Kathleen Buckley Block died in Vermillion on May 24, 2010. She was born in Peru, IN in 1912, graduated from the University of Chicago in 1934, and married classmate Raphael Block in the same year. WWII took Raphael to Europe for four years, and Kathleen took her two sons to Auburn, IN to live with her family.
After the war the Blocks moved back to Chicago, then to Middletown, OH in 1950. There Mrs. Block was president of AAUW and headed up a water fluoridation campaign for the League of Women Voters.
In 1961, the sale of Raphael's employer caused Kathleen and Raphael to change careers, and they both attained higher degrees–he at Miami University and she at the University of Cincinnati. Raphael started his new teaching career at the University of South Dakota, and Kathleen taught in Meckling; Aurora, CO; and Sioux City, IA.
Mrs. Block was president of the AAUW the year they sponsored formation of the Vermillion Arts Council. She was a Regent of the DAR, and took as her project the moving and refurnishing of the Little Log Schoolhouse from the Dakota Territories era. The DAR sponsored tours of the schoolhouse for schoolchildren for 10 years, when she and Bernice Newell dressed up in costumes reminiscent of the early Vermillion pioneer days.
Mrs. Block invented a phonics game from her teaching experience which she then sold to a toy publishing company in Minneapolis. She helped form an early Beardstown Ladies Investment Group, and continued a lifetime interest in investing. The Blocks loved to travel, and visited over 50 countries. She was a member of the Methodist Church.
She was preceded in death by Raphael (1997) and leaves three children: Herman, of Apple Valley, MN; Dennis, of Park Rapids, MN; and Victoria Block-Gruenebaum, of New Bern, NC. She also leaves six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and her children's spouses.
Funeral service will be at 10:30 am Saturday, June 12 at the Hansen Funeral Home in Vermillion, with visitation a half hour before the service. Burial will follow at the Bluffview Cemetery in Vermillion. For online condolences and obituary: hansenfuneralhome.com.