The small things in life…that is what Cathy Robertson placed importance on. Like dancing around in the living room with her kids, listening to “Just a Swinging” on the 45 record player.
This is our mom…
Catherine Jeanne Hessing was born on October 22, 1949 in Quincy, Illinois to Donald and Marguerite Schrand Hessing. She was the 4th of 5 children to be born to the Hessings. Her siblings were Dianne, Ann, Donna and Charles. Her family was very strong in the Catholic faith as they all attended St. Francis Catholic Church every Sunday. It was in church where Cathy came to love singing and had many hymns that were considered her favorites such as How Great Thou Art, On Eagles Wings, Amazing Grace and Let There Be Peace on Earth.
As she grew up in Quincy, she became a good student and excelled in school. She liked to come home after school and play with her beloved dog, Dusty. Her parents would comment that the Collie dog's coat was so shiny and beautiful because Cathy took good care of him and brushed him a lot. Her love for animals didn't stop at dogs because horses got her attention too. One year for Christmas she received the book Black Stallion. That came to be her all time favorite book. After she would brush Dusty, she turned into mom’s little helper. This became useful when the bubbly, bouncy haired girl had to grow up quick because her mother became wheelchair bound. Cathy became very helpful around the house and learned to keep a home as well as begin her lifelong passion for cooking.
Cathy was a devoted mother. She stayed at home to raise her children. She was able to be there for them whenever they needed her; especially, during after school activities. She attended all games and activities. She loved watching her children in anything they did but 4-H was her favorite organization to volunteer for and she thought it was the best for her kids. She loved everything it stood for. She wanted her children to grow with leadership skills as well as develop good community service habits. Cathy was a leader of the Springhill Go-Getters 4-H Club. She also led project meetings and was perfect in the role of the sewing project leader. She made the most wonderful articles of clothing. From skirts or shirts for her little ones to suits and prom dresses when they got bigger. She was phenomenal with the sewing machine. She didn’t just know how to sew, she was a seamstress. One of the last pictures ever taken of her, she is wearing a peach colored satin top that she made for herself. It was very rare that she had time to make something for herself but her family is glad that she did. They forever have the image of her wearing something that she made beautiful.
Cathy’s love and talents showed through in her children. Rochelle and Roxanne are both good artists who have a very creative side. Rhonda has her way of thinking and has been told many times she looks like her mom. Renee shares Cathy’s love of reading as well as her good looks. Scott has her love of the outdoors.
She was the best farmer’s wife you could ask for. Everyone around knew about her cooking. She would take wonderful meals to the men in the field during planting and harvest season. She would cheat once in a while and get KFC but that was okay. She was a busy gal but dinner time was important to her. She made sure the family always gathered together for meals.
If she wasn’t cooking or cleaning then you could find her in her garden. She loved the outdoors and gardening. Her garden was famous for her tomatoes but mostly the wonderful juicy strawberries in her patch. That was the best part about summer growing up in the Robertson house. Cathy’s fresh homemade strawberry jam and shortcake! It would make your mouth water by just thinking about her strawberry patch.
Gardening became her passion in addition to cooking. She loved the new house they built in 1979 and had so many plans for the landscaping. She planted flowers and bushes and had plans for more trees every year. Not so funny at the time, but she would get mad at Lyndel because when he would mow he always ended up being overzealous and going over something she had planted! Being outdoors made her happy and she was even happier when it was hot! Her kids would beg her to turn on the central air in the early summer months but she wouldn’t even consider it until it was 95 degrees! That made for some great time at the family’s favorite summer spot, Lake Viking and Lake of the Ozarks. Many memories were made boating and skiing in the hot sun. The ironic part was that Cathy didn’t like water. But she loved the peacefulness of staying ashore and watching her kids swim, or getting in the boat, decked out in a life jacket of course, and taking a ride with her husband.
The life she lived was simple, faith-filled and beautiful. Her family only hopes that she is never forgotten.