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Catherine's Story

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Catherine Louise Ochs, 96, of Traverse City, passed away at Traverse Manor on Oct. 5, 2017 with family at her side.
Catherine was born on Aug. 10, 1921 in Witt, Illinois, to the late Tony and Mary (Verricker) Sellett. She and her three siblings were raised by her father and grandmother following Mary's premature death.
The family moved to Charleston, Illinois, where Catherine attended college at Eastern Illinois University and earned a teaching certificate. Her first employment was in a one-room schoolhouse in Atwood, Illinois.
She traveled with friends to Decatur, Illinois, on weekends for church and social activities, where she met Howard S. Ochs. They were married at St. Charles Catholic Church in Charleston, Illinois, by Father Moriarty on Dec. 5, 1953.
After marriage they lived in Decatur, Illinois, where Catherine taught second grade in the public schools and had her only child in 1955. She finished her Bachelor of Science degree by commuting to EIU. Her career and life trajectory was altered by Howard's death in 1967. She worked hard to maintain their home in Decatur, Illinois, close contact with her siblings and their families and focus on Deb's education.
In her spare time she enjoyed collecting ceramics. At flea markets she eagerly looked for the most neglected treasure to restore. She liked gardening, spending time outside and enjoying the sunshine. She was talented at re-purposing things and will be remembered for her thriftiness. In 1996 she moved to Traverse City to be near family. She enjoyed participating in her grandsons' educational and sporting activities. Whoever sat next to Catherine was bound to share some of their life history.
Catherine was preceded in death by her parents; husband; siblings, Dr. Thomas Sellett, Dr. Charles Sellett and Miss Josephine Sellett; and nephew, Stephen Sellett.
Catherine is survived by her daughter, Dr. Deborah Ochs (Dr. Richard Kosinski); grandsons, Ben Kosinski and Sam Kosinski; sister-in-law, Norma (Charles) Sellett; nephews, Michael Sellett, Dr. Thomas (Sandy) Sellett and Dr. John (Julianna) Sellett; nieces, Laura Sellett and Elizabeth Sellett.
Catherine's life will be celebrated on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, from 2 to 4 p.m., with a service of prayers held at 2 p.m., at the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home. Catherine will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband, Howard, at Calvary Cemetery in Decatur, Illinois, on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.
Memorial contributions in memory of Catherine may be directed to the Father Fred Foundation.
Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to share your condolences and memories with the family.
The family is being cared for by Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
Published on October 11, 2017
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