Funeral Mass for Maria Kaaa will be 1 p.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Killeen.
Mrs. Kaaa died Sept. 30, 2021, after a lengthy illness.
She was born Marianne Stetzberger, on March 24, 1937, in Niederlauterbach, Germany.
Growing up on a hops farm, she had a passion for animals. Her love of animals was known by everyone that knew her.
A friend of hers set Maria up on a blind date to meet an American soldier who spoke fluent German. Henry courted Maria and would drive out to see her and help at the farm in his spit shined shoes.
He won her and her parents over with his charm and work ethic and they were married on Nov. 20, 1959.
Her first name was changed to Maria Anna during the process of becoming a U.S. citizen and moving to the states with Henry.
She became a military wife and embraced and adapted to the travels and new duty stations around the world. They had three children that were born in three different countries.
She took initiative to learn English and later in life, even took a class at CTC. While Henry was deployed to Vietnam, she and the children were in Hawaii, where she taught herself how to drive and got her license.
Henry and Maria settled in Killeen after being stationed at Fort Hood. After Henry retired, they made Killeen their permanent home.
In the early 1970’s Maria began working for Killeen Independent School District. She retired from KISD after a successful career of 20 years.
Her Nolan Middle School family always remained near and dear to her heart. Upon retirement, she enjoyed traveling with family and friends.
She showed her love to others by baking or feeding them. Every time she wanted to show her appreciation to someone or a group of people she would say, “I’m going to bake them a cake” or take them lunch. She loved to bake, and everyone looked forward to her famous Christmas cookies!
When she wasn’t gardening, one of her favorite pastimes was to sit in her backyard swing with a cold beer.
It is so hard to describe Maria’s legacy and the impact that she made on the world and those around her.
Two of her finest qualities were strength and courage, but her infectious laugh made everyone smile.
Maria lived her faith by serving her family and friends and loving unconditionally. She lived her life fiercely. She was a pioneer thinker and doer. She believed with hard work anything was possible.
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