In 1967, Mom returned to teaching as a part time relief for the principal in Miami Elementary. Here is the way Mom outlined her teaching positions in the 56th Manitoba Normal School Reunion 2004 yearbook: “1967-68 –Principal relief in Miami. 1969-1980-Teaching Principal grade IV-VI Altamont. 1980-1991-grade V and resource in Miami Elementary. 1991-2001-retired but subbed. Drove to Winnipeg for 9 years-received Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1977.” Mom and daughter Patricia shared teaching grade 5 in Miami Elementary in 2001 her last year of teaching. In 2005, Mom was particularly proud to have her permit teaching experiences published in Dr. Louisa Loeb’s book called Manitoba Permit Teachers of World War II.
Catherine was artistic and painted t-shirts, wooden boxes, stones, ceramic tiles-on just about anything that struck her fancy. She loved to knit and always had a sweater or ear-band on the go for her grandchildren. She and Edward also curled throughout the winter months in their younger years and liked to bonspiel with neighbours and good friends Ruby and Jim Simpson. Catherine watched curling on TV and referred to all the Manitoba and Canadian players by their first names. Catherine played ringette with the Miami Ring Dingers on the sisters-daughter line of Doreen Storey, June Stockford and Pat Steppler. As well, Catherine and Eddie were Altamont Cub and Scout leaders for over ten years and were both proud members of the Altamont Legion. They attended both WW2 Liberation Anniversary celebrations in Holland. Catherine and Eddie loved to travel especially to Portugal returning there several times. They spent a portion of the winter months in Victoria BC every year. Catherine made delicious homemade fudge from Great Grandma Madill’s recipe and beat the fudge by hand until it was smooth and the best fudge ever-always a special treat at Christmas time. Catherine was an independent, fiercely proud woman who was ever so proud of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Catherine entered hospital January 14, 2021 and passed away January 19 at Boundary Trails Hospital two months short of her 93rd birthday. She leaves to mourn her passing son Gordon (Karen), daughter Patricia (Dan) Steppler as well as six grandsons: David (Linda) Orchard, Evan Orchard, Ian (Sandy) Steppler, Geoff (Sarah) Steppler, Adam (Amber) Steppler, and Andre (Katie) Steppler. She also leaves sixteen great grandchildren: Lila, Fiona, Lincoln and Etta Orchard; Lori, Michael, April, Charlie, and Lea Steppler; Benjamin and Penny Steppler; Louise and Rosa Steppler; and Brynn, Brayden and Declan Steppler. Catherine is survived by two sisters Ruth Haines and June Stockford as well as sister-in-law Nora (Orchard) McConnell. Catherine was predeceased by parents Gordon and Fanny Madill, sisters Isabelle (in childhood), and Doreen Storey; infant great grandson Garrett Steppler; brothers-in-law Ron McConnell, Tom Storey, Geordie Haines, and Murray Stockford; brother and sisters-in-law Warder Orchard, Muriel Orchard and Marge Orchard; Wilma and Duncan Stewart, Amy and Gordon Armstrong, Alma and Art Dixon, and Rose and Norval Brooks.
The family would like to express their appreciation to the ambulance staff, doctors and the nursing staff at Boundary Trails Hospital for their compassion and care during Mom’s short stay.
A private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Altamont Community Hall Renovation project or to a charity of their choosing.