Kathleen Irene Harvey Duffer Bruckner 1951 - 2011 St. Louis, Mo.
Paid family tribute
Kathleen Irene (Harvey Duffer) Bruckner, 60, passed away from a brain aneurysm on November 5th, 2011 at Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. A semi-retired teacher, she lived in St. Louis with her husband, Bob Bruckner, since 2002.
A Kathy Harvey Duffer Bruckner Memorial Trust has been set up and the family asks that all donations be made out to either the Trust or St. John Building Fund on her behalf. All donations may be mailed to St. John School, 1208 Kentucky, Lawrence, KS 66044.
Kathy, born January 12th, 1951 in Jamaica, Queens, New York, was the youngest of 3 children born to Irene and Vincent A. Harvey. Growing up in New York, she graduated from Massapequa High School on Long Island in 1969, and attended Ladycliff College where she received her Elementary Education degree in 1973.
She spent her entire life teaching, starting out at Central Elementary School in Port Jervis, New York. From there she taught and coached girls basketball in Benton, KS, and went on to Hanover, KS. In 1977, Kathy started teaching 5th and 6th grade language arts and religion classes at St. John School, where she remained until 2002.
At St. John, many programs and innovations would take root under Kathy’s direction, such as their Spring Musical, school spelling bee, and many others. In 1994 she would add Assistant Principal to her list of responsibilities, while still hanging on to her true love of teaching.
While in Lawrence, Kathy also took a very active role in the District Spelling Bee and even hosted the Bee for a number of years. In addition to the spelling bee, she was a favorite over the years to cantor at St. John Church services, and had sung at numerous weddings, funerals, and other events.
After a 25 year stint at St. John, Kathy moved to St. Louis and taught at Rogers Middle School, from 2002-2007. While there, she received numerous awards such as the Emerson Excellence in Teaching award in 2005, and Teacher of the Year in 2007.
Her retirement in 2007 didn’t last long as she began substitute teaching shortly thereafter and continued throughout the rest of her life. She was often asked to come back to Rogers Middle School and substitute teach there.
Her marriage with Bob Bruckner, June 1st, 2002 took her many places and gave her many new experiences. After learning how to sail, she and Bob bought a boat in Florida and took many trips around the waters of Florida. In addition to those trips, they would take many cruise ship trips all over different parts of the world.
Kathy and Bob moved to Port Saint Lucie, Florida, in an attempt to enjoy their retirement, but the birth of her grandson as well as her desire to be near family and friends brought them back. Bob and Kathy had recently bought another home in St. Louis and enjoyed spending time in their back yard with their koi and goldfish and doing landscaping work. St. John was everything to Kathy. Being able to teach so many kids and touch so many lives was the most important thing in life to her. She was so proud of the fact that she was able to now teach the children of some of her previous students. Kathy Harvey Duffer Bruckner will forever be a part of that school, and the community that makes up the parish. St. John will never be the same without her.
A talented and versatile woman, Kathy had many hobbies that always kept her busy. An avid and experienced Scrabble player, she would never turn down a chance to play, especially against her children and grandchildren. She was a gamer at heart, and most family gatherings involved Scrabble, cards, or some sort of board game. She was very skilled at most games, but an extremely gracious loser on the rare occasion she would actually lose.
Kathy had two children by her first marriage with Bob Duffer. Patrick (and wife Shandin) and Amy (and wife Janet) both still live in the area.
Kathy is survived by her husband, her two children, his two children, and their families, which account for 7 grandchildren, Zachary, Genevieve, Christian, Nolan, Christopher, Andrew, and Hannah.
Over the years at St. John and Rogers Middle School, she touched the lives of thousands of students, many of whom later went on to become teachers themselves, largely in part to the role that Kathy played in their lives. As a result, generation upon generation will be affected by her presence, her love, and her ability to teach not only what her curriculum dictated, but also the essential characteristics we all must have to be productive members of society. To that, there is no amount of gratitude that can ever do her justice.
Memorial services for Kathy will take place on two different dates: Thursday, November 10th, 5:00 p.m. at Fey Funeral Home, 4100 Lemay Ferry Road in St. Louis, Missouri, and also on Saturday, November 12th, at 1:30 p.m. at St. John Evangelist Church, 1234 Kentucky in Lawrence, KS. After the service in Lawrence, St. John School will be open to all for a reception, a gathering of alums, and a walk back into history. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
This information was provided to the Journal-World as a paid tribute.