Catherine Ellen Reardon LaChapelle

April 9, 2010

Catherine Ellen Reardon LaChapelle, 1930-2010

Catherine (Cathy) Ellen Reardon LaChapelle was born Aug. 15, 1930, in Arcadia, Wisconsin,  to Edmund and Catherine, an only sister to Francis and Thomas. She attended St. Aloysius Grade School, graduated from Arcadia High School and graduated from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee.

Married to James Michael LaChapelle in 1954, Catherine delivered their first four children (including a set of twins) in a two and one-half year period and the next three were soon to follow. She relished being a mother. While in Milwaukee, she taught elementary school and then moved into Adult Basic Education for disadvantaged adults pursuing GEDs at the Milwaukee Area Technical College. She earned her MS in Adult Education Administration and Supervision from the University of Wisconsin.

When the family moved to the Chicago area, she became a Dean of the Lifelong Learning Institute at Harper College. Later, she served as the executive director of the Dupage Senior Citizen’s Council. As a member of the Board of Alexian Brothers Medical Center, she helped spearhead the establishment of their hospice program.

Catherine realized a lifelong dream of retiring to her grandparents’ lake property and settled into a rich life in the north woods of Rhinelander, Wis. She served as president of the Institute for Learning in Retirement, where she planned curriculum and taught classes on opera appreciation. She played various roles in the local chapter of the American Association of University Women. Catherine forged lifelong friendships wherever she found herself. In the spirit of her deep faith, she always volunteered at her current local parish and she was a devoted activist in ecumenical, global, political, social justice, educational and civil rights initiatives.

Finally, as her health deteriorated, Catherine became an active, joyful, participant in the community life at the Commons on Marice, in Eagan, Minn., where, on Feb. 13, 2010, she died, surrounded by her adoring husband, James, her beloved children, Mark, Mary, James, Paul, Suzanne and Andrew; in-laws and granddaughters. Catherine reassured her loved ones that she’d had a remarkable life and looked ahead to joining those who went before her including daughter, Jane.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday May 22, Church of the Assumption, 51 W 7th St, St. Paul MN(www.assumptionsp.org). Internment at Calvary Cemetery, Arcadia, will be at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 23. Memorials to Catherine R. LaChapelle College Scholarship Fund, Wells Fargo Center, 90 S 7th St., Minneapolis MN 55402.

–The Arcadia News- Leader

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