Katherine (Kate) Augusta Sierkie Hanhardt
1884 - 1932
Katherine Sierkie Hanhardt, born in Prussia on August 5, 1884, taught voice at three Adventist colleges in the U.S. in the opening years of the twentieth century. While completing her education at the Sorbonne University in Paris, she converted to the Seventh-day Adventist message and transferred to the Adventist training school at Friedensau, Germany, in 1908 to study Bible.
In 1909, upon recommendation of Louis Richard Conradi, president of the European Division, Sierkie was asked by the General Conference to teach voice at Pacific Union College, formerly Healdsburg College, which was reopening that year in Angwin, California. Three years later she accepted an invitation to teach music at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she taught until 1915.
On December 31, 1915, she married Wesley H. Hanhardt, a minister located in Kansas. Five years later, they went to Texas, where she was known as the "sweet singer" of Southwestern Junior College and taught voice, and conducted the choir until 1923. The Hanhardts enjoyed working during summer vacations in evangelism in Texas and Oklahoma.
When he became home missionary secretary in 1923, they moved to San Antonio, Texas. She fell gravely ill while they were attending the 1930 General Conference Session in San Francisco and never fully recovered. They were living in Keene, Texas, when she was taken to a hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in October 1931. She died there on March 26, 1932, at age 47.
Sources: Obituaries, Southwestern Union Record, 13 April 1932 and Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 5 May 1932; 1921-1923 Mizpah, Southwestern Junior College yearbook; Walter C. Utt, A Mountain, A Pickax, A College, (identified in photographs of early faculty as Kate Sierkie), 1968, 52, 53; Listed as Kate Sierke(sic) in promotional materials for Union College, 1912-1915.