VisitationSchertz Funeral Home
Schertz, TX 78154
“I’ve lived a great life!”
Kathryn Bartels Stahlman succumbed to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) on 13 February 2022. She was 65.
Kathy had an idyllic childhood. She was born in Greeley, Colorado, on 1 March 1956 to Leonard Herman and Eleanor Feit Bartels. She lived in a time when she and her friends played outside all day long, when there were only four TV channels, and when children walked to school. She attended Cameron Elementary, Heath Junior High, and graduated from Greeley Central High School in 1974. She attended Colorado College (CC) on a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 1978.
On 12 August 1978, she married Richard L. Stahlman in Greeley. They initially lived in Denver where Rick completed medical school (MD) and Kathy earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Finance, in 1980. They then moved to Pueblo where Rick completed his residency in Family Practice. Kathy worked for the Pueblo Human Resources Commission as an analyst and later as an analyst and acting director of the Budgets and Reimbursement department of St. Mary-Corwin Hospital. She took extra accounting courses at Colorado State University-Pueblo, and taught two sections of basic finance at the university. While in Pueblo, their first child, Derek, was born in 1983.
In 1983, Kathy and Rick moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Rick was stationed at F. E. Warren Air Force Base. Two more children were born there: Brent in 1985 and Susan in 1987. The family moved to Greeley in 1987 where Rick joined Family Physicians Clinic. They enjoyed living near Kathy’s parents, brother, cousins, and other family members. In 1992, Rick rejoined the Air Force. Over the next 22 years, they were stationed at Plattsburgh AFB, New York; Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal; Misawa Air Base, Japan; Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas; Wright-Patterson AFB, Fairborn, Ohio; Edwards AFB, California; Randolph AFB, San Antonio, Texas; and Andrews AFB, Maryland. Rick retired from the Air Force in 2014, and they settled in the San Antonio area.
Kathy loved being a mom to her three children. She stayed at home while her children were growing, and her car was her second home as she drove her children to Scouts, music lessons and rehearsals, sporting events, the library, and school events. She rarely missed a game, concert, or Scout court of honor. She volunteered at her children’s schools from pre-school through high school. She was very proud of her children and loved them deeply.
Kathy began working part-time for H&R Block in 1985, and she was a tax preparer for the rest of her career. She considered it “the perfect portable profession” to fit with their military moves. She passed a rigorous exam to become an enrolled agent (EA) in 1999. She loved her H&R Block clients and enjoyed catching up with them every tax season. She retired for health reasons after the 2017 tax season.
Kathy had an amazing memory, and her family often relied on it. She liked puzzles, especially the practical ones. Her logistics skills were legendary, probably from shuttling kids from place to place and keeping on top of everyone’s schedules. She knew how to do many different things.
Kathy was an accomplished pianist. She sang with her church choirs for many years, and occasionally played piano for services and directed the choir. She also directed and accompanied for “Skylarks” choirs through Officers’ Spouses’ Clubs. She was an avid knitter, and she enjoyed reading and traveling. The
family had the opportunity to visit many places during their military career, including over 100 American National Parks and Historic Sites, all but four states, many European countries, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Australia.
Kathy’s primary hobby was genealogy. She was a walking history book on the stories of her and Rick’s ancestors. She particularly enjoyed the challenge of researching her mother’s Germans from Russia ancestors. She was a Village Coordinator for the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. In 2016, she had the opportunity to visit the South Volga region in Russia where her mother’s ancestors lived from about 1765 to the early 1900s, and the small towns in the area between Bremen and Hannover, Germany, where her father’s ancestors came from. Both were trips she’d always dreamed of doing.
Kathy always worried that when she died, the family history stories would die with her. Thus, once diagnosed with the precursor to leukemia in early 2017, she started writing books about her and Rick’s family history. She believed in the adage, “you live as long as you are remembered,” and wanted to keep the stories of her and Rick’s ancestors alive for succeeding generations. She printed five books on the branches of her and Rick’s families, as well as a travelogue about her trip to Russia, and hoped someone would continue the research she started more than 40 years ago.
Kathy was a member of Church of the Resurrection - Episcopal in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to her illness she belonged to the Randolph AFB Spouses’ Club; Chapter IV P.E.O., New Braunfels, Texas; Retired Officers Widows and Wives Club; Jalapeno Chapter of the National Association of Enrolled Agents; Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War; the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society; and was a life member of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. She served on the boards of various base spouses’ clubs and on the board of the Chapel Boychoir of San Antonio.
Kathy and her family are grateful for the wonderful care she received in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and Clinic at Brooke Army Medical Center. She would not have lived more than three years after her stem cell transplant without their loving care. Kathy was also immensely appreciative for her brother Rich, who was her stem cell donor.
Kathy was preceded in death by her grandparents, Herman J. and Nellie Wagoner Bartels, and Conrad J. and Eva K. Winter Feit; and her parents, Leonard and Eleanor Bartels, and her cousin, Judith Feit Young.
She is survived by her husband, Rick, of Schertz, Texas; her children, Derek Stahlman and wife, Sarah, of San Antonio, Brent Stahlman of Victoria, Texas, and Susan Stahlman Brown and husband, Parks, of San Antonio; and three precious grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Richard Bartels and wife, Jane, of Greeley, Colorado; her aunt, Nancy Whitman Bartels of Steamboat Springs; cousins Rob Peppler of Greeley, Brian (Jennifer) Bartels of Greeley, and Brad (Emmanuelle) Bartels of Steamboat Springs. Kathy treasured Rick’s siblings who also survive: Marti Stahlman and husband, Craig Vandemoer, of Denver; Peggy Davis and husband, Graham, of Colorado Springs; and Ed Stahlman and wife, Lori, of Gresham, Oregon. She is also survived by nieces, nephews, and many friends.
A visitation will be held at Schertz Funeral Home (2217 FM 3009, Schertz, TX 78154) on Wednesday, February 23 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Funeral service will be held at Church of the Resurrection, Episcopal (5909 Walzem Rd., San Antonio, TX 78218) on Friday, March 18 at 10:30 am. The service will be livestreamed on the Church’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBUNSty1lYecnHXEGAGPekw).
In lieu of flowers, please consider making contributions in Kathy’s memory to:
· American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR.org), 631 D St., Lincoln, NE 68502;
· Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS.org and please become a bone marrow donor at BeTheMatch.org); or
· Church of the Resurrection-Episcopal, 5909 Walzem Rd., San Antonio, TX 78218, www.church-resurrection.org.