Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Katie Stevens

May 30, 1934 - April 12, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI



Tuesday, April 16, 2024
1:00 PM EDT
St. Monica Catholic Church
4408 S Westnedge Ae
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 345-4389

A reception will follow in the church hall.



Tuesday, April 16, 2024
3:30 PM EDT
Mt. Olivet Cemetery
2003 Mt. Olivet Rd.
Kalamazoo, MI 49004


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.

St Monica Catholic Church
4408 S Westnedge Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 345-4389
Web Site

Marquette University School of Nursing
Emory T. Clark Hall, 265
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-8014
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With unconditional love and a servant's heart, Katie Stevens lived a life rich in faith, family, and friends. Katie welcomed each moment as a gift and every person as a friend. She had a quirky way of making everything fun and treating everyone as special. In her good company, even the simple everyday things were an experience. Whether watching a ball game, going for a swim, tending to patients, practicing her faith, or encouraging her loved ones, Katie led with her heart, modeling how to live life to the fullest. A devoted mother, grandmother, and friend, Katie will long be remembered and so dearly missed.

Catherine was welcomed to the world by her parents, Joseph and Della, on May 30 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Raised in the Westnedge Hill neighborhood, Katie's brother died shortly after being born. Her parents owned an ice cream shop on Burdick Street where she spent time. Katie took ballet lessons and was a dancer in high school. Later in life, a friend of hers from dancing led an exercise class at the YWCA and invited her to join. Katie enjoyed the class, taught the class at times and made many friends.

Katie graduated from Nazareth Academy before continuing her studies at Marquette University, where she studied to be a nurse like her mother. She graduated with her bachelor's degree and returned to Kalamazoo, where she began her nursing career at Borgess Hospital and remained a lifelong fan of Marquette.

Katie met the love of her life, Jackson Stevens, on a successful blind date. The pair dated for a time, married, and joyfully welcomed children to their family. Pat and Joe were the centers of their worlds, and Katie chose to be a full-time mom and raise her children in the same neighborhood where she grew up. Once her children were in school, she returned to nursing, working at the WMU infirmary and Upjohn Nursing Home. Much to her delight, Katie's daughter became a nurse, too.

Sadly, Jackson died in 1984 at the age of 52. With signature strength, Katie navigated the loss with grace and determination. Leaning into her family, work, and friends, she continued to embrace life and live each moment to the fullest. One of her great joys was swimming. Where there was water, Katie was soon swimming. Her children and grandchildren recognized her in the water by her white swimming cap. They'd often see her head bobbing in and out of the water.

Always health conscious, Katie was disciplined about exercise, nutrition, being active, and her faith. Often ahead of her time, she had a personal trainer and drank kombucha long before it was a popular drink. She was a foodie, carefully researching restaurants and always ready with good recommendations. Katie also enjoyed traveling back to Milwaukee during the summer to visit Marquette University friends and take trips with them. She never passed up a chance to go to Chicago, where she often traveled while in college, staying with her aunt and uncle on her way to see family back in Kalamazoo. A devoted Catholic, Katie was a longtime member of St. Monica parish, where she explored and celebrated her faith in fellowship and made many friends along the way.

Very involved in her grandchildren's lives, Katie relished sharing their lives. She'd clip articles and fun things from the newspaper, including many Family Circus comic strips, to send to her kids and grandkids. Her grandkids' biggest fan, she proudly cheered them on in all their endeavors. Fondly known by the Portage Northern and Forest Hills Northen community as "Barking Grandma," Katie's rooting for the Huskies with her unique barking sounds proved legendary.

Katie had beautiful penmanship in a style all her own. She loved a nice beer and once declared, "I'm sure God made Oberon just for me." The only time Katie turned the TV on was to watch sports, especially NCAA sports and men's basketball at every level. She'd also listen to games on the radio. Katie made a lot of noises in response to life, including "Mmm, Mmmm, Mmmm" when things were particularly good.

Though life feels far less certain in the absence of Katie's steadfast companionship, may we find much comfort in our many treasured memories of the beautiful woman we were so lucky to know. May we also find comfort in carrying Katie's legacy of faith, hope, and love forward in our own lives. In each moment we confidently face life's hardships, give of our time and talents in service of others, give gratitude for our blessings, and relish the extraordinary in the ordinary, we celebrate the countless ways Katie made the world a better place. In this way, we keep her vibrant spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.

Catherine Stevens of Kalamazoo, age 89, died on April 12, 2024. Katie is preceded in death by her husband, Jackson; her brother, James; and her parents, Joseph and Della. Surviving are her children: Pat (Tom) Hill and Joe (Adrienne) Stevens; grandchildren: Catherine (Pete) Engle, Tom (Dana) Hill, Sydney (Jeff) Nordquist, Grace (Yan) Hernandez, and Joely Stevens; great-grandchildren: Ashton and Jackson Hill, Hayes, Nellie, and Willa Nordquist, and Reinaldo Hernandez.

Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, April 16, at 1 PM at St. Monica Catholic Church. A reception will follow. Burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Visit Katie's webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories and photos and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Monica Catholic Church or Marquette University College of Nursing. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900.