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Kathryn E. Felsman
(February 11, 1921 - August 18, 2011)

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Kathryn E. Felsman

Kathryn E. Felsman, 90, of Moline, IL, died Thursday, August 18, 2011, at her home.

Visitation will be Monday, August 22nd, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., at Wendt Funeral Home in Moline. Services will be Tuesday, August 23rd, at 11:00 a.m., at the funeral home. Burial will be in National Cemetery on Arsenal Island, Rock Island, IL.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Rock Island County Historical Society, 822 - 11th Avenue, Moline, IL 61265, will be appreciated.

Kathryn Estelle Poffenbarger was born on February 11, 1921, to Richard and Katherine (Billings) Poffenbarger in New Boston, IL. She graduated from New Boston High School, and, in 1940, from the Lake College of Commerce in Waukegan, IL, while working as a secretary at the U.S. Naval Academy. On May 16, 1942, in Urbana, IL, she married Rex F. Felsman, who preceded her in death on December 7, 1990.

Kathryn was a secretary in the Personnel Office of Deere & Co from 1940 thru 1942, and then was secretary to the Industrial Relations Manager at IHC Farmall Works from 1943 to 1946. She became the Executive Director of the Shabonee Girl Scout Council in Moline in 1958. In 1963, the Shabonee Council extended services to cover RocMer Council, Rock Island, Monmouth and Galesburg, Silvis, and unincorporated areas of the County, to form a 5-county council covering Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Warren, and Knox Counties, serving over 5,000 girls and 4,980 adults. During the 13 years until her retirement in 1971, the Council built a swimming pool at Camp Shabonee, improved Singing Bird Lodge in Rock Island, developed Camp Winding Creek near Edgington, and purchased and developed Camp Piper Hills near Alpha.

In 1973, she was employed for the City of Moline as Administrative Secretary to Mayor Earl "Buck" Wendt and City Administrator Duane W. Olivier. She continued as Administrative Secretary to the City Administrators Steven Carter and William Tallman until her retirement in February of 1990. She also served as Secretary to the Fire and Police Commissioners during her tenure with the City.

Kathryn was a member of First United Methodist Church (now Riverside Methodist Church) in Moline since 1954. She served the church in many positions - Trustee, Finance Chairman, member of the Staff Parish and Stewardship Committees, as well as a Board Member. She was also a member of the choir for over ten years.

She volunteered in the Cancer Research office at Trinity Medical Center for seven years, served as a tutor in the L.I.F.E. program, was a member of the Order of Eastern Star - Aledo, Chapter #126, and was a charter member of the Cat Fish Jazz Society. In 1998, she was elected secretary of the Rock Island County Historical Society, and was elected President in 2006. She was also a member of the Rock Island County Genealogy Society.

Survivors include: two daughters: Susan K. Peterson of Moline, and Nancy (G.Wm.) Griffel of Ft. Dodge, IA; a son: Rex E. Felsman of Auburn, MA; a granddaughter: Shari K. Peterson of Bettendorf, IA; two grandsons: James C. Griffel of Ft. Dodge, IA, and Loren D. (Elissa) Felsman of New York, NY; a great-grandson: Ryan C. (Sarah) Peterson of Fort Lewis Army Post, Tacoma, WA; a sister: Benita Grooms of Oakville, IA; several nieces and nephews, including a special niece, Joy Norton of Aledo, IL, and many, many dear friends.

In addition to her parents and her husband, she was preceded in death by four brothers and three sisters.


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