Pflederer-4336119

Article excerpt

Karen K. Pflederer Karen K. Pflederer, 72, of Morton, Ill., died at 1:03 p.m. on Tuesday April 9, 2013 at Apostolic Christian Restmor in Morton, IL. She was born on December 27, 1940 in Peoria to C. Vernon "Pat" and Freda Widmer Pflederer. She is survived by her sisters Ethel Grimm of Morton and Jeanette (Chuck) Sparks, Amboy, WA and one brother Jan William (Linda), Kenosha, WI. Her parents and her sister, Donna Martin preceded her in death in 2008. She grew up living 'an idyllic youth' in rural Morton wandering the woods and creeks learning about and appreciating the wildlife, collecting rocks and fossils. She especially followed the example of her maternal grandfather in searching for and collecting Native American arrowheads and artifacts saving some 40 arrowheads. (The last one she found in the decorative rock at ACR Nursing Facility when visiting Charlene Orr.) From early childhood she had a quick wit and great sense of humor sending family, aunts, uncles and cousins into sidesplitting laughter. At the age of 7 she began singing publicly on the radio with the Cooper School of Vocal Culture and on the bandstands in neighboring town celebrations. As a second grader, she won second place at the Morton Fall Festival amateur contest. The prize money bought her first trumpet - she could still trumpet a welcome last year. She grew up in a family who enjoyed singing and playing music, and learned to enjoy classical music, ballet, and opera while Donna attended Bradley University as a music major. Ethel introduced her to the many forms of jazz. She credited her paternal aunt, Lois Baer, for her desire to become a teacher. She graduated from MTHS in 1958, earned her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Illinois State University in just three years by going to summer school and post-sessions, and took her first teaching position at Thomas A. Edison Middle School in South Bend, IN in 1961. After moving back to Illinois, she taught at Lombard Jr. High, Lombard, IL. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching Literature from Northeastern Illinois University in 1969. Since 1969, she earned 89 graduate semester hours of credit in English and 43 in the fields of education, reading, or social work believing that a good teacher is also an avid student. She began with Maine Township High School District 207, in 1967, first at Maine West in Des Plaines, then Maine South in Park Ridge in 1980. She was described as "a dedicated, loving, caring teacher who has a wonderful sense of humor," and as "demonstrating a keen intellect and a devastating wit!" She was one of two chosen Outstanding Secondary Educators in 1975. …