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Catherine Moragne Bartmess, 72, of Crystal Lake, IL, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her family on April 4, 2019. “Katie” was the daughter of the late William and Jean Moragne of Lihue, HI. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Russell; her children, Scott (Cynthia) Bartmess of Crystal Lake and Kelly (Matt) Sherman, of Spotsylvania, VA; her six grandchildren, Madeleine, Mason, and Morgan Bartmess of Crystal Lake, and Evelyn, Baxter, and Claire Sherman of Spotsylvania; her sisters, Sally Mist and Mary Cooke, both of Honolulu; her brother, Bill Moragne of Sublimity, OR; and many nieces and nephews.
Katie had been in declining health in the past year and was diagnosed with dementia following a series of major surgeries in 2017.
Katie was born December 4, 1946 in Lihue on the island of Kauai and grew up on the Grove Farm Sugar Plantation managed by her father. He pioneered the cross-breeding of plumeria flowers, naming several varieties after his daughters and granddaughters. The “Katie Moragne” Plumeria was one of his favorites.
Katie graduated from Punahou High School in Honolulu and received a B. A. from Michigan State University in 1968. Having spent her childhood years on Kauai, Katie wanted to attend MSU “to see snow”—she got her wish. After marrying Russ in October 1969, the couple settled in Glenview, IL, where Katie was an elementary school teacher. In 1975, Katie and Russ moved to Lakewood where they lived for over 40 years and raised their two children. A few years ago, Katie and Russ moved to Crystal Lake.
An award-winning artist, Katie specialized in pencil and water colors, and worked in stained-glass as well. Despite her children’s entreaties, Katie “retired” from the art scene several years ago and put her energy and passion into restoring a farm field in Boone County to native prairie conditions. The farm field, dubbed “Katie’s Little Achers” by her husband, was where she spent countless hours in the spring, fall, and winter, meticulously gathering seeds, pruning trees, and planting native flowers and grasses. A certified Master Gardener, Katie was the neighborhood resource concerning native prairie and woodland plants and a longtime member of the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee in
McHenry County. The family would like to thank the caregivers at JourneyCare Hospice Team and Home Instead Home Health Care for the many hours, courtesies, and kindnesses extended to Katie and her family.
A visitation will be held 5-8pm, Thursday, April 11, 2019 at Davenport Family Funeral Home, 419 E. Terra Cotta Ave., Crystal Lake. A memorial service that all are welcome to attend will be held at 10am, Friday, April 12, 2019 at First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake, 461 Pierson St., Crystal Lake. Inurnment in Lihue, HI will be a private ceremony.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to JourneyCare, Inc., www.journeycare.org.
2050 Claire Ct., Glenview IL 60025