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Clarabelle Katz

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Clarabelle Katz Obituary
Clarabelle "Skip" Katz

Ceresco

Clarabelle "Skip" Katz of Ceresco, went home to her Lord and Savior on Christmas Day of 2014 while in the loving care of her family at Maplewood of Marshall. 

Skip was born at home in Homer to Walter and Grace (Downs) Mansfield on September 2, 1924.  She was raised in Homer, where she was a member of the Homer High School 1943 graduating class.

While attending a dance with her sister and brother-in-law Ethel and Floyd Hazel, she met Rex B. Katz.  Rex was there with his sister Donna and he convinced Donna to introduce him to Skip.  Donna then sat between Rex and Skip.  As his first official act of courtship Rex proceeded to reach behind his sister's back to pull the ribbons from Skip's hair!  Well, they fell in love and were married on August 23 of 1943 at the Marengo United Methodist Church.  Rex served in the Army Air Corps during WWII as an Air Crew Chief in Europe for a B-17 crew.  Rex named two of the B-17's after her as "Lil Skippy". 

After Rex's honorable discharge and his return, the couple ended up moving to Ceresco in 1948, where she has lived since.   They first ran a sawmill behind their home there and in 1960 established "Katz Well Drilling", which their family still owns and operates today.   Skip was a member of the Michigan Well Drillers Association Ladies Auxiliary.   Skip took care of all the office work until her retirement in the early 1980's. Rex preceded her in death on February 2, 1999. 

Skip was a member for nearly all of her life of the Ceresco Baptist Church family.  There she volunteered for vacation bible school, helped prepare meals and helped with the church's Food Pantry.  She was a member of their Martha Circle. 

She was well known in the neighborhood for her cookies.  She knew every kids favorite and provided appropriately!  Those kids remember that to this day as adults and still share the story.  Skip and Rex belonged and participated in the Ceresco Community Club. 

She loved to dance with the love of her life, Rex, and their children remember their parents as an affectionate couple who danced together in their kitchen at home as they grew up.  They both loved music and square danced for many years. 

Skip was a member of Women Of  The Moose of Moose Lodge 676 in Marshall, and enjoyed playing euchre there.  She enjoyed trips to the Fredonia Grange on Wednesday nights when Rex and other musicians would gather to play their music.  Skip would read in her spare time as well as enjoy time with family and friends.  She will be remembered for her smile, wonderful personality and those hugs!

Surviving are her children Martha "Marty" (Dan) Rine of Freeland, and Mike (Robin) Katz and Katherine "Kathy" Katz McConville all of Battle Creek, 14 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. 

Besides Rex she was preceded in death by her parents, a grandson David Katz, 4 sisters Louise Dunham, Helen Tesch and Ruth Willeart and Ethel Hazel, and her brothers Gerald Mansfield at the age of 4, and Robert Mansfield. 

Friends may call at Craig K. Kempf Family Funeral Homes, Marshall Chapel on Monday from 5PM-8PM.  A Celebration Of Skip's Life will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday at 1PM with Pastor Gary Schooler of Ceresco Baptist Church officiating.  Interment will follow at Lyon Lake Cemetery, and a meal will follow that at the Robin's Nest.  The family suggests memorials to either Ceresco Baptist Church or Oaklawn Hospice.  Assistance available at Kempf Funeral Home.  www.kempffuneralhome.com



Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on Dec. 28, 2014
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