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(CATHARINE STROM) Jane Catharine Gardner, 65, died of pancreatic cancer on July 6, 2006 at the home in Raytown, surrounded by loving friends and family. Born January 21, 1941 in Springfield, Missouri, Catharine graduated from Greenwood High School in 1959. Music and French were her areas of emphasis in her undergraduate work at Missouri State University in Springfield, Washington University in St. Louis, and in her graduate studies at the UMKC Conservatory of Music. Teachers who were major influences on life’s direction were Dr. Robert G. Ruetz in Springfield and Nathalie Ehrenreich in St. Louis. Catharine began her career teaching French, primarily in Springfield and in Kansas City, Kansas, and ended it teaching English to refugee and immigrant high school students in the English Language Learners program in North Kansas City. She and her life partner Ann T. Reed were especially proud of their connection to and friendship with the Kansas City Kurdish community. During the time she was known as Catharine Strom, she was an announcer at Kansas City’s then classical music FM radio station, KXTR. There she wrote, produced, and hosted a weekly program of French music, a la francaise. In 1990, along with John Schaefer at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Catharine founded Friends of Francis Poulenc, USA. The organization presented annual Poulenc Soirees and song concerts, and otherwise promoted the music of that French composer until 1999. Catharine has been active in music performance most of her life, participating as alto soloist and/or director in Episcopal church choirs and taking several stage roles. In the 1970s she performed locally and toured with a group playing medieval and Renaissance music called the Musicians of Bremen. Catharine was preceded in death by her mother Martha Lea Hayes Gardner. She is survived by her life partner of 22 years, Ann Thompson Reed of the home; her father Richard Taylor Gardner of Ozark, Missouri, formerly of Springfield; her brother Richard T. Gardner, Jr. and sister-in-law Pamela Stuart Gardner of Ozark; her nieces, nephews and Ann’s family. A Requiem Mass will be celebrated by the Very Rev. Terry White at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 12, 2006 at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral followed by a celebration of her life at Founders Hall. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the cathedral’s Music Committee and Social Action Committee. A private interment of ashes will take place at Brooking Cemetery, East 53rd Street, Raytown at a later date.
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