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A cherished educator passes

Farmington Press

“She loved her job,” remarked more than one coworker.

Kathryn Brumbaugh, a former assistant principal at Farmington High School, passed away Feb. 11 following an extended illness. During her time here in Farmington, she made a huge impact on many co-workers and students.

“So many people have a Mrs. Brumbaugh story,” said Joe Coffey, her son-in-law. A life-long educator, Kathryn was a graduate of Normandy High School. Upon graduation, she attended the University of Missouri-St. Louis, graduating with Bachelor of Arts and, later, Master of Arts degrees in Language Arts, English as Second Language, Administration and Secondary Education. With both of her parents being educators, this was a field very close to Kathryn.

“She will be remembered for her compassion. She could reach out to kids that others would write off. She would empower them and help them to succeed,” Coffey added.

He also mentioned a conversation he had with Dr. David Cramp about the impact Kathryn left on students.

“Dr. Cramp told me that in the time Kathryn was assistant principal, he never had a student who had been disciplined by her complain to him about her,” recalled Coffey.

Dr. David Waters, now high school principal, also saw that same care while working with Kathryn at the school.

“Kathryn held care and concern for students above everything else in education. She could work with the toughest kid and get to the root of their problems even when she had to be tough. And yet, each of them knew she loved and cared for them. She was a loyal friend and it was a privilege to have known and worked with her,” he said.

It was some of these same students that later came to help the family during Kathryn’s illness.

“When (my wife and I) would return to Farmington to visit, word would get out that family was visiting Kathryn and (her husband) Harold. People would bring food and sometimes it would be former students that Kathryn had at school. This community is so close and the people here have such a way of helping. We can’t express our thanks enough,” said Coffey.

Kathryn had previously taught at Francis Howell, where she was the high school and junior high softball coach as well as pom-pom sponsor. She also taught at the Hazelwood and Normandy school districts. She was an international softball coach and coached in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. She was a member of National Association of Secondary Principals, National Association of Assistant Principals, Retired Teacher’s Association, Delta Zeta Sorority and Phi Beta Kappa at University of Missouri, St. Louis, a past-princess of Job’s Daughters, Bethel #22 of St. Louis, and a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Farmington.

In addition to her husband, Kathryn is survived by two daughters: Lisha L. (Mrs. Joseph) Coffey of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Shannon (Mrs. Graft) Deaton of Mesa, Ariz.; two brothers: John Doyle of San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Robert (and Alexandra) Doyle of Nashville, Tenn.; three grandchildren: Emiko Kathryn Coffey of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Alecsander and Colin Deaton of Mesa, Ariz.; nieces and nephews: Michael (and Kate) Doyle of Nashville, Tenn.; Oona, Hannah and Josef Doyle of Nashville, Tenn.; and one great nephew; Patrick Ryan Doyle of Nashville, Tenn.

Visitation will be today from 3-9 p.m. at Taylor Funeral Service Chapel, resuming Friday at 7 a.m. Funeral services will be Friday at 10 a.m. at the chapel with Fr. Jim Mitulski officiating. Interment will be Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Laurel Hill Cemetery in St. Louis. The family asks for memorials to be made to the American Cancer Society.

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