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It all began with a recording. Jim Kaatz had the idea to record the presentations being given at the San Diego Adventist Forum chapter that had formed in the 1970s. He duplicated tapes, and mailed them to whomever requested them, and with that effort he grew an international audience for the chapter. The tapes also provided an income stream to sustain the monthly programming. Jim’s foresight and organizational skills were quickly recognized by the group, and in 1983, Jim was elected president of the chapter, a position he held for 27 years.
When Jim passed away recently, he left a legacy of inspiring tenacity within Adventist Forum. Not many people are willing to stay at a volunteer position for 27 years. This past weekend, friends and family gathered at the Tierrasanta Church to honor his memory. He left behind a large family: three sons, Jim, Jeffrey, and Jan, their spouses (Cindy, Karen, and Ellen), and children (Sean, Justin, Brian, Jordan, Katie, Chris, Amanda); and four siblings, from both his biological and adopted family: brothers David Bee and Duane Sandvic, and sisters Audrey Williams and Judy Bee-Kreischer.
Averille - Ellen - Smouse - Couple - Emmanuel
He was married to Averille Ellen Smouse in 1955. The couple met at Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University) and both graduated in 1955. Averille’s grandparents had changed their name from Schmaus to Smouse when they immigrated to the United States. It was humorous to EMC’s students when the couple got engaged as the cat (Kaatz) caught the mouse (Smouse).
Kaatz was an educator his entire adult life. While still a college student, he took a couple years off to teach in a one-room, twelve grade Adventist school in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. A year after their marriage, the Kaatz’ moved to California and his first teaching job was at Bellflower Adventist Academy. Three years later, he moved to...
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