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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Catherine Pitt-Romstad

Catherine "Cathy" (Hassemer) Pitt-Romstad, 92, of Menominee, Mi., passed away Saturday, May 27 at Luther Manor with family by her side.

Born Oct. 12, 1924 to August and Jenny Hassemer, she graduated from Menominee High School in 1942 and attended County Normal Teacher School. She taught in a rural Menominee one room school before marrying Ralph Pitt. Together they had two children but tragically became a widow at the age of 27.

With determination to support and raise her family, shortly after her husband's death, she moved with her two girls into one of the Quonset huts in Vet Ville on the campus of Northern Michigan University (NMU). She talked fondly of her time on campus even though it was a struggle caring for her children while taking the maximum classes offered and maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

She taught first grade in the Menominee School System at Central Elementary School for over 30 years. She attended summer school at NMU and earned her Bachelors, Masters and an advanced Reading Specialist Degree. She retired from teaching in 1990 but her love of learning continued the rest of her life.

She developed education learning aids and games with many of her ideas patented and or copyrighted and sold by the Sifo Toy Company. She loved working with students and helping them learn. She also taught her daughters the importance of dedication and the love of learning. After both children were raised, she married William Romstad, who preceded her in death. 

People would stop to say hi to their first grade teacher and she always knew each by name, even when they were adults. At age 91, living at Luther Manor, a visitor being one of her students stopped to say hi and she still knew him and said he was an excellent math student. That encounter put a smile on her face for the rest of the day.

She is survived by two daughters, Joan (Jerry) Corsten and Mary (Tom) Hoyt; three grandsons; six great-grandchildren; two nieces; a nephew; friends, Thomas and Melissa Pichette and June Ehlers.

Including her parents, she was preceded in death by both husbands, Ralph and William; two brothers, August and Norbert Hassemer and longtime friend and companion, Ray Hornick.

A Memorial Celebration of her life was held at Hansen and Onion Funeral Home in Marinette on Wednesday, July 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Donations can be made to Heartland Hospices or the Alzheimer's Association.


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