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Kathe Sauter

July 5, 1923 - July 18, 2018

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Kathe E. Sauter, 95, passed away on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 in Sandpoint, Idaho. She will be interred at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois.

Kathe was born on July 5, 1923 in Eisenach, Germany. She was the oldest of 6 children of Ernst and Margaret Goering. The young Goering family immigrated to the United States in 1928, settled in the Chicago area and became US citizens.

In 1939, 15 year old Kathe was sent back to Germany to care for her grandparents. During her stay, World War II broke out. Kathe’s passport was subsequently seized by the Nazi party. She was forced to work for the war machine of Germany. In 1942 she was contacted by the Swedish Red Cross. They smuggled her out of Eisenach on a midnight a train to Portugal where she boarded the SS Drottinghold bound for New York.

Upon arriving in New York Kathe was directed to Ellis Island where she found re-entry into the US very difficult without a passport. However, after spending 6 months at Ellis Island the FBI determined she was not a spy and Kathe was allowed to re-enter the US. She then traveled back to Chicago in the company of her father and reunited with the rest of her family.

Kathe began working at a defense plant when she returned home to support the US war effort. She met the son of a co-worker, Donn Sauter, and they married on December 18, 1943. They later settled in La Mirada, CA where they raised three sons.

In 1950 Kathe began a career with Pacific Telephone. She worked for 30 years retiring as a dedicated manager.

Kathe and Donn moved to Bullhead City, Arizona after she retired in 1985. Kathe volunteered with the Friends of the BHC Library where she met many long-time friends and enjoyed supporting the library improvement projects.

After Donn passed away in 2000 Kathe enjoyed visiting Europe, South America and especially cruise ship travel. Kathe visited her hometown in Germany more than a dozen times. She moved to Sandpoint in 2014.

Kathe cherished her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. No matter how much her work demanded or the miles apart, she was always there for her family. She leaves behind her three sons (Michael, Thomas and Mark). Her grandchildren: Brian, Kristen, Caryn, Melissa, Catherine, and Stephen and her great grandchildren: Gillian, Alex, Timothy, Liberty, Wyatt and Lilly. Also surviving are her three siblings Helga, Helmut and Fritz.