Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Kat Bodley

April 4, 1945 - April 19, 2023
Kalamazoo, MI



Thursday, April 27, 2023
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Bible Baptist Church
1700 N Drake
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Web Site


Thursday, April 27, 2023
12:00 PM EDT
Bible Baptist Church
1700 N Drake Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Web Site


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.

Milestone Senior Services
918 Jasper St
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Kat Bodley was a beautiful person to know and to love. An exceptional wife, mother, and grandmother, she brought great joy to the hearts of the ones she loved. Kat was known for her genuine hospitality where she treated every person she met with kindness. Deeply missed, she will forever be known for her optimistic outlook on life and her compassion for all people.

Her story began in 1945. Just a few months before WWII ended, Arthur and Emily Wolff welcomed their newborn daughter, Katherine, into their home on April 4, 1945, in Detroit, Michigan. Born one of seven siblings, her birth was a sign of hope and promise to the Wolff family. Growing up in Detroit, Kat lived a typical childhood of the times. The family were devout Catholics attending mass as well as Catholic schools. Kat was the second oldest following her sister Marge and later joined by her younger siblings, Art, Mary, Genny, Ken, and Sue. Their mother was a valued homemaker taking the time to properly raise the children while their father was a machine repairman for a factory, both instilled a strong work ethic in their children. Kat was a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Anything she set her mind to doing she always did with great passion.

Later in her early adult life, she met and married Stan Bodley, while working at the US Post Office. They were together for seventeen years and welcomed to their union two wonderful children, Stephany, and Gabrielle. In 1979, they made Kalamazoo their new home. As a mother, Kat was a fierce warrior for her children. She was actively involved in their lives yet raised them to be strong, independent, supportive, and encouraging, like her. Kat would offer her advice and guidance when needed.

A talented seamstress, Kat made their clothes when they were young and taught them both how to cross stitch and crochet, as well as how to decorate for the holidays. The children were always included in coloring Easter eggs, hanging lights on the Christmas tree, and making homemade ornaments. Jane Fonda's workouts were their way of bonding over selfcare and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some highlights included being together and making pizza from scratch! There was no doubt that Kat had a genuine love for her children.

As much as she relished her role as a mother, Kat was thrilled to have grandchildren in her life. Her love for family was evident in every part of her daily life. She prayed for each of them and was there for all of their special celebrations and highlights in their growing years. Kat enjoyed spending time with them and making them feel special in her presence. Kat wanted each of them to know the Lord and modeled a faithful life while attending Bible Baptist Church in Kalamazoo where she sang in the choir. Her inspirational voice could not only be heard in the choir but also at home. She passed her love for music and singing to Stephany who now sings in the choir in her mother’s same spot! Over the years, Kat uplifted many others through her meaningful prayers. No one ever doubted her love for them.

Kat strongly believed in being kind-hearted, loving, and generous in her relationships. When she made a friend, they were friends for life. Two very special friends were Chery Strzelecki and Louise Nimmons. Chery was like a sister for over sixty years and Louise’ friendship dates back to the years she cared for the children while Kat was working at the Post Office. Both women were central figures in her life. During her twenty years working as a circulation clerk at the Kalamazoo Public Library, she also met Gloria Leake. She and Gloria also had a special bond.

Loyal and faithful, her love of people and relationships often grew beyond friendships. That love led her to serve countless members of the community through her work as a foster grandparent, delivering meals through Meals on Wheels, serving during elections, and making calls for Senior Services. Kat gave so much of her time and resources to others in need. She enjoyed being active and giving back to her community.

When it came to relaxation, Kat immersed herself in books. She was a fervent reader and enjoyed reading mysteries. She passed on her love for reading to her children, Stephany remembers getting lost in books during her formative years and Gabi still remembers trips to the library. Kat possessed a great sense of humor and took every opportunity to laugh, smile, and have a good time! All in all, she enjoyed the moments she spent with her growing family. She counted all of them as blessings. She taught them the value of perseverance, kindness to others, and the gift of unconditional love. Kat will surely be missed by her many special friends and loved ones. She modeled a life well lived where she gave freely so much of herself to the community and the family she so loved.

Katherine Bodley, age 78, died on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. Members of her family include her two children: Stephany (David) Gipson and Gabrielle Bodley; five grandchildren: Tiah (deceased), Emari, Jalin, Nyah (deceased), and Siloam; three great-grandchildren: Eneko, Selena, Elias; six brothers and sisters: Margaret (Adrian) Verquer, Arthur (Roxanne) Wolff, Mary Dineen, Genevieve (Edward) Gabriel, Kenneth (Darlene-deceased)Wolff, and Suzanne Hock, along with several nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Funeral services will be held at Thursday (APR 27) 12 noon, at the Bible Baptist Church, 1700 N. Drake Road, Kalamazoo. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.

Visit Kat’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and to sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Milestone Senior Services, 918 Jasper St. Kalamazoo, (269) 382-0515 or milestoneseniorservices.org in lieu of flowers. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269)375-2900.