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Author Topic: CUMMINGS, Catherine "Cathy" - b. May 17, 1935 - d. March 20, 2020  (Read 103 times)

Offline patyrn

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Catherine F. Cummings of Moline, Kansas passed away peacefully the morning of March 20, 2020 at the age of 84.  She did it her way being in her home with her love of 66 years, Lon R. Cummings, giving her a kiss on the forehead.  She was born May 17, 1935 in Kansas City, Kansas to Coriene and Pat Lewis.

Cathy grew up as a normal child during those days of World War II.  She enjoyed playing games with her two older brothers.  In the 1940s, she and her brothers learned to tap dance.  They danced at recitals that took them to Wadsworth and other hospitals for injured servicemen.  She and her brother, George, would often place first in competition tap and ballroom dancing.  Her chosen career turned out to be a secretary, and she was an excellent typist.  When she worked for AT&T, she broke several IBM selectric typewriters by typing too fast.  In 1952 she was blessed with another brother 16 years younger than she. 

In 1954 on a street corner in Kansas City, she met her lifelong love.  The stories differ in content, but the way it's told is there was a young Air Force airman cruising the streets who happened to notice Catherine standing at a street corner.  We don't know how the contact was initiated, but we understand that a flash of a little leg was involved.  The rest is history.  She was married to Lon R. Cummings in February 1954 and bore him two sons, Richard J. and Patrick B. 

Catherine was a strong and independent woman as she traveled the world with Lon being in the Air Force.  She often ran the household and raised the boys on her own due to remote duty assignments for Lon.  She was tough on the outside but nothing but marshmallow on the inside.  You absolutely did not mess with Lon or the boys, but at the same time, if she received flowers from any of them, she would end up bawling.  Her favorite things were getting hugs and kisses from Lon and the boys.

Catherine had an impressive career as an executive secretary and administrator.  She was indispensable as secretary to group commanders at the various bases where Long was stationed.  She had an outstanding professional reputation and was known to take care of her bosses.  Basically, you didn't see the Commander unless you had Cathy's approval.  She was known to have scared off lower ranking officers.  She was also  program administrator and legal secretary.  She ran a tight home, always impeccably clean.  The shoes came off at the door.  Her sons always had a running joke that when her house was filthy dirty, you could still eat off the floor or perform surgery.  She had her rules in raising the boys.  They were always dressed well and cleanly.  Manners were very important as well as respect.  Catherine's justification for enforcing the rules was "I'm the big M".  That being she's the mom.  She rarely used "I'm going to tell your Dad".  You just didn't mess with "The Mom".

Cathy was involved in so many things during her life.  She learned to oil paint while in Alaska where she has her own personal collection of Alaska landscapes.  While in Oklahoma, she and Lon square danced extensively and were part of a club that traveled to large dances.  She was part of the boys' Little League organization, lending her organization and administrative skills.  She always attended the boys' activities to cheer them on and support them.

Cathy and Lon obtained positions at Oklahoma State University.  She dearly loved the university atmosphere and campus.  If she bled, she would bleed orange.  She would routinely have exchanges with those from other universities, all in good fun.  They then retired to Moline, Kansas where Lon was raised.  They set up a home and land and raised cattle for many years.  She was very invoked in the Moline Christian Church.

One of Cathy's favorite memories was for her and Lon's 65th wedding anniversary. All the kids and grandkids were able to converge on Moline to celebrate.  Her house was full.  Everyone sat around the big dining room table, talked, and laughed.  It was noisy.  She and Lon sat in the living room in their recliners like King and Queen and enjoyed the noise.  I don't think she was every happier than those days.

Thank you to all who have expressed their condolences to the family.  Cathy's influence was widely felt, and she will be missed.

Catherine is survived by her husband, Lon Cummings of Moline, Kansas; her brothers, Joe (Judy) Lewis of Moline, Kansas, George (Bobbie) Lewis of El Dorado, Kansas, and Bill Lewis of Severy, Kansas; her sons, Richard J. Cummings of Moline, Kansas and Patrick Cummings of Rolling Prairie, Indiana; her grandchildren; Joshua (Rachel) Cummings of Griffith, Indiana, Tonya (Lee) Hansen of Champaign, Illinois, Nicholas Cummings of the U.S. Air Force stationed in Salt Lake City, Utah, Caitlin Cummings of Atlanta, Georgia, and Meghan Cummings of Ballston Spa, New York; and great-grandchildren, Noah Cummings, Bo Hansen, and Sloan Hansen

Cremation has been requested.  With current pandemic considerations in effect, a memorial service will be held at a later date when it is safer to congregate.  That will be announced when known.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Moline Christian Church and can be mailed to or left with the funeral home.  Services have been entrusted to Countryside Funeral Home, 206 E. Washington, Howard, Kansas 67349.

(taken from the Countryside Funeral Home website) 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 06:11:33 pm by patyrn »


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