Catherine Jeanne Hessing Robertson 1949 - 1990

Cathy's Beautiful Life:

Mother & Wife

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 attended Notre Dame High School which was an all-girls Catholic School.  While in school she participated in drama and art classes.  Cathy was such the artist that she was constantly doodling and drawing, leaving her artwork in random places around the house. She had a great experience her junior year as she won the VFW poster contest. Her older sister, Donna, chaperoned her on a trip to Chicago so she could accept her award.  It was an exciting time for her because she received sponsors for the trip home on her first and only airplane ride.  One spring, during her high school years, she went with her father to the local electric company picnic.  There she was introduced to Lyndel Robertson.  He began courting her, taking her to movies and before she graduated in the spring of 1968, he asked her to marry him.  The two married in October of that year and started a life together that centered around production agriculture in Mendon, IL. Before they started a family Cathy worked at the local bank. 

         Both Lyndel and Cathy came from big families so it was only natural that they wanted several children themselves.  Cathy had her first born, Rochelle, in December of 1969.  While Cathy was pregnant with their second child she and Lyndel purchased land in Missouri to expand into their own farming operation. They moved to Missouri in 1975 and a few months later, Rhonda, was born.  Renee was born 18 months after Rhonda and then finally her baby boy, Eric, came along in 1979.  Both Lyndel and Cathy thought they were done having children but God blessed her one more time with a pregnancy.  She was surprised and had already gotten rid of a lot of baby items, but her friends threw her a surprise baby shower to help her prepare.  Surprised she was.  She was embarrassed that she wasn't dressed appropriately for a baby shower!  No one cared how she looked because she deserved to be the center of attention.  Roxanne was her beautiful 5th child that was born in 1982.  Cathy was so proud of her family.

          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. Roxanne also has her passion for animals.  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 and love for animals. Scott has her love of the outdoors.  And every single one of her children love to cook and are a natural in the kitchen.  Cathy would be proud that even her son cooks many meals for his family.

        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. 


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