Monday, September 20, 2021
11:00 AM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
A reception will immediately follow in our Life Story Center where food, drinks, and stories will be shared. Burial at West Oshtemo Cemetery.
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
Catherine Carlisle lived a life of purpose, wonder, and true joy, even in the little things. Although her days came with unique challenges, she learned to make the most of every moment. She was deeply loved by her family and friends, and she was the sort of person who never met a stranger. Cathy had the most infectious smile and joyful personality, and she brought such light and life to all who were near. Never taking anything for granted, Cathy was happiest when surrounded by the love of the ones she treasured.
It was exciting to be an American during the 1950s. The cultural fabric of our nation was colored by the sounds of Elvis Presley and his rock ’n roll music while James Dean and Marilyn Monroe were big names on the sliver screen. The now iconic Barbie Dolls were also on the verge of production late in the decade. Amidst these national thrills there was great anticipation closer to home in the lives of Alfred and Joyce (Guiter) Carlisle as they eagerly awaited the birth of their new baby girl on August 11, 1956. Catherine was one of two children as she joined her older brother, Kenneth. Cathy was always close with her brother and they could often be found out exploring the neighborhood or playing in the yard together.
Life was challenging for Cathy given her mental challenges, but she lived each moment to the fullest. She always had a childlike wonder and fascination about life, along with a special knack for remembering people’s birthdays. Celebrating someone’s birthday was always filled with excitement, mostly for the cake and ice cream which were her favorites! She particularly looked forward to the month of August. There were so many family birthdays, there was a party at least once a week. Christmas was another favorite time of year and Cathy always made sure she was home to celebrate with family. The anticipation was so much sometimes, she’d get in a hurry to open her gifts, barely taking time to stop in between. Receiving a new baby doll to play with brought her tremendous delight.
Cathy made friends with ease no matter where she went. Her smile and pleasant personality drew people in close and she easily got along with everyone. She made many close friends at her assisted living facilities over the years. It never took her very long to get established and meet her neighbors. Together, her group made the place feel like home and Cathy became well known and loved by residents and staff alike. Cathy looked forward to shopping trips they took as a group and performances they took in, and she also went to a day camp every summer. Cathy’s heart was full of love for everyone she knew. Every time her parents called her, she would always tell them at least a dozen times how much she loved them.
With the help of her care facilities, Cathy was able to find work with Key Opportunities, Inc. in Hillsdale, which she greatly enjoyed and appreciated as it made her feel valued. In her free time, Cathy could often be found with a coloring book. It never took her long to fill the blank pages with bright, vibrant colors. Staying within in the lines didn’t matter nearly as much as the beautiful array of colors she used. Cathy especially enjoyed coloring with her niece during visits, and if there was a flower on the page she always started there first. She also loved pictures, whether receiving them, taking them, or telling stories about the pictures, these keepsakes always brought a smile to her face. Cathy could recall all the details, remembering who was there and, of course, their birthdays.
With unending love for those around her, Catherine Carlisle was such a gift to others. She had a warm and friendly smile, and her zest for life was contagious to all who were near. Cathy was always happy and positive, and her deep devotion to her friends and loved ones was unmatched. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
Catherine Carlisle, of Mattawan, died on September 12, 2021. Cathy was preceded in death by her brother, Kenneth Carlisle; and 2 uncles: Raymond Carlisle and Ivan “Sunny” Guiter. Surviving are her parents; sister-in-law: Anna Carlisle; niece: Michelle (Scott) Garland; a great-nephew: Dakota Carlisle (fiancé Taylor Krupianik); and many cousins. Please join us for a Life Story Service at 11 a.m. on Monday (SEPT 20) at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900. A reception will follow in the Life Story Center where food, drinks, and stories will be shared. Burial at West Oshtemo Cemetery. Visit Catherine’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.