Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Catherine Ruth Harrell

May 8, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI




Catherine Ruth Harrell, 69, of Kalamazoo, passed away peacefully Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at her home in Kalamazoo, MI.

She was born February 9, 1955 in Paw Paw, Michigan, the daughter of Stephen Diljak and Norma (Brown) Diljak.

As the oldest daughter, she took on the role of helping raise her siblings while her parents worked long hours to provide for them. Catherine dedicated many years to the Townships of Oshtemo and Comstock as a property assessor. She also worked at Humphrey Products where she made lifelong friends and travel buddies. They loved traveling around the world for new adventures.

She had many talents including crafting, cooking, quilting and sewing. She enjoyed finding new recipes and making them, and they were always delicious! Catherine was also an avid reader and you could often find her with a good book in hand. Catherine and her late husband belonged to a group that practiced old frontier traditions and cooking for many years and enjoyed acting and creating their props and outfits for the show. She even had a wedding with them! Catherine held strong to her faith as a Christian and lived life as a strong, independent woman. Above all else, Catherine loved her fur babies, family and friends. She did everything with her fur babies and enjoyed entertaining her family and friends when they came over.

She is survived by her mother, Norma (Brown) Diljak; sisters, Karen (Jamie) Collett and Jean (Jon) Forcade; brothers, Michael and Mark Diljak; nephew, Mike Diljak; nieces, Danielle VanderBerg, Katie Forcade and Libby Forcade; beloved dog, Sammy and many cousins.

Catherine is preceded in death by her husband, Howard Harrell; father, Stephen Diljak and sisters, Jayne and Mary Susan Diljak.

Cremation has taken place. Per Catherine's wishes, there will be no public services at this time.

Memorial contributions may be made to the ASPCA of Southwest Michigan or to the Wings of God Transition Home.

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