Catherine Justyna Mae Rutley (née Huculak) – Cathy, to those who knew her – passed away at the age of 71 on November 9th, 2022 in Saskatoon, SK. She was predeceased by her father Walter and is survived by her daughter Sarah (Jeff), mother Shirley, sister Margie (Tracy), brother Andrew (Bonnie), and nephews and nieces Jesse, Jeffrey, and Jennifer. Cathy also leaves behind a loving extended family, dear friends, and a community of neighbours who will remember her for her generous heart and infectious energy.
Born on December 28th, 1950 in Ottawa, ON, Cathy’s early years took her to Esquimalt, BC and back again before her family settled on the Huculak farm north of Maple Creek in 1967. Sixteen years old at the time, Cathy distinguished herself academically before moving to Saskatoon in 1970 to attend the University of Saskatchewan. Cathy performed at the Greystone Theatre, completed a Bachelor of Social Work and a teaching certificate, and even caught the attention of a professional mime troupe that invited her to join them in Montreal. But she instead chose marriage and a career in Social Work, through which she became known as a compassionate advocate for children, teenagers, and young families. Cathy remained in Saskatoon for nearly three more decades, raising her daughter Sarah before retiring to Maple Creek to reconnect with her home community and be closer to aging parents.
Cathy’s retirement was predictably anything but quiet and was instead devoted to community life including service at the Jasper Centre, United Church, Library, and town events and celebrations. She nourished her love of music through the Dazzlers singing group and the United Church choir. The decision to leave Maple Creek in January 2020 during a time of ill health was not easy, but blessed her and her daughter with precious years together before her passing.
Cathy loved music, singing, classic movies, British television, mystery novels, her pets, giving the perfect gift, and Van Gogh, among other things. She loved this world and the people in it. She is unforgettable, and missed beyond measure.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM, Monday November 21st at Maple Creek United Church, Maple Creek, SK. All are welcome. Donations in Cathy’s memory may be made to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. https://nctr.ca/donate/
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