Catherine attended St. Mary Grade School, Chester High School, Chester, IL, and Southwestern Illinois College, formerly Belleville Area College. She worked as an office manager and retired from Rice, Sullivan & Co., after 43 years of service. Catherine was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, had been head of the Sunday School classes for several years, served as a Eucharistic Minister at church, and was a member of the Ladies Sodality. She served on St. Mary Pastoral Council, the Liturgy Committee, and helped with Adult Education. Catherine had also taught first grade for 10 years at the Parish School of Religion at St. Mary Grade School. She enjoyed volunteering her time with the Catholic Youth Organization and the Diocesan Ministry to the Sick and Aged.
Music was an important part of her life from grade school through adulthood. She enjoyed attending plays and concerts, especially when her nephew, Stephen, was performing. Catherine sang with St. Mary Catholic Church Choir and Guitar Group, the Diocesan Chorale and Allegro.
Family always came first, and Cathy loved her siblings, daughter and son-in-law, and grandchildren immensely. She also felt blessed to have many friends and was thankful for her friendship with Msgr. William McGhee.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Michael Phillip and Jane Louise, nee Marheineke, Gaertner; a brother, Joseph Gaertner; a sister, Barbara Utnage; her niece and godchild, Jennifer Lynn Utnage; a great-niece, Emma Grace Gaertner; and a great-nephew, Benjamin Michael Gaertner.
Surviving are a daughter, Elizabeth M. (Matthew) Hancock; four grandchildren, Abby, Madison, Sophia, and Luke Hancock; two brothers, Dr. Gene (Barbara) Gaertner, and her twin brother, Phillip (Nerline) Gaertner; three sisters, Mary Gaertner, Therese (Andy) Georgen, and Margaret (Mark) Eros; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, 2022, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, June 2, 2022, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 2, 2022, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Fr. Michael Arockiam, Msgr. William McGhee, and Fr. Allen Maes, OMI concelebrating.
Burial will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.