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Cathy Pietrusiak

Obituary for Cathy Pietrusiak

October 4, 1945 - July 23, 2018
Aurora, Illinois | Age 72


Catherine F. "Cathy" Pietrusiak, 72, of Aurora, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loved ones on Monday, July 23, 2018 at her home. She was born on October 4, 1945 in Chicago, IL the daughter of the late John T. and Cecilia (Hoban) Flavin.

Cathy graduated from Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, IL, Mundelein College and earned her Nursing Degree from Waubonsee Community College. She retired after 20 years from Mercy Center in Aurora. Cathy was a member of Holy Angels Church.

Survivors include her husband of 48 years, Bob; her son, Eric; her brothers, Dennis (Pamela) Flavin of Rhode Island and Thomas (Elizabeth) Flavin of Maryland; her mother-in-law, Rose M. Pietrusiak of Chicago; her brothers-in-law, Jerome (Barbara) Pietrusiak of Westchester, IL and Richard (Terri) Pietrusiak of Olympia, WA; her nephews, Sean (Claire) Flavin, Tobin (Mollie) Flavin, Simon (Michelle) Flavin and Paul Pietrusiak and her nieces, Zoe (Matt) Sundstrom, Dana Pietrusiak, Leah Pietrusiak, Christina Flavin and Kate Flavin.

Cathy was preceded in death by her parents and her father-in-law, Wally Pietrusiak.

Visitation will be held on August 7, 2018 from 4- 8 P.M. at The Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Place, Aurora, IL. She will be lying in state on August 8, 2018 from 9 A.M. until the mass at 10 A.M. at Holy Angels Church, corner of Lancaster and Hardin, Aurora, IL 60506.

Memorials may be directed to the Northwestern Medicine Kovler Organ Transplantation Center, 676 N. St. Clair, 19th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611.

August 8, 2018

"Why were human being created?" goes a traditional Jewish saying. "Because God loves stories." Although I wouldn't presume to know God's mind (at least not all the time!), I would suggest that we are gathered this morning to celebrate what has to be one of God's favorite stories. I hope the following will explain why.

He lay in his hospital bed recovering from a sudden life threatening illness and surgery, but still not entirely out of danger. As was her custom, she sat at his side as they talked about the small things that married couples often do. But mostly she just sat there quietly holding his hand. Words weren't as important as just being present and the gentle hand clasp sealed that presence.

Suddenly he felt a sharp stabbing pain in his side as he struggled to take even a shallow breath. The nurse call button brought white-garbed care-givers to the room, and he could tell by their hurried examinations and concerned looks that something very serious was happening. She stayed by his side quietly holding his hand; no words were necessary. He knew that as long as she held his hand nothing bad could happen to him, even the pulmonary embolism that had so suddenly struck.

Now I've told that story often enough that you know the "he" and "she" are Cathy and me. But I would venture to say that there isn't a person here this morning who hasn't experienced Cathy's gentle hand clasp when we most needed it. Her "just being present" wasn't merely what she did; it was who she was.

One theologian has proposed that death is not merely a passive negative human occurrence, something that tragically happens to us. Rather, it's the definitive life-decision that completes the fullness that the person has become through a lifetime of free acts for or against God's self-communication. From this perspective we could say that Cathy was her lifetime of saying "Yes" to God by being present to to others and her act of dying was her final definitive "Yes" her exclamation point on the person she had become. And it was through this act - through death - that she was transformed into that new way of existing that we call heaven.

In affirming and celebrating this amazing person, please stand and hold hands as Cathy did, and on the count of "three" join Cathy's final definitive "Yes" by shouting "Yes" together loud enough to be registered on the Richter scale.
- Bob Pietrusiak

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • NW Medicine Kovler Organ Transplantation Center
    676 N. St. Clair 19th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60611

Arrangements By

Healy Chapel

332 W Downer Pl
Aurora, IL 60506
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