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Catherine Frances Gottel Stermer

Catherine Frances Gottel Stermer
  • October 10, 1922 - January 23, 2021
  • Sterling, Illinois

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Rock Falls, IL 61071
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“Vern and Shelley So sorry to read about the passing of our mother Catherine.May she RIP. Thoughts and prayers are with you.Terry and Karen ”
1 of 3 | Posted by: Terry & Karen O'Malley - Sterling, IL

“So very sorry for your loss. She was an amazing lady. ”
2 of 3 | Posted by: Cris Ahlstrand Brown - MO

“I was so saddened to hear of Catherine's passing. She was so sweet and funny. I met her while my father was at the Meadows. He was there 4 years so I...Read More ยป
3 of 3 | Posted by: Sheree Rich - Franklin Grove, IL


Former Sterling resident Catherine (Gottel) Stermer, 98, died Jan. 23, 2021, in Franklin Grove, IL. of the Covid virus.

No service will be held at this time. A family gathering is planned for June 2021.

Mrs. Stermer was born October 10, 1922, in Swainsboro, GA., to Elisha E. and Katie B. Lamb.
She met Vernon H. Gottel, Sr., of Sterling, at a USO dance in Augusta GA during WWII. She told her mother that night that it was love at first sight, and that she had met the man she wanted to marry. They did marry, and settled in Sterling after his discharge from the service.
Vernon was a builder of many homes and commercial structures in the Sterling area until his death in 1972. Catherine worked in Admitting at Community General Hospital for many years, while her three sons finished college and moved into their careers.

In 1985, she married Col. Ralph Stermer, a gentleman she also had met during the war, who had looked her up after he too lost his spouse. They traveled extensively and lived in Newport, RI for many years until relocating to Aiken, SC to be closer to their families. When Col. Stermer died in 2016, Catherine moved back to the Sterling area. She eventually moved into the Meadows of Franklin Grove assisted living facility, where she "blew a lot of kisses" and received excellent care and attention.

Cathy and Vernon made frequent trips to the south to visit family and Catherine remained a "Southern belle" her entire life, with a lovely southern accent. She enjoyed her circle of friends in Sterling, playing bridge frequently, and gathering for endless cups of coffee and conversation. Much of her life was devoted to her three sons, family and friends. She was remarkably mobile and mentally sharp until the end, and took a keen interest in the news, especially the recent presidential election.

Catherine is survived by her sons, Vernon H. Gottel, Jr. [Shelley], of Sterling, and Van L. Gottel, of Tallahassee FL. as well as two granddaughters, Daelyn Bentley-Gottel of Southampton, MA and Emma Bentley-Gottel of Raleigh, NC, and many nieces and nephews of whom she was very fond. Her son Val H. Gottel, RPh. preceded her in death in 1994.

Memorials in Cathy's memory may be made to Hospice of the Rock River Valley or to the CGH Health Foundation.

On line condolences may be sent to mcdonaldfuneralhomes.com

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