Kathryn (nee Stagge) Marr was the only child of Herman Bernard Stagge (May 1, 1889-September 7, 1964) and Margaret C. Stagge of Goshen, Ohio. She was born September 2, 1918 at home, in the “Samuel Meek House” located at 1838 Main Street, Goshen, Ohio. This home now bears a plaque placed on it by the Goshen Historical Society honoring Kathryn’s birthplace. When Kathryn was almost 1 year old, her parents moved from the Meek House in Goshen and rented a farm that is now the Goshen Marr-Stagge Park on Goshen Road, Goshen, Ohio. They continued to rent until sometime just prior to 1940 when they purchased the farm. The 82 acre farm remained in the family until it was willed by Kathryn, in 2008, to become a Goshen Park.
Kathryn attended Goshen schools from grade 1 -12, graduating from Goshen High School, Class of 1936. While in school “Kate”, as she was known, was quite active. She was a member of the Goshen Boosters 4-H club, was president of her 9th grade class, a member of the 1935-1936 girls basketball team, Girl’s glee club, had a role in the senior class play (“Dr. Jim”), was a member of the art club, 1934 associate editor of the “Goshen Booster” newspaper, and member of the “Goshenensis” staff. She also represented Goshen in the County Scholarship tests in American History, and was known in her class “will” as the “girl with the dreamy eyes”.
After graduation from GHS, Kathryn attended Miami University, Oxford, Ohio on a scholarship. In 1938, after two years in college, she came back to Goshen to departmentalize socials studies in the 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades. This was the year that the “new and improved” Goshen school building had opened. She continued her education at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, the University of Michigan, the University of Cincinnati and Eastern State Teacher’s College. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Miami University and her Master’s of Education degree from Xavier University.
Most of her classroom teaching in the 1940’s and early 1950’s was spent with fifth grade. She was an excellent classroom teacher and was honored in 1956, as Ohio’s Teacher of the Year by McCall’s magazine (June 1956 issue). This was part of the National Teacher of the Year Program. Kathryn was one of seven “finalists” that year and went to the White House ceremony honoring Teachers of the Year.
In 1945, when Lawrence E. Marr, who also graduated from Goshen High, class of 1936, returned from WWII Army service in the South Pacific, he and Kathryn were married. They made their first home in Morrow, Ohio and Larry became a farmer. They moved in 1950 to their farm on Nunner Road in Maineville, Ohio.
In the school year of 1954-1955, Kathryn became” Coordinator” of the new Goshen Elementary building. The title was change to principal and this is a position she held until her retirement on June 30, 1976. On August 17, 1976, the Goshen Board of Education voted to honor Kathryn for her hard work and dedication to Goshen schools, by changing the name of Goshen Elementary to “Marr Elementary”. In 2003, the Marr Elementary was physically joined to the Cook Elementary and the name became “Marr/Cook Elementary”.
On July 25, 2008 Kathryn passed. It was just shy of her 90th birthday. “Hers was a life worthy of applause”. As a member of the Goshen Historical Society, she had contributed important knowledge and memories. “She could tell about events and personalities in Goshen with fondness or amusement, never being unkind or judgmental”. She was quietly generous. During her life time, she frequently donated money to the Goshen Alumni Association on the condition that it remain anonymous. After the death of her lifelong friend, Aurelia Cook, Kathryn attended the estate auction and bought some of the furnishings that had been in the Cook family for generations. She gave these treasures to the Goshen Township Historical Society for display at the Anchorage. Kathryn and Larry also donated an organ to the St. Phillip’s Church near Zoar, Ohio in Warren County and her estate left funds to the Goshen Schools, the Goshen Park District, the Goshen Alumni Association and others.
Kathryn and Larry had no children, but they clearly “adopted” the community of Goshen. “Those who knew Kathryn Stagge-Marr miss her and will never forget her. Those who never met her will unknowingly benefit from her life because she left this community in better condition that it was upon her arrival”. As one historical society member put it, “Hers was a life worthy of applause and her afterlife surely began with the words, ‘Well done! Come, share your Master’s joy!’”