Catherine Louise Kaufman Harwood White
CORNELL HOLLOW — Catherine Louise Kaufman Harwood White, 89, of Cornell Hollow, Schoharie County, departed this world on Dec. 15, 2012, to be with her beloved Lord.
Catherine was born May 3, 1923, in Oneonta, to William and Florence (Cornell) Kaufmann. She graduated from Stamford Central School, Class of 1940, and then went to comptometer school in Albany, where she worked for Bell Telephone Company.
When World War II broke out, Catherine enlisted in the United States Marines Corps. She was sent to Camp LeJeune, N.C., for basic training, where she was chosen to receive the Bulldog Award. She was assigned to duty in Philadelphia, where she chauffeured the “Brass,” including Douglass MacArthur and Admirals Halsay and Nimitz. She was squad leader and rose to the rank of lieutenant.
At the end of the war she met returning Marine Hubert Harwood who had fought his way from Guadalcanal to Okinawa with the 1st Marine Division. They were married in uniform at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and returned to the farm in Cornell Hollow.
Blessed with two children, Susan and John, Catherine continued to work throughout her life. She was a corrections officer at the Bedford Women’s Correctional Institution, and Director of Christian Education at the Bedford Presbyterian Church, Westchester County.
She was assistant administrator at the Community Hospital in Stamford. She was also employed at Scotch Valley, Stamford Central School, and at the Cyr Center.
She became an administrator at the Schoharie County Office for the Aging and was a delegate to two Washington conferences on Aging during the George H. W. Bush administration. She became ombudsman, overseeing conditions for care of the rural elderly, and advocating for their rights. She was instrumental in bringing the Meals on Wheels program to Schoharie County.
Catherine had an intense love of the environment. With her small group of “tree huggers” she helped form VECCA to promote awareness of environmental issues, which later evolved into her association with the Schoharie County Land Trust.
Her interest in local history led to her involvement in the Gilboa Historical Society and the Gilboa Museum. She was a proud member of the DAR. She served on the Alumni Committee of Stamford Central School, and was a member of the Jefferson Senior Citizens.
Catherine was a lay preacher, substituting when needed at area Methodist churches. She was organist at Brimstone Methodist Church on Blenheim Hill for many years.
In 1998, Catherine married her former high school sweetheart, Ross O’Donoghue White. He died in 2008.
She is survived by her brother, William Kaufman of Los Altos, Calif.; her two children; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; as well as a niece and several cousins.
A celebration of her life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 4, 2013, at the Brimstone Methodist Church on Blenheim Hill, followed by interment in Evergreen Cemetery in Jefferson, after which a brunch will be served at the Brimstone Church Dining Hall. All are welcome.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Hall-Tari Funeral Home, Stamford, under the direction of William A. Tari.