The Lord found her number: a perfect 100. Catherine Evelyn Gieselman (nee Hoffman) was born in the arid San Luis Valley in Monte Vista, Colorado on December 28, 1915. She died peacefully in her sleep in the company of her life-long friend, caretaker, and daughter Patricia on January 20, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. Catherine was born to Zita Monica Zoeller Hoffman (1886-1958) and Henry Andrew Hoffman (1879-1959) who moved from Zenda, Kansas to farm in Colorado in 1911. Soon after her birth, they moved to Sterling, Colorado where Catherine grew up on a farm with her parents and three brothers Norbert, Clement, and Robert and her sister Esthyre. She attended St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Sterling. Upon graduation she trained and became a registered nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, practicing surgical nursing during her career. She met and grew to love Raymond Joseph Gieselman (1909-1972) who managed retail stores for Gamble Skogmo in Sterling and was a reserve officer in the U.S. Army. They married Denver in 1941 shortly after Ray was called into active duty for World War II. His career in the military and subsequently with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service took them to many places throughout the world, including Texas, Alabama, New York, France, and Missouri. Together they bore and raised four children: Robert (1943), Margaret (1944), Joseph (1948), and Patricia (1951).
Catherine had a light heart and an easy smile. She cared deeply for her children, nurturing them in childhood and mentoring them in adulthood. Foremost, she was accepting and hospitable to all. She practiced her Catholic faith daily and had a deep spirituality that included a special relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom she called “her friend”. She continuously performed works of mercy by serving as a nurse for clinics for the poor, visiting nursing homes, and sewing gifts to financially support the school at St. Paul’s Church. At the age of 60, she began painting and became a very good artist, a latent talent she claimed she never knew she had. She was a model for both how to live and how to die.
Catherine is preceded in death by her husband Raymond Joseph Gieselman and daughter-in-law Kathleen Gieselman. She is survived by her son Robert Gieselman and wife Mary, her daughter Margaret Mueller and husband Pat, her son Joseph Gieselman, and her daughter Patricia Doucette and husband Rick, and her ten grandchildren Julie, Janet, Karen, Joseph, Mark, Eric, Felice, Daniel, Anna, and Lydia, and twelve great grandchildren Leo, Sophia, Roland, Patrick, Josie, Veronica, Madison, Matthew, Catherine, Coleman, Claire, and Evelyn.
Fr. Jim Barlow will celebrate a memorial Mass for Catherine at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 4201 De Zavala Rd., San Antonio, Texas 78249, at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 20, 2016. Catherine will be buried next to her husband at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, 1520 Harry Wurzbach Road San Antonio, Texas at 10:00 AM on Monday, February 22, 2016. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Eternal Word Television Network (5817 Old Leads Road, Irondale, Alabama 35210) or Food for the Poor (6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, Florida 33073).