Y. Kay was emissary to the rose growers who came from the U.S., Germany, England, Ireland and France. Her mother, Helene Schlueter, was the hostess in the large beautiful cobblestone home of her brother on Seneca Lake.

At the Rose Festival, Kay met Donald Marvin, a staff photographer for Eastman Kodak. They were later married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a reception at the home of her sister, Petie Bachman. Kay Taught English in Brighton High School in Rochester, N.Y. for 7 ½ years, taking advantage of excellent post graduate courses at the University of Rochester.

In 1977, Kay was diagnosed with cancer. She was treated with radiation before and after surgery at Strong Memorial Cancer Hospital (Kay had to miss Elizabeth's graduation at Cornell University). Cathy, too, had graduated from Cornell University. Michael had graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy the previous year.

The following year, Kay and Don moved to Florida. Kay's mother spent three months in the winter with them and Elizabeth and her husband visited frequently. They were avid golfers. Beth played in the J.C. Penny Tournament. Kay enjoyed golf on East Lake Woodlands Golf Course and other club competitions.

After Don's death, Kay stayed in Oldsmar, Florida, coming home to visit her mother and sister, Petie Bachman's family often. Visits to Wisconsin always included trips to Cedarburg, where Kay's mother came from one of the founding families (Boerner).

On a visit to Wisconsin in 1992, Kay attended a class reunion of an Omro High School class for which she and Ray Hoeft had been co-advisors. They had not seen each other since 1957. They found their spouses had died six days apart! They talked of their respective families and the years gone by, and resumed a good friendship. Catherine returned to Florida. She and Ray visited each other often and after a three year courtship and many long-distance telephone calls, Ray and Catherine decided to marry. This was a wonderful relationship which enriched their lives. Members of both families were in the wedding party. Their love and respect for each other continued to grow and comfort them, until Ray's death on December 8, 2012.

Fond childhood memories were the Boerner family reunion at Cedar Hedge Farm on the Cedar Creek in Cedarburg, the Schlueter reunion in Watertown at Uncle Frank's and Uncle Mike's cottages on the Rock River in Watertown (Dr. Frank Schlueter and Dr. M. A. Schlueter).

In later years, visiting Cathy Karr in Stuttgart, Germany (she had attended Gottingen University) her familiarity and knowledge of all of Europe and her knowledge of languages was a bonus for Kay and her husbands' travels. Other pleasures were being with Michael and his family at Governor's Island and other Coast Guard units and seeing Cory Evan (Clark), Maxx Benjamin and Zachary Michael develop into fine young men, visiting Elizabeth Karr when she had leads in Off-Broadway plays in New York City and regional theatres, and later viewing her productions in Los Angeles. Kay had a close relationship with all her children, as well as her nieces and nephews, particularly Amy Hurckman.

Catherine is survived by her daughters, Cathy (Jens Carstensen) Karr, Elizabeth (John Alan Simon) Karr and her son, Michael (Laurie) Karr and her three grandsons, Cory Evan (Ashely) Clark, Maxx Benjamin Karr and Zachary Michael Karr, her stepsons, Richard Marvin and Donald D. (Elaine) Marvin; grandchildren, Laurie (Bryan) Conley, David (Rachel) Marvin, and great grandchildren, Kathryn and Jackson Conley and Robert Marvin. She is also survived by her sister, Petie, and her brother-in-law, J. Cary Bachman, her nieces, Kristen (Dennis Falck) Bachman, Karin Bachman, Charles (Angie) Bachman, Amy (John) Hurckman and their families; her nephews, Attorneys Erik Schlueter, Peter Schlueter and Jon Schlueter of California, niece, Linda Olson and nephews Robert Olson and Curtis Schultz, and Boerner and Schlueter cousins in Milwaukee and Watertown, Wisconsin and Canada and the Karr family in Indiana and Illinois, and the many members and relatives of the Ray Hoeft family.

Preceding Catherine in death were her parents, her brother, Edward Schlueter, his wife, Dorit, and many Boerner uncles and aunts from Cedarburg and Milwaukee and Schlueter uncles and aunts from Watertown.

Catherine and her family would like to acknowledge the excellent, loving care she received at Cardinal Ridge Assisted Living Facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin: Administrator Karen Bain and Staff. And to Unity Hospice for their tender care, particularly nurse Kelly. Catherine's family also expresses deep gratitude to Catherine's beloved niece, Amy Hurckman, whose kindness and loving care of her Aunt Kay was boundless.

Interment will be at the Borth Cemetery. Catherine's funeral will be held on Saturday, April 27 at 10:30 am at the Kwiatkowski Funeral Home in Omro, WI. Viewing: Friday, April 26 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Saturday, April 27 from 9:30 to 10:30 am.

Memorials can be sent to Bethel Lutheran Church, 3166 N McMullen Booth Rd, Clearwater, FL 33761


Funeral Home

Kwiatkowski Funeral Home
425 Jefferson Avenue Omro, WI 54963
(920) 685-2207

Published in Oshkosh Northwestern on Apr. 21, 2013