Jul 8, 2015


Katie Jones Von Thaer, 95, died April 29, 2007, at the home of her niece, Kathryn Bechtel Watterson, in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, where she resided for the last 16 months.

Mrs. Von Thaer was born in Ystalyfera, Wales. She came to America at age 11 with her mother, two sisters and brother. Her father had emigrated earlier. A graduate of Champion High School, she began her advanced education at the Warren Normal School. She earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in education from Kent State University.

In 1941 she married Bernard T. Von Thaer. The couple shared 60 years of happy marriage until Mr. Von Thaer's death in 2001.

Katie taught in Warren City schools for 44 years as an elementary school teacher, principal and as supervisor of primary education. She was a life member of the National Education Association, Ohio Retired Teachers, the Trumbull Area Reading Council, and was a member of the former Warren Story League. She was an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, the Children's Rehabilitation Center, First United Church of Christ and the Gymanfa Ganu Welsh Society. She was chosen Warren Woman of the Year in 1969, was a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, and was awarded the Education Award from the Freedoms Foundation.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband; her parents, David and Rosina Jones; her brother, Jack; sisters, Rosina Housley and Mavis Bechtel; a nephew, I. William Bechtel.

Surviving are her nieces and nephews and their families, Dr. Donald (Grace) Housley, Dr. Thomas (Peggy) Housley, Timothy (Kathleen) Housley, Judith (Lee) Brandi, Kathryn (James) Watterson, Diane (James) Wallin and William P. Bechtel; a half sister, Margaret Lathorpe; three god-children, John Torrance, Sherri Hernan Kennedy and Megan Hawkins; and cousins in Wales and Canada. Mourning her loss as well are the devoted nieces and nephews of Bernard Von Thaer and their extended families who warmly welcomed Katie into the Von Thaer clan. She leaves also a host of friends, colleagues, and former students.

A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Roberts-Clark Chapel with the Rev. D. Gene Kraus of First United Church of Christ officiating. Burial has taken place at Girard City Cemetery.

Those wishing to make a contribution in Katie's name may do so to the Trumbull Area Reading Council Scholarship Fund, in care of Patrick Finney, Treas., 205 Mansell Road, Youngstown, OH 44505.

To view this obituary go to robertsclarkchapel.com.