Catherine Poppelreiter

Catherine E. “Kit” Poppelreiter, gourmet chef, wine connoisseur, teacher and World’s Greatest “Nana,” passed away on July 4, 2020.

Kit, as she was best known, was born on March 25, 1944 in Wichita, Kan. to James and Almeda Dugan. She was a devoted wife and loving mother who raised her children with strong Midwestern values.

Catherine Dugan-Poppelreiter graduated from Conway Springs High School in 1962. Kit married Tom Poppelreiter on Aug. 8, 1964. She graduated from Wichita State University in 1967 and relocated to Scottsdale in 1971. Already a wife and mother, Kit earned her master’s degree in Specialized Education at Arizona State University in 1975.

Kit was a fixture as an educator in the Tempe Schools Special Education Program, teaching at Fuller Elementary and Carminati Elementary. Her work with emotionally handicapped children left a lasting impression in the community she loved. She was a life-long advocate for children’s educational betterment.

Upon retirement, Kit relocated to Fountain Hills. In a wonderful twist of fate, she was joined by her sister, Mary, and husband, Jack Trook, to share retirement in this lovely town they enjoyed so much together for nearly 15 years.

Kit is survived by her two loving children, Brian Poppelreiter of Bailey, Colo. and Angie Phillips of Safety Harbor, Fla. In Kansas, she will be remembered by her sisters, Rosi and Mary, as well as her brothers, Tommy and predeceased Charlie.

Kit’s greatest love was for her grandchildren and she dedicated herself to all of them, selflessly, with her warm heart and never-ending smile. Her tireless praise has lit the spark of success that will live in all of them forever.

In Colorado, her loving son, Brian and wife, Lisa, will celebrate her memory with Olivia, Rex, Sophia, and Max.

In Florida, she will be celebrated by her loving daughter, Angie, and husband, Sam Phillips, and, of course, Lucy.

Due to COVID, services will be delayed. For updates please contact

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to “T.I.E.” – Tempe Impacts Education Foundation, 3205 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85282.