Katherine Menn, 92, died peacefully at home January 9, 2016, surrounded by her loving family.
Born in Atlantic, Iowa on June 30, 1923 to Arthur Ransford Mayhew Fletcher and Anna Marie (Bruff) Fletcher, she graduated as salutatorian from Austin High School, El Paso Texas in 1941. A member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority, she completed her BA majoring in Spanish and minoring in Portuguese, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1946. On December 27, 1947 she was united in marriage to Jacob John Menn at St. Clement Episcopal Church in El Paso, Texas. They were blessed with four children.
While raising their children, the family lived in California, New York and St. Louis, MO. Katherine was an active church volunteer at the churches they attended, teaching Sunday school, organizing Christmas pageants, and serving as Junior Choir Mother. She was a faithful member of Norwalk United Methodist Church from 1966 until present.
Katherine returned to college to pursue teaching certification at Webster College, U of Missouri at St. Louis, and Eden Theological Seminary. She moved from St. Louis to Norwalk, Wisconsin to teach Spanish at Sparta High School from 1966-1968. From 1968 until her retirement in 1988, she taught Spanish, remedial reading, and elective English at Kickapoo High School in Viola, WI. Upon her retirement, she volunteered at Brookwood Area Schools, using her teaching skills and Spanish to help non-English speaking young students. Her students respected her high standards and expectations, and they loved her sense of style which was fashionable, elegant, and unique. She had the spectacular millinery and high heels for any occasion.
Known as Kitty as a young woman, she became Mama Kitty to her grandchildren and great- grandchildren. Reflecting her name, she adored cats. From childhood on, she loved classical music, ballet, and grand opera, attending performances regularly in La Crosse, Milwaukee and Madison. Admired for her hats, she was often asked to do presentations on the history of fashion. Family and friends borrowed wonderful outfits and accessories, but could only wish they had her gorgeous legs. Retirement gave more time to travel to see family across the US and in Europe, to cruise, to help with family cattle round-up events, and to read. She was a lifelong avid reader with a special zest for murder mysteries and theological musings. She was always ready to compassionately listen to any family or friend no matter the circumstances. She embodied unconditional love without ever compromising her own standards.
Katherine is survived by her husband of 68 years, Jacob John Menn; their children: Dr. Jeffrey Fletcher (Paula) Menn of Norwalk, WI; Dr. Jessica A. (Dr. Thomas) Ambelang of Sheboygan, WI; Jacqueline Jean Erwin, Ph.D. of Culver, IN; and Katherine Elizabeth (aka Twinky) (Richard) Satterthwaite of Stevens Point, WI. Also surviving are 14 grandchildren: Emily Anne Menn Esq., Sgt. Jacob John (Clarissa) Menn, Aurora Estelle (Gabriel) Slattery, Austin Jeffrey Menn, Dr. Charles Arthur (Rachel) Ambelang, Major George Frederick (Brie) Ambelang, Henry Clement Esq. (Gloria) Ambelang, Capt. John Jeffrey Ambelang (Capt. Seon Jeong Choi), Dr. Eleanor Anna (Capt. Martin) Erwin, June Anna Katherine (Michael) Erwin, Capt. William James (Kristen) Erwin, Jenna Katherine Satterthwaite (Adam Plaiss), Erica May (Capt. David) Huffman, and Heidi Elizabeth (Capt. Michael) Putterill. She has been blessed with 24 great-grandchildren plus two more boys on the way: Claire, Adeline, Thaddeus, Antonia, Irene, and Shannan Slattery; Jeffrey Menn; Jason, Jacob, and James Ambelang; Thomas and Eleanor Erwin; Lewis, Elizabeth, Katherine, and Abigail Erwin; Alice and Ben Plaiss; Jonathan, Joshua, and Elijah Huffman; James, Liam, and David Putterill. She is also survived by her sister Martha J. (Fletcher) McCourt, her beloved niece Marianna L. McCourt (Troy) Gilbertson of Eau Claire, WI and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she is predeceased by her brothers William Ransford Fletcher and John Fletcher, sister Mary Elizabeth Fletcher, son-in-law Lewis Erwin, and great-granddaughter Anna Victoria Erwin.
The family would like to specially thank Dr. Deborah Prior for her years of loving care for Katherine. The Vernon Memorial Emergency Room Staff, the Vernon Memorial Hospital staff and the Hospice staff have always provided compassionate and professional care which has been deeply appreciated.
With respect for her love of cats and all life, memorials may be sent to Tina’s Canine Rescue in Sparta, Tabby Town in Westby, and Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter in Tomah or any humane society.
Visitation will be held on Friday, February 5, from 5 to 7 PM and from 10 AM until the funeral at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 6 at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Norwalk, WI. Burial will take place at Wanderer’s Rest Cemetery, Norwalk, WI.
Online condolences may be sent to ? www.vossfh.com
Vosseteig Funeral Home of Westby is serving the family.