Catherine Nowak

  • Born: October 24, 1957
  • Died: May 19, 2020
  • Location: Avon Lake, Ohio

Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

163 Avon Belden Road
Avon Lake, OH 44012
Tel. (440) 933-3202

Tribute & Message From The Family

Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Friend

Catherine Nowak (nee McCloy), 62 of Avon Lake passed away Tuesday, May 19, 2020. She was born October 24, 1957 to parents James and Faye (nee Connelley) McCloy in Cleveland, OH.

Catherine brightened all the lives she touched. She was incredibly talented with numerous interests including spirituality, yoga, writing, fine-cooking, economic research and traveling. She had an immense love and devotion to the arts, which she exercised through custom framing and sales at Vintage Gallery. She was charmingly determined, vibrant and interesting, vivacious and so beautiful. She lit up every room she entered. Catherine had an incredibly deep love for her children and grandchildren; leaving them with the fondest of memories and a set of values they will cherish for a lifetime.

Catherine was born on Cleveland Ohio's east side and in her early years attended St. Anne's grade school. During her high school years, she attended Beaumont High School, and then relocated with her family to Arizona, where she completed her high school education at the Judson School in Paradise Valley. Catherine was immensely proud of her diverse heritage, highlighted by her mom's Kentucky roots and her father's Irish heritage. Her full maiden name was Mary Catherine McCloy (which often fostered some fun conversation).

Catherine's accomplishments throughout her life displayed her immense and diverse talents. On her way to her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University, she studied Art and Architecture (and most likely other disciplines) before settling on Business, with an emphasis in Accounting and Finance. As a business professional, she worked in real estate and banking. As a sole proprietor, she founded successful small businesses which focused on retail and the marketing of art - her client's and her own. Her most recent passion, custom framing, was delivered through the Vintage Gallery. The Gallery was situated in a century home - turned business property, which Catherine purchased and renovated. The eclectic and charming store was designed and renovated by Catherine to fit her vision and unique personality. These diverse professional interests and successes highlighted her incredible skill, creativity, energy, and intelligence. In between these professional pursuits, Catherine focused her time on raising her family.

She encouraged and fostered her children to be open-minded and to explore all facets of education and career choices. All attended different universities and settled on diverse career paths. Throughout her kids' childhood years, she chaired school committees, contributed in the class rooms and organized / coordinated field trips. For a number of years she chaired the city-wide Reflections Art Fair. This venue provided all students in the Avon Lake, Ohio School District (public and private) the opportunity to display and be recognized for their talents in the arts. Each year's Fair had the feel and presentation of an event put on by a major corporation's marketing department. In her local parish, she spent several years schooling public school second grade students as they prepared for their First Communion. Her classes were designed by her to cover the curriculum while including a constant element of fun, The classes were eagerly attended by all of her students, despite being held after school. She could have been a teacher.

In the home, days were highlighted by her incredible home-cooked meals. She took note of everyone's favorite meals and prepared them for their birthday or other special occasion. The table-settings were like those of a fine restaurant. Projects were always at hand for the grand-kids. The yard was highlighted by multiple gardens with flowers, fresh herbs and vegetables. Her window boxes were noted by all. The home had a number of unique features, based on her revisions to the basic plans. The house was truly lived-in, with the door always opened.

Catherine also loved to travel. Her journeys took her to multiple countries in Europe and Asia, as well as Alaska, Canada and Mexico. Mexico was a most favorite destination. During each visit, she rented a car, did all of the driving, and treated family and friends to explore areas of Mexico experienced by few travelers. She often thrilled her passengers with journeys to historical destinations within the country. They were frequently treated to memorable activities at sea-front playas and meals and shopping trips in the heart of Mexico's neighborhoods. She made a lasting impression on many people from this country that she loved, and made many new friends there.

In recent years, she took up a passionate interest in yoga. She became a certified yoga instructor and attended yoga classes regularly. She would teach friends and family for free, delighting in teaching them the classic yoga moves as well as its underlying principles. Yoga kept her incredibly fit - physically, mentally and spiritually.

It seemed like Catherine knew a lot about many things and something about virtually everything. When a song came on the radio, she knew the artist.. When she talked politics, she knew the facts. When her friends and children needed counsel, she shared wisdom. She left an impression on everyone she met.

