Gretchen Kitzmiller Plath, 81, entered her eternal rest on July 21, 2020, with her loving husband, Dr. Paul Plath, of 46 years and her children at her side.
Gretchen was born Nov. 7, 1938, in Salem, Oregon, to Augusta Gerlinger and John Kitzmiller. Gretchen was predeceased by her brothers John Kitzmiller Jr. and Michael Kitzmiller. She was raised in Dallas, Oregon, where her father worked for the family business, Gerlinger Carrier Company. Gretchen was very proud of her father, John Kitzmiller, who was a standout football athlete at the University of Oregon where he was nicknamed “The Flying Dutchman” and placed in Oregon Football Hall of Fame and the National Football Hall of Fame. After his pro career with the New York Giants, he returned to coach football at the University of Oregon.
Gretchen graduated from the University of Oregon in 1960 with a degree in education. While at the University of Oregon, Gretchen joined the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. After graduation Gretchen received her MA in Guidance and Counseling at Colorado State College in Greeley, Colorado. Gretchen started her teaching career in Yuma, Arizona, where her three children, Susan, Missy and Peter, were born.
Working as a first-grade teacher, Gretchen met her second husband Dr. Paul Plath and his three children, Pamela, Chip and John. The family quickly became the “Brady Bunch.” Included in Gretchen’s household and family are Honda, Lucy and Rebecca Segura. The Segura family was an important part of Gretchen’s life.
Gretchen is survived by her loving husband Paul Plath, six children (Pamela Plath, Chip Plath, Susan Moss, Missy Moss, John Plath, Peter Moss), five grandchildren (Anthony Moss, Kailey Moss, Rachel Moss, Sophia Plath and Katherine Plath) and beloved dog Spencer.
With most of the children already graduated from high school, Gretchen and Paul moved to Springfield, Oregon, where Paul was the Springfield School District superintendent for 10 years.
They quickly fell in love with the Springfield/Eugene community and enjoyed being closer to attend many University of Oregon athletic games and other University of Oregon activities.
Gretchen was always happy and smiling despite her challenges living with Multiple Sclerosis for 41 years. She never let her disease affect her positivity and joys to live a full life. Everyone who knew Gretchen would always comment on her contagious smile and how she could uplift people. She leaves behind her family who will carry on her smile, positivity and love for the same people who loved her.
Gretchen would like to have a celebration of life with her family. A date has not been determined at this time.
As a child of God, the Emerald Bible Fellowship was her place of worship for 35 years, where Gretchen and Paul enjoyed hearing Christ’s word and fellowship with other believers. In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to Emerald Bible Fellowship, 1855 Cal Young Road, Eugene, OR 97401.
If you would like to reach out to the family, the family spokesperson is daughter Missy Moss 503-819-5043 or [email protected]
Arrangements by Musgrove Family Mortuary.