Catherine Louise Kaufmann – Marine in WWII
By Karen Cuccinello
Catherine was born May 3, 1923 in Oneonta to William and Florence (Cornell) Kaufmann.
1930 census Marlboro, NY- William J. Kaufman age 30 laborer at sand bank, Florence S. 32 teacher, Catherine L. 6, Clarence 5, William 4.
1940 census Gilboa- Raymond C. Dikeman 47 agriculture teacher, Florence 45, Catherine Kaufmann 16 step-daughter, Clarence Dikeman 15 stepson, William Dikeman 14 stepson.
March 1944 (SMR)- Miss Catherine Louise Kaufmann, daughter of Mrs. Florence Dikeman of Stamford, was sworn in to the Women’s Reserve of the U.S. Marine Corps at the New York Procurement office February 23.
Catherine’s obituary that follows is very thorough.
Catherine Louise Kaufman Harwood White, 89, of Cornell Hollow, Schoharie County departed this world on December 15, 2012 to be with her beloved Lord. 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, NC, 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 1945 in uniform at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and returned to the farm in Cornell Hollow (divorced about 1960).
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, CA, her two children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren as well as a niece and several cousins.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the Brimstone Methodist Church on Blenheim Hill, followed by interment at Evergreen Cemetery, in Jefferson. Posted on findagrave.com.
Yearbook housed at the Stamford Village Library.