Katherine “Kay” Jane Bortfeldt (Behringer)

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Greece NY: Katherine Jane Bortfeldt (nee Behringer), affectionately known as Kay, passed away with family by her side on June 5, 2024 at the age of 97.  Kay was predeceased by her husband of 36 years, Erich Bortfeldt and her sister and best friend, Peggy (Samuel) Bruce.  She is survived by her children Paul (Sue) Bortfeldt and Michael (Janet) Bortfeldt, her nieces Kathy (Barry) Scorse and Peggy Burdick (Greg Beadle), and her cherished grandchildren Kyle, Shannon, Kari, Alyssa and Erica 

Born on November 26, 1926 in Ossining, NY to her loving parents, Lee and Margaret Behringer, Kay’s family later settled in Amsterdam, NY where Kay attended K-12 school and built many great friendships that lasted throughout her life. In 1942, she started her first job at Holzheimer & Shaul department store in Amsterdam where she began saving for college and for what would soon become one of her favorite pursuits, travel.

‍After completing High School, Kay attended the College of Saint Rose where she graduated in 1950 with BA degrees in Spanish and French.  While in college, Kay discovered her artistic talent was in great demand, eventually leading to her selection as art director for the college newspaper.  

Later, she received a Master’s Degree in Education along with teaching credentials from Oneonta State Teachers College, which set the stage for her future career and passion for early childhood education.  Kay relocated to Rochester, NY in 1954 where she accepted a full-time position at Indian Landing Elementary School in Penfield teaching 2nd and 3rd grade; a job she adored with students she loved to teach.

As a teacher with her summers free, Kay and her sister Peggy began traveling the world at every opportunity, eventually visiting every state, province and a majority of nations throughout the world.  Alaska was a particularly favorite destination.  Kay’s passion for travel and her love of people led to many great friendships and hundreds of Christmas cards she would hand write each year.

In October of 1961, Kay married Erich Bortfeldt.  Together, they raised two children, Paul and Michael in Greece, NY.  They were blessed with five grandchildren.  Kay always put family first yet still managed to find opportunities for travel and education through extended family trips that her children remember with great fondness, accumulating flight hours toward a private pilot license, and more international adventures including an around-the-world cruise.  Any free time was an opportunity for another travel or learning experience.

The Funeral Mass to honor and celebrate Kay’s life will be held on Tuesday June 11, at 9:30 am, at St Charles Borromeo Church, located at 3003 Dewey Ave, Rochester, NY 14616. She will be interred on Thursday, June 13 at 1:00 pm at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Amsterdam, NY.    

Kay Jane Bortfeldt will be remembered as a devoted educator and a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. Her spirit of generosity, adventure and love will continue to inspire those who knew her. She will be deeply missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Kay’s name to Hildebrandt Hospice Care Center.  https://www.rochesterregional.org/locations/senior-services/hildebrandt-hospice

2 Comments

  1. Virginia Flynn on June 10, 2024 at 12:40 pm

    Paul, Mike and families, so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. A long life well lived. We pray for peace and comfort to you.
    Ginnie and John



  2. Elisabeth Langford on June 19, 2024 at 2:10 pm

    Paul and Mike, sorry toher of your loss. Your Mom was a good friend. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
    Chris Wood’s mother



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