Katherine “Kay” Smessaert
June 18, 1935-January 2, 2020
Mishawaka-Our Mother, Katherine (Kay) Smessaert, passed away January 2, 2020. She was born June 18, 1935 in Louisville, KY to Edward and Martha (Shivell) Duane. Kay graduated from Central High School and Siena Heights College. She was a teacher at St. Joseph High School until she married and started a family. In June 1958, she married Ronald C. Smessaert who preceded her in death.
She is survived by her brother, Ray (Carolyn) Duane; her children, Donald (Amy) Smessaert, Ann McCarthy, and David (Lisa) Smessaert; five grandchildren, crystal (Adam) Ratliff, Sarah (Ryan) Galvin, Dana Smessaert, Connor McCarthy (Adrienne Carrier) and Lauren McCarthy. She is also survived by five great grandchildren, Grace, Ella, and Lillian Ratliff, and Finnegan and Harrison Galvin. She was an amazing Grandmother to all of them. Kay is also survived by five nephews and one niece. Kay was a longtime volunteer with the St. Joseph Hospital Women's Auxiliary and was a past President. She worked at Hudson/Macy's for many years as a cosmetics consultant. She was also a member of many bridge groups, one of them for over fifty years. We have many memories of listening to those ladies laughing into the night. She had many wonderful friends and was so surprised at how many came to her 75th surprise birthday party. Kay was very intelligent, always beating us in trivia or Jeopardy. She loved to read, especially murder mysteries. She shared her love of music with all of us. She had many dog and cat fur-babies. The road was very difficult for our Mother. She had many setbacks and obstacles to overcome, which she did with grit and a sarcastic sense of humor. Up until recently, she wanted her daily Sapphire Gin martini with the mandatory olives. She would say the martini was the last vestige of her former life. She modeled to us incredible strength and resilience in the face of many ordeals. Rest in peace, Mom, you have earned it.
There will be a visitation at Hahn Funeral Home at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January l3 with a Mass at St. Bavo Catholic Church at 11:00 a.m.
Mom loved clothing in bright colors, so those coming to pay their respects are encouraged to wear color.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Bavo Catholic Church, 502 W 7th St, Mishawaka, IN 46544 or Pet Refuge Inc., 4626 Burnett Dr., South Bend, IN 46614.
To leave the family an online condolence, please visit www.hahnfuneralhomes.com.
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