Catherine Leone Lester Whitmarsh, 76, of Jacksonville passed away September 5, 2021.
She is survived by her husband Steve Whitmarsh, sons Steven II and Jason (Vanessa), granddaughters Hannah, Gretchen, and Savannah, brother Rick, and sister Theresa.
Rosary will be 9 AM Saturday September 11, 2021 at St Paul’s Catholic Church 2609 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32204. The Funeral Mass will be held afterwards. Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery.
The family requests donations be made to 501(c)3 Mayport Cats .
Arrangements are with Evergreen Funeral Home & Crematory 4535 Main St Jacksonville, Florida 32206.
We sure had some fun times, Mimi, filled with lots of love and laughs. I will cherish all of our wonderful memories- from cheese & olives during our Saturday family visits, to “just-the-girls” lunches, to supporting Hannah & Gretchen at their school functions, cruising on Royal Caribbean, and of course all our family holidays at Don & Celia’s. By far, my favorite memory that I will hold close to my heart is of us attending a Beach Boys concert and motoring around Universal Studios with you while the boys rode all those scary rides. I can hear your laugh now and it warms my heart. Thank you for loving us. I love you from the bottom of my heart. May you rest in God’s peace.
I wasn’t comfortable delivering the eulogy at the service, but I would have said that Mom’s second love was animals. She adored all animals, not just cats (though we teased her about being the ‘cat lady.’) She loved our puppy Fenway as much as her Smokey, her Teser, or her Lucy. Animals always brought her joy. That is something I inherited from her, and I am grateful for it. But her first love was her family. She was happiest when surrounded by her loved ones–her husband, her sons, her niece, her granddaughters, her cousins, her best friends–all of us. We were her life. And we will miss her.
Mom also liked history. She always enjoyed when I talked about what I had studied in school. During her service, I was reminded of Achilles. Before he went to war, he was given a choice. He could stay home, have a loving family, and grow old. His family would celebrate his life and tell stories of him when he died, but eventually he would be forgotten…or he could go to war, where he would gain glory, and his name would be remembered forever.
Mom never cared about glory. She didn’t care if people would sing stories of her in thousands of years. She only cared about us. But we will tell stories of her. Whether we called you Cathi, Kate, Mimi, or Mom…we will tell stories of you. We will remember your name