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1934 Maria 2022

Maria A. Kautz

September 11, 1934 — May 27, 2022

Maria A. Kautz, 87 of Prescott, passed away on Friday, May 27, 2022.  She was born on September 11, 1934 in Kahuku, HI to Aguido Tania and Magdalena Nichlos.

Mary was a plantation girl growing up on the North Shore of Oahu, HI.  Her parents worked on the Kahuku Plantation Co to support the family.  Her dad worked in the fields and her mother did cleaning and laundry. 

Mary had six sisters and 1 brother.

She was 7 years old on December 7, 1942 when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  The paradise she grew up in had been changed forever.  Mary and her family adjusted to the new way of life after the attack. She continued her schooling and attended Kahuku High School from 1947-1951.  After graduation, Mary left home to attend Holy Names college, an all-girls school in Spokane, Washington from 1951-1954. It was in Spokane that she met and fell in love with Stephen J. Kautz (Steve) who was in the US Air Force, stationed at Fairchild, AFB.  They were married on March 26, 1955.  When Steve was stationed in Morocco, Mary went to Seattle to stay with her eldest sister, Flo, who helped her with her pregnancy. On December 27, 1955, Stephen M. Kautz was born in Seattle, WA.  Soon after, Steve was stationed in Bend, Oregon and Catherine (Sissy) Kautz was born on January 23, 1958. The family moved to Reno, NV where Steve finished five years in the US Air Force.  Mary wanting to help support the family, went to work at the Horseshoe Club as a coin change girl.

With Steve being honorably discharged, the family decided to return to Seattle, Washington to be closer to Mary's sister Flo and her husband Ben and the rest of the Consego clan.  It was a mini Ohana.  The Kautz family started out in a tiny apartment on Beacon Hill just a few miles from the Consegos.  Steve quickly found work and moved the family into a large house about a half mile away.  Time spent with the Consegos was food, shopping, food, cards and food. Mary was a Den Mother while little Steve (Skip) was in the Cub Scouts.  She was always doting on her children.  Easter was new outfits for church. 

Steve went to work for Boeing and the family moved to West Seattle.  Holy Names was the Parrish that they belonged to and that was the first time that Skip was aware that his folks were teaching Catechism and were involved with the Church.  Mary insisted that Skip become an Altar Boy which was not an easy task, he had to learn Latin!

The West Seattle house was not large but it had many trees: apple, cherries, and pear.  Mary decided canning was a good thing and lovingly included Skip and Sissy to help her. The basement had canned goods everywhere.  The Kautz children and their Consego cousins learned about Wapato, Washington where Mary and Flo's uncles had farms. Apparently, there weren’t any child labor laws at the time as the cousins have memories of ‘helping’ their grand-uncles during their summer vacations. During this time, a new member of the family arrived, Matthew J. Kautz was born on July 6, 1966.

The Ebat family was a big part of Mary and Steve’s lives, so much so that Anna Ebat was Skip's Godmother (who recently passed this past March).  The Kautzs and the Ebats would camp, fish, eat, hike, eat, hangout and eat.  Whidbey Island was a great gathering place for the families with station wagons bulging with gear and food as they headed across Puget Sound on a ferry boat.  The guys would fish Puget Sound (Skip doesn't recall catching any fish).  Another memory that Skip does have is of the Ebat’s backyard and that it was like a Japanese garden, with water features, stone paths and beautiful flowers.

Change was going to happen once again for the Kautz family.  The Boeing SST Program was slowing down and this was when signs went up, “Last one out of Seattle turn off the lights.”  The Kautz family then moved to Salem, Oregon.  Mary stayed at home and in the spring the kids would often pick strawberries – that of course were canned. It was during this time that Mary thought Altar Boy was pretty good but how about a Priest?  She had talked to Skip about this when they were still in Seattle, Mary liked how Priest sounded.  So, not wanting to disappoint his mother, Skip attended Mt. Angel Seminary. This was short-lived as the family moved to Gresham, OR – more strawberries and more canning.

The last move for the family was to the quaint town of Kirkland, WA which is on the eastside of Lake Washington.  Mary would live here until a few years after she retired in 2001 after 28 years of working. During this time, Mary and Steve were very involved with the Church and St. Vincent DePaul.  They spent a lot of time with loved ones and making new friends. Mary hosted many parties and gatherings in their Kirkland home. Guests included, Ohana from Hawaii, the local family that moved from the islands and fellow co-workers at the Department of Ecology as well as family and the usual close friends during the holidays.

Mary worked for the Department of Ecology for the State of Washington where she was a Water Quality Environmentalist. This was her perfect job and she loved it. Her job required that she travel around the state and Mary loved to drive! Everyone she worked with or came into contact with – including pig farmers who were polluting the water run-offs – liked and respected this five foot short, 100 pound lady.

