Katherine Rogne, 100, Kindred, North Dakota, died Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 at her home one week after celebrating her 100th birthday at a large gathering of family and friends.
A memorial service will be held at a future date. Memorials may be sent to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Sarah Katherine Kazmark was born Aug. 31, 1914 in Salem, Oregon, the daughter of Alexander and Leah Adkisson Kazmark. She was raised in Decatur, Illinois. After attending Millikin University in Decatur, she taught elementary school in Decatur for seven years. She also studied at the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois, and the National University of Mexico in Mexico City. She was trained in occupational therapy at Washington University-St. Louis.
Katherine met Leslie Rogne of Kindred in Illinois during World War II. They were married Jan. 5, 1943 and she lived in South Carolina during the war. In 1945 they settled on the Rogne farm near Kindred, where she and her husband farmed for more than 60 years. Katherine was the bookmobile librarian at the Fargo Public Library for 17 years.
She was a lifelong political and social activist, beginning in the 1930s when she raised funds for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Americans who fought in the Spanish Civil War. In the 1950s she was a founding member of the League of Women Voters in North Dakota and served on the state board as its first organizing chair, traveling throughout the state organizing local League chapters. She was active in Democratic-Nonpartisan League politics and was appointed by Gov. Bill Guy to the Governor's Advisory Committee on health and welfare and the North Dakota State Food for Peace Committee. She was a Dem-NPL candidate for the state Senate in 1978 and attended the 1980 National Democratic Convention representing the Prairie Campaign for Economic Democracy. She was active in the North Dakota Farmers Union, served on the Min-Dak
Health Systems Agency Board and was appointed by Governors Art Link and George Sinner as a consumer representative to the North Dakota State Health Council. She served for many years as a local election judge for Walcott Township. In the 2000s she served as a member of the Fargo Forum Readers Forum.
Katherine was a vibrant and gregarious woman who never met a stranger. She was a freethinker who studied world religions, a city girl who learned to raise chickens, an artist who expressed herself with flowers and needlework and a storyteller without equal. In her later years she was active in the quilting circles at the Walcott, Norman, and Kindred Lutheran Churches. She was a founding member of the Red River Freethinkers and a member of the Red Hat Society.
Katherine is survived by her children: Trana (Gail), Kindred, Seward (Ann), Miami, Florida, and Leah (Fred Schumacher), Orr, Minnesota; and five grandchildren: Seward Jr., Karl and Kari Rogne and Janos and Leslie Rogne Schumacher; three great-grandchildren, Christopher Seward Rogne, Amara Schumacher and Sonja Schumacher; nephews Robert (Carmen) and Eric (Sarah) Rogne; and niece Kay (Duane) Lindblad.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Leslie; her brother, Alexander Seward Kazmark; and her nephew, Duane Rogne.