Katherine (Kathy) Luhn Effinger of Chicago, formerly of Hinsdale, was peacefully released to her heavenly body on Monday, March 19th 2018. Kathy died at home in the presence of her family, sister Mary Roth, and beloved caregiver Patricia Ann Pittman after an eight-year battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a neurodegenerative disease.
Kathy was born in St. Louis in 1935. Her parents, John C. (Jack) Luhn and Janice Foote Luhn, moved the family to Hinsdale when she was 13. Kathy graduated from Hinsdale Central High School, where she met her husband of 56 years, the late J. Robert (Rob) Effinger.
Kathy graduated from the University of Michigan and, like Rob, was an enthusiastic lifelong Wolverine. Their four daughters also graduated from Hinsdale Central and Michigan: Mary Kay Baker (Mark) of Saugatuck, MI and San Jose, CA; Linda Quinde (Herb) of Chicago; Margaret Shiner of San Francisco; and Susan Butler (Dev) of East Grand Rapids, MI.
Kathy was a lively and fun-loving grandmother (Dama) to eight: Stephanie Baker Zita (Jonathan); Caroline Baker (Alex Harju); Matt Baker (Danielle); Liamarie Quinde; Robert Butler; William Butler; Myatt Butler; and Sydney Katherine Shiner. She was a great-grandmother to Lizzie Grace Zita. Dama loved spending time with her grandchildren and welcomed their friends as part of her extended family.
Kathy had a 35-year teaching career in the Hinsdale public schools. She is remembered fondly as a firm but supportive teacher, mentor, and confidante to hundreds of Hinsdale Middle School graduates. She was especially known for encouraging students to read and helping them with writing skills, often on her own time. Kathy was an early adopter of remote learning technology, using the Telewriter program to simultaneously teach advanced math to 6th graders at all seven elementary schools in District 181. Kathy helped start a support program for children dealing with grief and loss at the Hinsdale Middle School. In retirement, she served as a tutor and a court-appointed special advocate for CASA of Cook County. She was also a breast cancer survivor and helped newly-diagnosed patients as a volunteer with the Y-Me hotline for many years.
A memorial service will be held at Adolf Funeral Home, 7000 S. Madison in Willowbrook, Illinois, on Sunday, March 25th at 2:00pm with a reception immediately to follow at the Hinsdale Golf Club, 140 E. Chicago Avenue, Clarendon Hills, Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, donations to support brain research may be made to Rush University Medical Center c/o Dr. Jeffrey Kordower, 1735 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60612.