Life Story Celebration
Sunday, December 10, 2023
2:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Independent, determined, and disciplined, Cathy Rayment lived a life devoted to her family. With a warm smile and a kind heart, Cathy met life's challenges with faith in herself and tremendous resilience, confidently living life her way. She worked hard to create a loving home, be a good role model for those she loved, and always give her very best. A loving mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt, Cathy will long be remembered and so very missed.
1947 proved a year of continued celebration of the nation's momentous victory in World War II. America's heroes eagerly returned home to a country filled with renewed spirit and hope, ready to claim their share of the American Dream, which they fought so proudly for overseas. As American prosperity grew like no time in our history, hope sprang eternal, and the Greatest Generation soon proliferated, creating the age of the Baby Boomers. In Kalamazoo, Michigan, the cause for celebration grew even greater for Dale and Mollie Reynard as they welcomed their daughter, Mollie Catherine, to their family on May 13.
Growing up in West Michigan, Cathy enjoyed the good company of her younger siblings, Christie and Dale. Though she was named after her mother, Cathy always went by her middle name. Her parents owned coin laundromats, which required working seven days a week and left little time for leisure. Most of the family's time away from home was spent visiting relatives and spending time at the family cottage in Allegan County.
Cathy attended Kalamazoo Public Schools. While in high school, she was active in the band and swam briefly on the school swim team. After graduating from Loy Norrix High School with the class of 1965, Cathy attended Western Michigan University. In time, she graduated with her bachelor's degree in Biology. With her degree in hand, Cathy moved to California with a friend, where she worked some odd jobs. She then moved to Boston for a time before returning to Kalamazoo.
As a single mother, Cathy devoted herself to providing a good life for her son, Erich. She put her biology degree to use working in a local lab and saved enough to purchase a house on Standish Street. She turned the house into a lovely home for herself and Erich. It became a place to celebrate special events and holidays as well as feel the comforts of routine and stability. When the lab closed, she was offered a position at another location, but rather than relocate with her son, she decided to go back to school and earn a Masters degree in Information Systems. She then secured a job at Fabri-Kal and worked there for several decades until her retirement.
Kalamazoo was home for Cathy. She enjoyed the make-up of the city and the surrounding area. She enjoyed skiing in the winter and all the seasons that Michigan has to offer an active person. She got great satisfaction in mentoring a young girl through High School, not only in the academic part of being a teenager, but the emotional support as well.
Cathy lived the principles she believed in, especially around health. She was always physically active and a conscious eater. She loved to exercise and would get up early in the morning to swim. Prepackage food and snacks were limited, and Sundays were when she would do a lot of cooking; she referred to Sundays as Cooking Blitzes. She always made nutritious and healthy dinners for Erich, though she would make a great macaroni salad for family get-togethers.
As in her own childhood, family time with Erich was spent at the family cottage in Allegan County and visiting family, especially her sister Christie and her family in Iowa. They also enjoyed two major trips via Amtrack out west. As Erich grew into adulthood and had a family of his own, Cathy enjoyed becoming a grandmother. As Erich and his family lived out of state, she would try to fly out to visit them at least three or four times a year, and she made the best of time with her granddaughters. She also enjoyed more extensive travels that even involved a couple of trips over seas.
Cathy continued to lead by example, consistently exercising, eating healthfully, reading great mysteries, and being the best parent and grandparent she could be. Sadly, she was diagnosed with vascular dementia. With signature independence and personal fortitude, after a few mishaps, she decided to move into Northwoods Assisted Living in 2019. Unfortunately, the resulting isolation from the Pandemic made things difficult for her and her family.
A powerful role model for all who were blessed to know her, Cathy's indomitable spirit and confident independence will continue to inspire those she loved. As we celebrate Cathy's beautiful life, may we find much comfort in our many treasured memories and in the honor of carrying her legacy forward. In each moment we trust ourselves, give our very best, work to make our dreams come true, and take good care of ourselves and others, we keep Cathy's spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired each of us.
Cathy Rayment, age 76, of Kalamazoo, died on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. Members of her family include her son Erich; 3 grandchildren, Allison, Madeline, and Caitlin; a sister, Christie (Jim) Wood; a brother, Dale (Susan) Reynard; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Cremation has taken place. Please join us for a Life Story service at 1:30 pm on Sunday, December 10, at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A reception where food, drinks, and stories will be shared will be held immediately following the service in the Life Story Center. Visit Cathy's web page at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.