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Katherine Dohm Gifts $45,000 to the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled

by richretyi

The Ann Arbor District Library and the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled are grateful to announce the generous gift of $45,000 from longtime patron Katherine M. Dohm, who passed away at the age of 99 years and nine months. The donation was made in appreciation of AADL's and WLBPD's service and kindness to her over the years.

She's remembered as being "such a lovely person," by Ann Arbor District Library and WLBPD staffer Beth Manuel. "It's touching that she'd leave this donation to the WLBPD.

AADL WLBPD staff member Katie Monkiewicz also remembers Kay fondly.

"I remember Kay as an avid reader who was extremely patient and always willing to try new things. She was one of our first WLBPD patrons to switch from cassette to digital service, and she was the first person I ever sent multiple books on a cartridge to, which is the norm now, but back then was kind of intimidating-mostly for me! Kay tested out new procedures for me to make sure they would work for all of our patrons. She didn't hesitate to learn the new technology, and kept up with the service as it evolved over the years. It was always a pleasure to pick up the phone and hear her voice on the other end. She moved in 2015, and it’s so nice to know that she thought of and remembered us even after we were no longer her library."

Kay (as she liked to be called) was born in Seattle on May 8, 1919 to Frederick William Dohm of Girard, Illinois, and Mary Elizabeth Hartnett Dohm of Bunker Hill, Illinois. Tragically, her mother died of influenza the week Kay was born and the family eventually moved back to Girard. Kay, being the youngest, was left home while her siblings attended a country school. She didn't like having to fix lunch for her father and have to take it out to the fields, so she decided to just go to school with her siblings. They enrolled her at five-years-old and put her in a class with her brother George.

She graduated from Girard High School, and went on to the University of Illinois. After completing college she pursued a nursing degree at Yale. Earning that degree, she enlisted in the Navy where she was an officer. After finishing her enlistment, Kay enrolled at the University of Michigan, graduating with her Masters in Public Health.

Kay spent her work years at the Washtenaw County Public Health Department and lived in Ann Arbor until 2015, when she moved back to Girard to live near her sister, Mary Dohm.

Kay passed away on February 8, 2019 in her home in Girard—the last member of her family. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Bill and George Dohm, and sister Mary Dohm.

The Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled is a free service administered by the Ann Arbor District Library that loans books, magazines, and videos in alternative formats (audio books on cartridge or for download, large print, braille books and magazines, and descriptive video) to individuals of all ages who are unable to read or use standard printed materials as a result of temporary of permanent visual or physical limitations. Learn more about WLBPD here:

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