Catherine L. Bergthold, 95, of Kansas City, MO passed away at her home, April 12, 2022. She was born, July 10, 1926, at home near Siloam Springs, AR to Ernest Ray and Ida May Couch. Her husband of 64 years, LeRoy H. Bergthold, parents, and six siblings; Helen, Wilma, Oneita, Ray, William and Betty precede her in death. She is survived by four children: Gary, Janice Kay, Glenn and Galen and their spouses, 17 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
She grew up in the era of transition from horse and buggy, kerosene lights and wood stoves to cars and electricity. Her family lived on a small farm where she learned the value of hard work helping with many chores such as herding home the milk cows, bringing in wood for the stove, washing and ironing, picking wild berries, chinquapin acorns and persimmons. The complete loss by fire and rebuilding of their family's log and frame home made an indelible memory on her young mind. These were also happy days spent splashing in the creek, climbing trees, playing house under the overhanging branches of a large shrub with her sisters, “babysitting” her younger brothers and sister and visiting her beloved grandparents.
Catherine had a lifelong love of learning and remembered geometry as her favorite class. After attending a one-room schoolhouse for grades one through eight and boarding in town in order to complete high school during WWII, she graduated as co-valedictorian. She earned a BS in Home Economics Education at the University of AR, a Masters and Oklahoma Lifetime Teaching Certificate, OK A&M, and a three year diploma from KC Bible College. Students, from elementary through college, benefited from her many years as a teacher.
During her college years a family moved in across the rural highway from their home. At church they met the family including a young Navy veteran just home from war. A few days later, on a dare from his brother, LeRoy appeared at the door to “purchase eggs” and ask for a date which Catherine accepted. That led to a summer of not only correspondence courses but one filled with many times together visiting area scenic spots and talking. At the end of summer she accepted LeRoy's marriage proposal on the condition that she finish her degree. Two years later they were married.
Catherine grew up in a family with a strong, moral character. As a child, she and her siblings would sometimes walk two miles to either a Quaker church or Shady Grove School for church. In grade school she earned an award for memorizing 100 verses which continued to work in her heart. Although people assumed she was a Christian she knew she wasn't because she had a longing in her heart to know God. One Sunday, while in college, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit in her heart she accepted God's gift of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection for her sin. From then on she continued to learn God's Word and to pray for the salvation of her parents, family and others. Her desire would be that each one reading this would likewise put their trust in Jesus Christ alone.
After few years in Oklahoma and teaching in Nebraska the couple moved to the Kansas City area which was home for the rest of their lives. Four children were born and raised. Although sometimes feeling inadequate as a mother, she loved and encouraged her children spiritually, academically and tried to always be available to them and their families. She served the Lord in various capacities at their church and as a teacher at KC Christian School in addition to her role as wife and mother. One of LeRoy and Catherine's passions was missions which they supported financially as well as with time spent praying for and writing to many who became friends, and served on missionary committees and mission trips. They celebrated 64 years of marriage before a short illness took LeRoy to Glory in 2012.
Catherine was an accomplished seamstress, cook and vegetable and flower gardener. She delighted in spending time with her grandchildren, telling them stories of her childhood, riddles, always making sure they had a snack at their visit. They enjoyed her quiet sense of humor as well her interest in their lives and interests. She was proud of each one's accomplishments and was a good encourager. Later, as great grandchildren came into the family, even after her debilitating stroke, she would delight in seeing each baby.
By God's grace she was able to spend her last years at home lovingly cared for by family, Gary and Donna, Glenn and Brenda as well as four sweet ladies: Amber P, Karla W, Jacinda B, and Jill R.
A Graveside service will be held April 27, 2022 at 11:00 a.m., at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Kansas City, Kansas.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Through the Bible, P.O. Box 7100, Pasadena, CA 91109 or online by clicking here.
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Thru the Bible
P.O. Box 7100, Pasadena CA 91109