In memory of
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. www.buschcares.com 440.933.3202
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