Catherine Ann Smith, 74, of Hopkinton, Iowa, passed away on Friday, October 2, 2020, at the Regional Medical Center in Manchester.
This is the story of Catherine Ann (Rink) Smith, Cathy is what she preferred to be called. She also loved the other names of Sister, Wife, Aunt, Mom, Grandma, and Friend. Cathy was a wonderful woman who was so loved, missed, and will always be cherished for her stubbornness, wit, humor and frequent phone calls.
Cathy’s story started on December 31, 1945. She was the oldest child born to Richard “Dick” and Jeannette Rink. Cathy always liked to say the only time she rang in the new year was when she was born, as she was not one to stay up late. She was soon joined by her brother, Pat “Butch” Rink and sister, Barb (Rink) Bacon. In 1959 her family moved to Hopkinton where they remained until she graduated from Maquoketa Valley High School in 1964. Cathy loved her parents and siblings and they remained in close contact as they got older.
Cathy met her love, Kenny Smith, on the dance floor of Worthington Hall. She told her children many times that he was the best dancer and best-looking guy. Kenny approached her for a dance and the rest was history. Kenny and Cathy married on a sunny, warm, cold, snowy day on October 23, 1965. Kenny and Cathy began their marriage farming and quickly started their family. They farmed outside of Hopkinton and later moved to their farm outside of Buck Creek. It was there they would spend the next 40 years of their almost 55 years together. Not only was Cathy amazing at making delicious traditional farm living homemade meals, she also showed her children the finer qualities of canning and baking. Cathy not only was a mom at home, she dabbled in work at Ertl’s and finally found her calling in what is believed to really be the first “Facebook” by contributing to the news of the community and sharing the stories in the Hopkinton Leader. If you spent the weekend with her or came over for dinner, it was quickly added to the community news column. She also found a home working among friends at the Showroom in Hopkinton. Kenny and Cathy eventually retired to Hopkinton in 2006.
Cathy took great joy in connecting with people, by phone or by visits. She enjoyed knowing people’s stories and as soon as she met you, she would quickly learn how you would be related to someone she knew. No one was really a stranger to Cathy, all were welcomed and loved. Cathy will always be remembered for her glass half empty, half full debate, correcting her husband’s stories, and laughing so hard she would cry. She loved having nieces, nephews, neighbors’ kids, or her children’s friends spend summers at the farm or stay over winter breaks. It did not matter if it there were 1-4 extra kids at the table, it warmed her heart. You were also a part of her inner circle if you knew her love for Pepsi and was asked “to make her a pop”.
One of her greater joys was being a grandparent. Cathy loved the stories and experiences her grandchildren had and wanted to make sure they knew she loved them. Some of those grandchildren have saved a voicemail message or two of her and Kenny singing happy birthday to them as she never was one to miss her children’s or grandchildren’s birthdays. She was so happy when she was able to FaceTime to watch one of her grandson’s wedding.
Loved ones that cleared the path and met her when she left this earth, were her daughter, Shelia, along with her parents, Dick and Jeannette Rink. Additional family members preceding her in death, include her brother, Pat “Butch” Rink and son-in-law, Robert “Bob” Ronnebaum. Loved ones who will miss Cathy until they meet again are her husband, Kenny Smith; her children, and son- and daughters- in-law, who she called her children as well, Kim Ronnebaum Downs (Kyle), Mike Smith (Nancy), Cory Smith, Jackie Smith Duggan (Michael), Nick Smith (Lisa) and Holly Botos (Ben). She will be greatly missed by her grandchildren, Anna Ronnebaum, Ethan Ronnebaum (Lauren), Jena (special friend, Matt Finn) and Megan Downs, Zachary, Mitch, Devin, and Colin Smith, Jack, Pierce and Ipper Smith, Maya and Owen Smith, and Ever and Fielding Botos.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you hug your loved ones while you can, accept the early morning phone call, or the second phone call of the day that was about nothing, have yourself an ice-cold Pepsi, and love unconditionally.
Online condolences may be sent to www.leonard-mullerfh.com.
Because of COVID-19 concerns, masks are strongly recommended at both the funeral home and at the cemetery.
Private Family Graveside Funeral Service: 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, October 10, 2020, at Hopkinton City Cemetery in Hopkinton, Iowa, with Rev. John Kremer officiating.
Visitation: 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., on Friday, October 9, 2020, at Leonard-Muller Funeral Home in Manchester.
Interment: Hopkinton City Cemetery – Hopkinton, Iowa