Trust the Torch!

Marguerite Sara Kaufman

Marguerite Sara Kaufman, 101, Woodstock, died Saturday, Aug. 16.

She was born Aug. 14, 1913, to the Rev. Dr. Roger Kaufman and Blanche (Hostetter) Kaufman in Woodstock.

She was baptized and confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church, where her father served as pastor. She attended Woodstock public schools, graduating from high school in  1931.

Although higher education for women was rare at the time, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carthage College in 1935 and later earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in library science from the University of Illinois. She also took doctoral-level courses.

Because work was scarce during the Depression, her professional career began with two years of intermittent teaching assignments. As economic conditions stabilized, she taught full time at Woodstock High School, remaining there for several years before moving to Iowa to serve as teacher-librarian at the State School for the Blind.

Advancing professionally, she was a librarian at Midland College in Nebraska; Carthage College, then in Illinois; the University of Illinois architecture library; and Elmhurst College in Illinois. She was architecture reference librarian at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Mass., for six years before returning to the U of I in Champaign-Urbana as head librarian of the art and architecture library.

She retired from the U of I in 1974 and returned to Woodstock. She was an avid White Sox fan and an enthusiastic Audubon bird watcher. From 1980 to 1998, she fed her love of learning and sense of adventure by traveling by train to 29 different Elderhostels across the U.S. She also enjoyed walking, tending indoor and outdoor plants, participating in Grace Lutheran Church’s women’s circles and attending Retired Teacher Association events. Among extended family members she was known for her carefully chosen gifts of books to the children and for the designer Barbie doll clothing she sewed by hand. The last few years, she was known at Hearthstone Manor for her kindness to others, sweet disposition and ever-sharp mind.

She is survived by many cousins, including, in the local Woodstock area: Edna Steadman, Dan (Marilyn) Steadman and children, Bruce (Lois) Gerloff and children, Brian (Carole) Gerloff and children, Pamela Gerloff, her God-daughter Jane Gerloff, Lisa (Bill) Gerloff Banker and Carl (Dagmar) Lofgren and children.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, and from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at Grace Lutheran Church, Woodstock. The Friday visitation will be followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. at the church. Interment will be at Oakland cemetery, and a luncheon will follow at the church.

Memorial donations can be made to Grace Lutheran Church, 1300 Kishwaukee Valley Road, Woodstock 60098 or to Road Scholar (formerly Elder Hostel) 11 Avenue de Lafayette, Boston, MA 02111.

Woodstock's most trusted news source. Period.

Keep Exploring

WHS Jazz Ensemble gets tips from jazz musician Lenard Simpson Jan Dovidio The Woodstock High School Jazz Ensemble learned from a master for its April …

Subscriber Access