Edina - Catherine "Kate" Ann (Culligan) Driessen, age 98, formerly of Waseca, MN. A gracious and dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Kate passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 7. Preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Gene Driessen, she will be dearly missed by her loving family and friends.
Kate was born July 3, 1922, in Porter, MN, daughter of Emmett and Anna Culligan, and moved throughout her childhood, living in St. Paul, MN, Phoenix and Yuma, AZ, Fort Wayne, IN, and La Grange, IL. A 1940 graduate of Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park, IL, she attended DePaul University and graduated from Rosary College in Chicago in 1944 with a degree in music. She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi sorority at Rosary and lived for a time at the Three Arts Club in Chicago. She loved music of all types, avidly played the piano and greatly enjoyed going to orchestra and choral events. After college, she moved to Southern California to work as a Girl Scout leader. After WWII, she married Gene Driessen on April 12, 1947, in San Bernardino, CA, and together, they nurtured and educated nine children, living also in Los Altos and Palo Alto, CA, moving to Hopkins, MN, and finally settling in Waseca in 1962.
Kate's faith was very important to her, and she was involved in religious education and eucharistic ministry at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Waseca. She loved her multiple bridge clubs, and was a highly skilled player and enthusiastic competitor. In addition, she volunteered at the Waseca Arts Center and Waseca Medical Center, and she was active with Rotary International along with Gene. They relished the opportunity to travel worldwide, including witnessing the historic events at Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Family meant everything to Kate, and she brought her family together. Kate and her husband, Gene, treasured their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and supported their extended families' many academic, musical, artistic, athletic and career endeavors. She remembered each grandchild's birthday every year, and her grandchildren proudly say today that "their cousins are their best friends." Kate spent summers with her family at their cabin on Gull Lake, volunteered for Gull Lake Sailing School and was often seen swimming near Rocky Point.
In addition to Kate's enduring love of music, she enjoyed a daily nap, puzzles, any game of cards and a cup of coffee or tea. We marvel at how she managed to cook 25-pound turkeys at Thanksgiving and will think of her whenever we pray the rosary.
Kate is survived by her nine children: Jeannette (Mike) Roach of Randall, MN; Daniel (Joyce) Driessen of Rosemount, MN; Elizabeth Driessen of Wayzata, MN; Thomas (Karen) Driessen of Asheville, NC; Charles (Kris) Driessen of Lake Shore, MN; Catherine (Chuck) Arvesen of Pine Springs, MN; Vincent (Martha) Driessen of Edina, MN; Peter Driessen (Nina) of Minneapolis, MN; and Gerald (Nancy) Driessen of St. Louis Park, MN; by 35 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren; by her brother, Fr. Kevin Culligan of Hubertus, WI, sister-in-law Jean Doris of Chicago, IL, and many loving nieces and nephews. Kate was preceded in death by her parents, siblings and their spouses: Mary (Jim) Caterina; Therese Caterina; Anna Marie (Burt) Aamodt; Tom Culligan; John (Joyce) Culligan; and Jude (Marge) Culligan.
Private Mass of Christian Burial will be held for immediate family only, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery. A celebration of life is planned for a future date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Discalced Carmelite Friars, 1525 Carmel Road, Hubertus, WI, 53033 (www.holyhill.com
), or Bethlehem Inn, A Home for Women and Children, 400 2nd Ave. NW, Waseca, MN 56093 (www.Bethleheminnwaseca.org
). Special thanks to the dedicated staff at English Rose, where Kate lived her last four years.
For online condolences, please visit www.dennisfuneralhomes.com
Published by Waseca County News from Feb. 11 to Feb. 12, 2021.