Catherine made miracles happen. There is so much to share about such an incredible life as hers.

She is survived by her beloved husband Ray; loving children Kelly Laschinger (Dan), Kristen Westfall (Gavin), Melissa Fallon (Andrew Phillips), Joseph Nowak, Thomas Fallon and Benjamin Nowak; cherished grandchildren Reese, Craig (Cal), Maxwell, Nolan and Addison; and many relatives and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; and her brother, James McCloy.

Private Family Prayer Services were held. A Public Funeral Mass to celebrate Catherine's life will be held Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 11am at Holy Spirit Church. 440.933.3202


Condolence & Memory Journal

Rest in the arm's of the angels Cath. My prayers and hugs to her family - Alison(Archacki)Dyke

Posted by Alison Dyke - Kirtland, OH - Friend   June 23, 2020

Cathy was my close friend during adolescence and one of the most gifted people I know -- intellectually, artistically and energetically. She was such a determined survivor and so I was shocked to learn of her death. I remember how much fun she could be and also her fierce devotion. Cathy is much in heart today and I will miss her dearly.

Posted by Elizabeth Flynn - Shelburne, VT - Friend   June 06, 2020

Cathy was my Judson sister.. she did light up the room wherever she went. We had many lovely times together over the years . Still having a hard time believing she didnt make it . I thought for sure with her positive disposition and strong will she would :( glad we spent the wee hours together at the last reunion and that she cane from a vaca in Mexico just to be with us.❤❤

Posted by Tereasa - Friend   May 25, 2020

Dear Ray and family. So sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. .at the LORD comfort you and give you peace. Love your cousin Michelle Benda Pae.

Posted by Michelle Pae - Family   May 24, 2020

My 45 year journey with my dearest Judson Sister. I called you my best friend because you always were. I love you with all my heart and I'm already missing you. My heart aches

Posted by Margee Hartin - Phoenix, AZ - Classmate   May 24, 2020

Dear Ray and family, my deepest sympathies to you on the passing of Catherine. The obituary description is so accurate and wonderfully captured her spirit. I especially remember her intellectual strength and kindness. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.
Warm regards, John Tenerow (Middletown, DE)

Posted by John Tenerow - Coworker   May 24, 2020

Your Mom was a beautiful woman. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. All my love. Tracy And Grace Fallon

Posted by Theresa Fallon - Cleveland, OH - Family   May 23, 2020

Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers during this incredibly sad time. May God give you all much strength. My deepest sympathy,

Posted by Cindy McGinty - North Olmsted, OH - Friend   May 23, 2020

y deepest sympathy to the family
Barbara Demko Werner
Rocky River Ohio

Posted by Barbara Werner - Friend   May 23, 2020

Cathy was a very special woman and will be greatly missed by her lifetime friends. Prayers for her family as they mourn their great loss.

Posted by Barb Brennan Abraham - North Olmsted, OH - Friend   May 22, 2020

Dearest Brother Raymond and ALL of Mary's and Your wonderful Children,
Judy and I, give our Sincerest and Deepest love for Mary (Catherine), she was always so kind and giving to us and our family over the many years - She made a Very Special and Memorable connection with ALL of US in Arizona - She and YOU and YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY will forever be part of the NOWAK Arizona heritage.
ALL of our children , Susan, Brian, Julie and Jenny have expressed their deepest sorrow, after learning of Catherine passing from US, they ALL pray for Mary (Catherine) and know SHE is in Heaven and will guide GOD's Mercy and Grace to All of US.
love Judy and Bob, Susan, Brian, Julie and Jenny

Posted by Judy and Bob Nowak - Mesa, AZ - Family   May 22, 2020

My heart goes out to the family. Even though I have been far away for many years, I well remember my Beaumont sister of the Class of 75. Peace be in your hearts and minds as you go though this sorrowful time.

Posted by Celeste Cooper - Orlando, FL - Classmate   May 22, 2020

Aloha. I am a classmate of Cathy's from Beaumont. Cathy was so supportive when we got news of various medical complications with our son. Her empathy, even though we hadn't seen each other in years, truly touched us.

Prayers and hugs to all of you.

Sharon Latkovich Valente

Posted by Sharon Latkovich Valente - Kapolei, HI - Friend   May 22, 2020

Family Album