First United Methodist Church
209 Washtenaw Rd
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
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Kathleen Gendler

1951 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Kathleen Gendler Obituary
Gendler, Kathleen
Kathleen Marie (Hahn) Gendler, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 21 at the home she shared with Steve Gendler, her husband of 44 years. Kathy was born on June 7, 1951 in Columbus, Ohio to Edith (Elliott) and Charles Hahn. During her childhood in Hilliard, OH, Kathy was a longtime member of the Campfire Girls, 4H, and, in keeping with family tradition, pursued music during her high school years. Kathy played the baritone and trombone in the Hilliard High School Band, and the sousaphone in the marching band. She graduated as salutatorian from Hilliard High School in 1969. Kathy began attending Michigan State University in the fall of 1969, where she met her future husband Steve Gendler; they were engaged three weeks later and married on July 14, 1973. Kathy received a certificate in cytotechnology from The Ohio State University in 1973, and worked intermittently as a cytotechnologist in Columbus around the births of her two children: Wendy, in 1976, and Tim, in 1980. The family relocated to Chicago in 1982 and became active with the Chicago YMCA swim program. Kathy first began working at the YMCA as a swim instructor but found her true calling as swim coach; she was the Assistant Coach for the Lincoln Trail Sharks for 8 years, and Head Coach for one year. During this time she was also the Aquatics Director of the Governors State YMCA. Upon moving to Michigan in 1993, Kathy took a position as the head of the Ypsilanti Otter Pups Swimming Program. Kathy and Steve were active members of the First United Methodist Church of Ypsilanti, where they participated in the handbell choir, and began coordinating a durable medical equipment ministry which continues to this day. Kathy was a brilliant writer, an avid quilter and seamstress, and an enthusiastic gardener. Her favorite pastimes included trolling thrift stores for irresistible bargains; collecting unique socks and jewelry; and spending time with her loving family. She is survived by her husband, Steve; her children, Wendy (Mark) Sanders and Tim (Kristen) Gendler; her mother, Edith Hahn; her grandchildren, Dylan (Allison), Max, Samantha, Erin, and Casey Sanders; siblings, Jeff (Shonda) Hahn, Anita (Bob) Shoup, Cliff (Doreen) Hahn, Craig (Debbie) Hahn, and Gary (Kathy) Hahn. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday, November 27 at First United Methodist Church of Ypsilanti, 209 Washtenaw Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Kathy battled MS for 29 years with unparalleled courage and grace. In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations in Kathy's memory be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. A donation page has been established at http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/kathygendler.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Nov. 29, 2017
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