Born July 14, 1917, Pauline was the fifth of seven children born to Henry and Marie Konschuh Morasch, Germans who emigrated from the Volga River region. Although the community from which the family came, Yagada Polyana, was technically in Russia, it was German in every other aspect; speaking, worshipping and schooling in German. Her parents arrived in 1911 with a steamer trunk and their four year old daughter, Mary. The family settled in the Endicott area, Whitman County, Washington.
Living on a wheat farm, she helped with necessary chores and attended school, initially going to and from by horse and buggy. She and her classmates only spoke German when they started school but her English was precise and unaccented.
She graduated from Colfax High School in 1935 and attended Kinman Business School in Spokane. After graduation, she was hired by Rocky Boy Indian Agency in Montana, where she took her first train ride on the Empire Builder, traveling through Glacier National Park, a gorgeous train ride for a country girl. She worked there for two years, spending her off-time camping and hiking at Lake McDonald. She was asked to leave because she was not a legal Montana resident. Returning to Spokane, she lived at the downtown YWCA, taking a job at the ONB Building.
While walking to the “Y” after work, she met a former fellow KBS student, Harold R. Keiser. They talked; he invited her to a movie, and the rest is history.
WWII was brewing so marriage plans were put on hold. He was on the Pacific Ocean, having just left Pearl Harbor, when the war broke out so it was 32 months before he came home from New Guinea. Ten days later, they were married on July 23, 1944. To complete Harold’s obligation, they were transferred to George Field, IL, for two years. Returning to Spokane, they both worked for USF&G Insurance. Pauline left the agency to have daughter Paula and later Ellen, Owen, and Dale. After taking a transfer in 1958 to Denver, CO, they decided to return to Spokane in 1961 and Harold opened his own insurance agency: The Insurance Office. Pauline worked for Farm Credit Banks, retiring in 1986 after twenty-three years of service. After Harold died in 1988 and for the next twenty years, Polly exercised at the YMCA and volunteered for the Deaconess Auxiliary. She was an active and long-time member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.
Pauline is survived by Paula (Bill) Cowley, Richland, Ellen (John) Flanigan, Spokane, Owen (Becky) Keiser, San Antonio, Dale (Judi) Keiser, Spokane and foster son Greg (Susan) Huckabee, Vermillion, SD. Grandchildren: David (Wendy) Cowley, Brian (Chris) Cowley, Erin Flanigan, Casey Flanigan (Alanna Reichert), Keith Keiser, Staci (Ryan) Solberg, and Courtney (Justin) Frazier. Great grandchildren: Jared and Sean Cowley, Dylan Grace Reichert Flanigan, and Sam R. Solberg.
She was preceded in death by husband, Harold; her parents; four brothers, two sisters and an infant granddaughter. Memorial donations may be made to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, or Endicott Cemetery Association, Endicott, WA 99125.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2012, at 2:00 PM at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 316 E 24th Ave,, Spokane, WA 99203.
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