On August 8, 1982, William Foltz III was born to Sissy and William Foltz II.  Mary felt very blessed and adored her new grandson. They took rides, ate, went shopping and ate.  On October 17, 1987 Mary lost her husband of 33 years, Stephen J. Kautz.  She remained in Kirkland and did one of her great passions, she supported her Church - Holy Family and St. James Cathedral. Mary's passion for the Church included being a teacher, a Lay Minister, a Eucharistic Minister and her charity work including picking up people so they could get to Church.  She loved serving God.  

She also loved to travel and go for drives. She traveled to Florida to visit Skip and his wife Donna, took trips to Hawaii for her birthday and to be with all of her Ohana on O’ahu.  It's hard to count all of the drives she embarked on, but she always had some kind of food with her.  Mary visited every church she could and would attend mass wherever she was. If she was visiting someone, they also attended with her. After Mary retired, she went on two big trips to Europe with Ohana, her sisters and cousins.  That second trip included visiting the Vatican – a big highlight for her.  

In 2005, Mary decided to move to Arizona be closer to her younger sister Elaine and her husband Howard Ginn.  All of her sisters (the Tania girls) are very close.  

Mary became the newest member of the St. Frances Cabrini Church in Camp Verde, Arizona.  She worked with Prisoners, was a Lay Minister and edited the Church's weekly bulletin with Father Alphonsus. She bought a wonderful house with a magnificent view of "God's creation".  She continued with her charities, travel, not only to the usual Hawaii, Florida and Seattle but long rides when family came to visit, also taking solo trips to Henderson, Nevada to visit classmates, and to Payson, Arizona to visit the Church - eat lunch and on to Cottonwood, and Sedona.  A favorite thing to do was to bring a lunch and enjoy it while sitting in one of the parks nearby. She loved driving over Mingus Mountain through Jerome.  She once told Skip it took 42 minutes to go from her house in Camp Verde to the Bank of America in Prescott Valley. She was right on! 

Mary’s only daughter, Catherine (Sissy) moved to Camp Verde to be close to her. They became close again and were able to mend their relationship where it had become strained and they become best friends again. Sadly, on March 16, 2014, Mary suddenly lost Sissy.

Mary's circle of influence was huge.  Everyone loved her as:  Aunty Mary or Friend Mary, or Mary the helper.  Her charitable works were her secret.  Skip is in awe of what he discovered. She gave her time which was priceless. She gave money generously. There were times Skip was jealous because she would schedule her visits to visit him and Donna in Florida around what was going on in Camp Verde with the church.  She truly enjoyed doing the Lord's work.  Skip said, “Mary - mom lived life her way, with zest, determination, compassion, loyalty and especially love.  Mary - Mom passed on her terms too.  She told everyone that would listen, "I am at Peace, I am content, I loved everyone in my life. Mom passed on, humming and singing praises to the Lord.”

A friend of Skip and Donna from the Florida Keys also became good friends with Mary - she texted Skip after learning of Mary’s passing, "Mary and I had so many nice visits . . . I learned of her faith. It made her an angel who walked among us.  Mary also had spice.  We need spicy angels".

Memorial services and Rosary will be held at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 781 S. Cliffs Parkway in Camp Verde on Friday June 17, 2022. Rosary begins at 10:00am with the service to follow at 10:30am. She will be laid to rest at the Hawaiian Memorial Park in Oahu, HI in May/June 2023.

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 781 S. Cliffs Parkway, Camp Verde, AZ 86322. 

If you would like to send a card to the family, please send to 505 Pocahontas Drive, Ft. Walton Beach, FL 32547.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Maria A. Kautz, 87 of Prescott, passed away on Friday, May 27, 2022 in Prescott. She was born on September 11, 1934 in Kahuku, HI to Aguido Tania and Magdalena Nichlos.

Maria attended Kahuku High School from 1947-1951 then Holy Names College from 1951-1954. She worked as an environmentalist for the state of Washington.

For a total of 39 plus years she attended St. James Cathedral and St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church.  Maria was editor of both the church bulletin and RCIA bulletin and part of Mother Cabrini Angels. She also did prison and Eucharistic ministry.

Maria enjoyed traveling, reading and crafts.

Maria was preceded in death by her husband Stephen Kautz and daughter Catherine Davis. She is survived by sons Stephen M. Kautz (Donna) of FL and Matthew J. Kautz; grandson William Foltz III; and sisters Bessie Labrador of HI, Alejandria Jacinto of HI, Elaine Ginn (Howard) of AZ and Caroline Tania of HI.

Memorial services and Rosary will be held at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 781 S. Cliffs Parkway in Camp Verde on Friday June 17, 2022. Rosary begins at 10:00am with the service to follow at 10:30am. She will be laid to rest at the Hawaiian Memorial Park in Oahu, HI in May/June 2023.

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 781 S. Cliffs Parkway, Camp Verde, AZ 86322.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maria A. Kautz, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, June 17, 2022

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church

781 Cliffs Parkway, Camp Verde, AZ 86322

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