|Birth: ||Dec. 18, 1908|
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
|Death: ||Oct. 17, 2002|
Teresa H. Blickhan , a former Kansas City teacher, died at Heritage Living Center, Haxtun, CO. She was born in Salt Lake City, UT and grew up in Butte and Helena, MT. Mrs. Blickhan taught elementary grades in the Kansas City Public School system for 38 years. She taught at the Sanford B. Ladd School for 16 years and the Marlborough School for 22 years. She previously taught at Liberty High School in Liberty, MO for two years. She attended St. Mary College in Leavenworth, KS and received bachelor degrees from the University of Kansas at Lawrence and the Kansas City Teachers College. She received a master's degree from the University of Iowa at Iowa City.
Mrs. Blickhan was a member of the Catholic Womens' Club and St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church. Survivors include a daughter, Teresa M. Mailander of Holyoke, CO; a brother, John P. Harrington of Butte, MT; and four grandchildren.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Monday, October 21, at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, Kansas City, MO. Burial in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. Sunday, at McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Rd., where a Rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. (Arrangements: McGilley State Line Chapel (816) 942-6180)
Below details the marriage of Teresa's parents. Both parties shared the same surname and the bride's given name was actually "Catherine".
Details For Marriage ID#327213
Groom Last Name: HARRINGTON
Groom First Name: John (23)
Groom Residence: Mercur
Bride Last Name: HARRINGTON
Bride First Name: Katherine (20)
Bride Residence: Mercur
Place: Salt Lake City
Date: 09 Jan 1900
County of Record: Salt Lake
Influence of KC teacher extends over the decades
A story they'd known only in halves was coming together as one.
The story was about Teresa H. Blickhan , a teacher in a Kansas City classroom 40 years ago.
Blickhan 's daughter from small-town Colorado knew the hardship behind her mother, an orphan born of Irish immigrants. A former pupil from Belton knew what a wonder "Mrs. Blickhan " was with children at Marlborough School in south Kansas City.
Blickhan 's daughter, Teresa Mailander, and her pupil, Pam Ray, had only met by letter until now.
"We could name all of the states," said Ray, setting off in the rhythmic cadence she never forgot. "Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire ..."
Mailander, sitting shoulder to shoulder with Ray in the sunshine on the steps of Marlborough School, shook her head and smiled wryly.
"She tried to teach me that, too," she said.
The school that Ray knew as a pupil and that Mailander knew as the teacher's daughter was vacant. But this seemed like the place to bring together the story of a favorite teacher, even if they could only peek in the windows.
It was right there, Ray said recently, gesturing to the drinking fountain children used inside the door after coming in from the playground. That's where Blickhan told her, "Pamela, you're going to be a teacher, aren't you?"
Ray wondered to herself: "How did she know?"
Ray had contacted The Kansas City Star three years ago when the paper sought out readers who had an inspirational teacher they would like to meet again.
The search stopped short at first. Teresa Blickhan had died in 2002.
But Ray, who went on to teach elementary school in Belton, wanted to tell what Blickhan had meant to her, how she remembered reading "Anne of Green Gables" together, how she loved her teacher's stern but generous ways -- everything down to her "school marm shoes."
So she searched out Blickhan 's daughter in Colorado, who was named in the obituary, and she sent a long letter on the chance it would find the right Teresa Mailander.
"I was awed," Mailander said. "Overwhelmed."
Ray's letter arrived over the Thanksgiving holiday, and Mailander passed it around to visiting family. She'd known her mother was a good teacher, that she'd been liked by her pupils even though she was tough. But here came this affirming tribute from so far away.
"When you've lost somebody, the greatest comfort is to know they are remembered," Mailander said. "It was all so meaningful to me."
Ray was just as overwhelmed by Mailander's reply and the e-mails they would begin exchanging. The first note had come to her work e-mail address at the Belton company she went to after she quit teaching.
"I had to go into the storeroom to collect myself," she said.
Her favorite teacher, who had impressed on Ray a love for reading through the story of the orphan Anne of Green Gables, was herself an orphan as a child.
She found out in the letters that Blickhan had taught in Liberty but had to quit after two years because she had gotten married. Back then in that district as in many others, teachers couldn't be married.
Her husband died 14 months into their marriage of a ruptured appendix. Blickhan immediately sought work in the Kansas City School District. Mailander wrote that "teaching helped her through that terrible time in her life."
More stories followed, filling in the story Ray hadn't imagined as a child.
"She had so much behind her," she said. "We had no clue."
The morning lingered as they met face to face for the first time, Mailander making a special return trip to Kansas City. From Marlborough School they went on to a coffee shop to continue on into the afternoon.
Ray told Mailander that she read "Anne of Green Gables" to her students when she taught at Belton. Mailander has a daughter teaching at an inner-city Catholic school in Chicago, she said, and she's reading it to her class, too.
By Joe Robertson - published in the April 21, 2009 edition of the Kansas City STAR
John Peter Harrington (1878 - 1916)
Catherine Harrington Harrington (1881 - 1918)
Joseph Charles Blickhan (1907 - 1969)*
James Harrington (1901 - 1907)*
John Patrick Harrington (1903 - 2004)*
Teresa Marie Harrington Blickhan (1908 - 2002)
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Created by: Tom Nelson
Record added: May 01, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36602517