Kathleen F. Pohlig
A Life Well-Lived
Kathleen Frances (Haining) Pohlig, age 75, of Alexandria lived a full life. She demonstrated courage and deep gratitude for those supporting her during her battle with cancer that emerged in the spring and brought her passing in the autumn on October 4, 2023.
Kathleen was born January 22, 1948, in Margarita, Panama, where her Minnesotan family was living as her father worked in schools in the U.S. Panama Canal Zone. Having had an early start to an appreciation for differing cultures that she carried with her throughout her life, Kathleen moved to Minnesota with her family when she was 7 years old.
Kathleen lived in multiple Minnesota towns during her childhood. In 1966 she graduated from high school in Alexandria and from Hamline University in 1970, as part of the third generation of her family to study there. There in 1970 she met and soon married Bruce Pohlig (of Richmond, VA) in 1971. The couple first lived in both Richmond and Alexandria, Virginia, followed by Marietta, Ohio before moving to Alexandria, Minnesota in 1976.
Kathleen spent years caring for their three children, though the “stay- at-home” part of being a “stay-at-home mom” could hardly define her. In addition to her great devotion to her family and involvement in her children’s lives, Kathleen was always an active member of the community. She found ways to foster and support our community through the Alexandria United Methodist Church, the District 206 School Board, as a founding member of the Alexandria Education Foundation, working together with Bruce on a fundraising campaign for the building of the new high school, local social programs (supporting local nursing mothers’ groups in the 1970s, working on fundraising events such as the Holiday Ball, volunteering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Douglas County Hospice), and the local arts (participating in and championing local theater, chairing the Festival of Lakes committee, supporting the high school music programs).
Based in the value she held for reading, education, and the importance of local business, Kathleen opened Cherry Street Books in 2007, always seeing this venture as a means to enhance the fabric of the community.
Kathleen loved language and words, “good music,” and considering new perspectives, whether it be through the journey of a well-written book, travel with Bruce, or conversation with varying members of her community. She had a passion for colors and visual arts, which translated into the creation of beautiful quilts, many of which she donated to others. Kathleen loved to bake; her meals and treats were always made from scratch and enjoyed by all.
Kathleen saw the true value in community in many senses of the word. While independent and unwavering in speaking out when needed, she evidenced a deep appreciation for our interdependence as people on many levels of community.
Kathleen’s life will live on in the loving memory of her husband Bruce (of nearly 52 years), daughter Christine Reilly (Shawn), son Jeffrey Pohlig (Holly), daughter Rebecca Schroeder (Todd), grandchildren Kallie, Emma, Colin, and Olivia Reilly; Sophie Pohlig; Clare, Henry, and Elise Schroeder; brother Bruce Haining; sister Margaret (Roger) Opp; brother-in-law Peter Egan; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents (Roscoe and Kathleen Haining), sister-in-law (Shelley Haining), and sister (Carol Egan).
Memorials may be sent to the Alexandria Education Foundation, www.alexeducationfoundation.org.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 5 from 5 PM to 7 PM at Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory, 659 Voyager Drive NW. Kathleen’s life will be celebrated with a Memorial Service on Friday, October 6 at 2 PM at Alexandria United Methodist Church, 2210 6th Avenue East.