The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001355166-01
Funeral Notices


MARCH 21, 1931-NOVEMBER 8, 2021

Kathleen passed peacefully at home, as she wished, on Monday, November 8, having struggled with health issues in recent years. She was predeceased by her husband, Clarence, and sons Paul and Michael. She is survived by her son, John W. Gartrell; grandchildren Paul S. Gartrell, Jr., and Puanani K. Gartrell; hanai son Walter V. Horton; hanai grandchildren Vernon and Christopher Gartrell-Horton; brother Frank A. Block, Jr. (Orange, CA); and numerous nieces and nephews. Kathleen grew up in Kaimuki on Waialae Ave., and in her youth attended Sacred Hearts Academy and R.L. Stevenson Intermediate School, graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1949. She trained at St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing where she met her heroic soulmate Clarence (d. 2006) whom she married in 1952. Their young family moved to Kaneohe where Kathleen became President of St. Mark Lutheran Day School Parent-Teacher League in 1957, and Treasurer of the Kaneohe Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association in 1958. As lifelong Lutherans the Gartrell Family were members of St. John Lutheran Church in Kailua. Kathleen’s sons Paul Stephen (d. 1980), Michael David (d. 1991) and John William all graduated from the Kamehameha Schools, Classes of 1970, 1972 and 1982. Kathleen enthusiastically served as health aid/school nurse at Kailua Elementary School for many years. She was active with many organizations: Pythian Sisters (Leilani Temple), Hawaii Govt. Employees Association, Mary Kay, American Business Women’s Association, Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band, and Aha Hui O Na Maka’i Hauola Police Association (after son Michael’s death). Kathleen especially cherished her role as board member with the German Benevolent Society of Honolulu, serving as Membership Chair and Secretary, with many vital functions. Kathleen did extensive genealogy research for both her own (Block/Rufino) and her husband’s family (Ohana Kauaua); studied the Hawaiian language; and loved hula and Hawaiian music. Kathleen and Clarence, dear friends of Mahi Beamer, often frequented his performances at Bay View, Kaneohe. Our heartbroken loss of a caring and kind, courageous and strong, truly incredible lady. She is dearly loved and deeply missed by all. Join us, honoring Kathleen with a celebration of life at Valley of the Temples on Thursday, January 6, 2022; 9:30 a.m visitation, 10:30 a.m. service. Attendees please wear masks per current health and safety concerns.

Arrangements Provided By:
Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary