Catherine Marie "Cassy" Reifschneider, nee Hoeffken, 93, of Belleville, Ill., born June 26, 1922, in Belleville, Ill., passed away Tuesday, June 7, 2016, at St. Paul's Home in Belleville, Ill., surrounded by her family.
Catherine was the sole surviving member of the large Hoeffken family raised on West Cleveland Avenue in Belleville, Ill. She graduated from the Academy of Notre Dame in 1940 and served in the U.S. Navy (Naval Reserves) as a WAVE during World War II from 1943 to 1945. After the war, she married another Belleville native, Elmer L. "Dutch" Reifschneider. Together, they raised five children on their family farm south of Belleville.
Catherine was a lifetime member of St. Peter's Cathedral Parish, Belleville, Ill. She was a past president and member of St. Elizabeth's Hospital Auxiliary since 1976, and she was a volunteer with the American Red Cross for 20 years. She also volunteered for numerous community charity activities. Always a good hostess, she coordinated her high school reunion gatherings, most notably her 70th Academy of Notre Dame reunion in 2010 and a smaller gathering of the 75th reunion in 2015.
Catherine enjoyed traveling and was able to visit Europe and Hawaii with her husband before his death at age 63. Visits with her daughter Jean took her to Gunnison, Colo., in the late 1980's, which led to her spending summers there for 20 years along the beautiful Gunnison River.
Always an optimist, she survived a serious struggle with cancer in 2012 and managed to live at home by herself until recently.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer, whom she married on Sept. 4, 1946, and who died on Oct. 10, 1984; her parents, Henry F. and Emma, nee Stark, Hoeffken; five brothers, Brother Theodore Hoeffken, S.M., Raymond, Elmer, Sylvester, and Eugene "Utch" Hoeffken; and four sisters, Rita (Walter) Gundlach, Martha (Casper) Yoch, Lydia (Fred) Vangenhen, and Henrietta (John) Bauer.
Surviving are her five children, Robert L. (Nancy) Reifschneider of Belleville, Ill., Karen (Andrew) Jackson of Grafton, Ill., James C. (Donna) Reifschneider of Smithton, Ill., Jean (David) Lensch of Eagle Creek, Ore., and Louis G. (Anne) Reifschneider of Normal, Ill.; nine grandchildren, Emily (Scott) Morris, Jennifer (Matthew) LaFontaine, Timothy (Angie) Stumpf, Aaron Reifschneider, Julie Reifschneider, Elizabeth Reifschneider, Ryan (Debra) Reifschneider, Matthew Lensch, and Jacob Lensch; nine great-grandchildren; a brother-in-law, John Young; a sister-in-law, Ceely Hoeffken Boden; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hincke Residence for Retired Priests in the Belleville Diocese or in the form of Masses. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 10, 2016, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, Ill., and from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, June 11, 2016, at St. Peter's Cathedral Catholic Church, Belleville, Ill.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 11, 2016, at St. Peter's Cathedral Catholic Church, Belleville, Ill., with Msgr. John Myler officiating. Burial will follow at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, Ill.
GEORGE RENNER & SONS FUNERAL HOME, Belleville, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from June 9 to June 10, 2016