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Published: Friday, 4/19/2002

Bluffton ex-councilman revered for candidness

BLUFFTON, Ohio - Kermit W. Katterheinrich, 87, a former village council member and a retired factory supervisor, died of heart failure Wednesday in his home.

Mr. Katterheinrich, a Democrat, served four nonconsecutive terms as a council member in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. For 12 of his 16 years in office, he was council president.

“He was a straight shooter and was never one to sit back and not express his opinions,” said former Mayor Porter King, a Republican. “Bluffton lost a great guy.”

As a councilman, Mr. Katterheinrich played a significant role in bringing Grob Systems, Inc., to Bluffton. The German company is a manufacturer of components for the automobile industry.

He was active in the formation of Bluffton Housing Corp. and was on its board. The corporation operates the Vance Street and Riley View apartments for seniors.

Mr. Katterheinrich worked for the former Ex-Cell-O Corp. for 33 years. He retired from the carton manufacturer in 1980 as a supervisor, his daughter, Barbara Zimmerly, said.

Mr. Katterheinrich was born on a farm in Auglaize County. He graduated from New Knoxville High School. He had a knowledge of plumbing, landscaping, and sheet metal work, his daughter said.

He and his first wife, Helen, were married in 1938; she died in 1976. Two years later, he and Lois Wolfe Arnold were married.

His memberships included St. John's United Church of Christ and the National Management Association.

Surviving are his wife, Lois; daughter, Barbara Zimmerly; brother, Calvin Katterhenry; stepsons, Thomas and Richard Arnold; stepdaughter, Janice Amstutz, two grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, eight step-grandchildren, and five step-great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in Chile and Sons-Laman Funeral Home, where the body will be after 2 p.m. today.

The family requests tributes to the church or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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