Catherine Bloom, 75 of Brownsburg, Indiana peacefully passed away on February 3, 2021 in her home.
Catherine Ann Bloom was born at Mercy Hospital in Clinton, Iowa on October 4th, 1945. Her loving parents were William Joseph Bloom Jr. and Mary Gertrude "Gertie" (Murtogh) Bloom.
Even in her early years Cathy was known to have a little extra spark, spice and spunk. As a child she was full of energy and loved to talk to anyone and everyone. All the time. She said she had the extra spark because she was the true middle child in a family of four. Mary, the oldest was gentle and responsible. Helen, the baby was quiet and obedient. Then there was Bill, the only boy of the family, just 18 months older than Cathy. She said she had to have a little extra spark in order to garner all the attention she thought she rightfully deserved.
She knew that living on a four generation family farm in the rolling hills of rural Clinton County, Iowa was an idyllic place to grow up. Surrounded by family, friends, bikes and horses. She was happy, even if she longed to have a few more friends in close proximity. Talking on a party line phone wasn’t ideal for long conversations or sharing secrets.
She loved to play house in the empty corn crib with her dolls, her younger sister, Helen, and her friends. She played in the creek and barn with her brother, Bill, and neighbor J.F., often playing cowboys and Indians. They pretended to hold Mass and funerals for each other on their big front porch. Cathy preferred not to play the part of the deceased, as that meant she couldn’t talk, which was quite the hardship for her.
Her favorite place to be was working outside on the farm alongside her brother and father. She often said that her sisters, Mary and Helen, learned valuable cooking and homemaking skills, while she learned to drive a tractor and sort hogs. These were skills that she said were not overly helpful to her in her adult life living in town. Even without the domestic skills of her sisters, she was often sent to the homes of elderly relatives to help with household duties. In reality, she believed she was actually sent there to offer company and companionship. After all she loved to talk, had a quick wit, and could always add a little fun to anyone’s day.
During high school she worked as a carhop at the A&W in DeWitt. She was a little disappointed that her particular A&W did not have the carhops wear roller skates. She enjoyed her tips and felt her chatty nature helped her earn the big tip of a nickel. She graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in 1963. Her graduating class of 20 was dear to her. She was a proud St. Joe’s Warbird and member of the National Honor Society.
After graduation she joined her sister, Mary, at Iowa Mutual Insurance Company in DeWitt, Iowa. She worked a variety of jobs through the years including keypunch operator, school crossing guard, custodian, school bus driver, landlord and owner of the Eldridge Bike Shop.
After marriage she was a little surprised to find how much she enjoyed being a mother. She loved to be around kids and volunteered at preschool, was a room mother, a Parent Teacher Association member, Brownie leader, basketball coach, and 4-H leader. She taught CCD class to fourth graders for several years at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Long Grove, Iowa. She was an active and faithful parishioner of St. Ann’s and was a member of the St. Ann’s Sociables (SAS) where she formed lifelong friends. She earned a job as a school bus driver for the North Scott School District in Eldridge. It was her favorite job, combining her love of kids and her love of driving rural Iowa country roads, even if she did have to obey the speed limit while on the job. In 1991, as an innocent bystander, she was involved in a freak accident with a grain auger. This, and a few other unfortunate events, eventually led her to move to Indiana to join her daughter Lori and son-in-law, James. She was happily settled in her new home in Brownsburg before the arrival of her first grandchild, Jacob.
As hard as it was to leave her family and friends in her beloved home state of Iowa, she jumped into her new life in Indiana with her usual energy. She was thankful that she was not severely suffering from the dire prognosis after the accident. She knew that God had improved her health to the point that she could serve others. She joined the Altar Society and Singles Group as well as other committees at St. Malachy Catholic Church in order to serve others and make friends along the way. She joined the Hendricks County Homemakers Club, Chat N’ Do and Hendricks County Welcome Wagon. She joined card clubs and fundraising groups. She volunteered to be a board member and later president of her condo community, serving and making many friends.
She was active in politics and was elected as a delegate. She loved America. She served and met many good friends through these activities. When her first grandchild, Jacob, was born, to say she was ecstatic would be an understatement. Her joy was doubled when her granddaughter, Jacquelyn, was born.In addition to babysitting her grandchildren part time, she took a job with the YMCA providing before and after school care at local elementary schools. She was able to meet wonderful friends through her job and got to enjoy time with the kids.
As Jacob and Jacquelyn grew, she was instrumental in their lives. Never imagining her grandkids would be home-schooled, she embraced it with enthusiasm. She was a teacher with patience, diligence and fun. She taught everything from sight words to cursive to algebra. Being a lefty made her an excellent instructor for her left-handed grandson. She drove them to classes and took them on field trips. She hosted tea parties, costume parties and workshops. She was serving in her favorite way. She was so extremely proud of her son, Bob, a pharmacist living and working in Chicago.
Cathy treasured her trips with her son. They traveled to New York City, where she loved seeing the Statue of Liberty and enjoyed seeing plays together. Cathy was thrilled with their trip to Ireland, visiting the Knock Shrine, Blarney Castle, Galway and Dublin. They visited Venice and Rome together, attending a Papal Audience of Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter’s Basilica. Additional adventures took them to Niagara Falls, Florida, the Bahamas, Mexico and Belize.
She was an enthusiastic fan of Jacquelyn’s sports endeavors. She especially loved Jacquelyn’s basketball team, the Indianapolis Living Water Marlins. She was looking forward to watching Jacquelyn play volleyball in college. Cathy graciously hosted Jacquelyn’s college athlete signing party at her home.
Cathy was a faithful and fun person. She has been described as spunky, spicy and full of life. Active until she was admitted to the hospital, she communicated her health care plan and her final wishes to her family and doctors with no hesitation. Her concern for her family and sense of humor were always evident. We are thankful that, as she requested, we were able to bring her home for her final days. She was surrounded by love, family, music and prayers.
She is survived by her sister, Mary W. Bloom of DeWitt, IA; her brother, William E. (wife Mary) Bloom of Ankeny, IA; her son, Robert Hoepner of Chicago, IL; her daughter, Laura (husband James) Burks of Jamestown, IN; and her grandchildren, Jacob and Jacquelyn Burks. She was preceded in death by her sister, Helen Bloom.
She will be greatly missed by her friends and family. A little spark will be missing from all of our lives, but we are grateful to know of her love for Jesus and her deep faith. We trust that we will see each other again.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice, St. Malachy Catholic School, St. Joseph’s School, or Indianapolis Living Water Marlins.
Friends and family will gather at Eric M.D. Bell Funeral Home for visitation on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 from 11 am until 12 pm. At that time, there will be a procession to St. Malachy Catholic Church, where there will be a recitation of the Rosary beginning at 12:30 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1 pm.
Arrangements are entrusted to Eric M.D. Bell Funeral Home in Pittsboro, Indiana. All are encouraged to share thoughts, prayers, and memories with Cathy's family on her memorial page found on the funeral home's website, www.ericmdbell.com .
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her,
May she rest in peace. Amen
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St. Joseph School
417 6th Avenue, DeWitt IA 52742
Saint Malachy Parish School
7410 N County Road 1000 East, Brownsburg IN 46112
Living Water Marlins Home School Basketball