Catherine J. (Smies) VerVelde, 83, of Oostburg, passed away on Monday evening, February 26, 2018, at the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.

Catherine was born on June 29, 1934, in Philadelphia, PA, daughter of the late Rev. Robert and Dorothy (Jenkins) Churchill. She was a 1951 graduate of Cedar Grove High School and then attended Sheboygan Business College. On September 17, 1954, she married Norman R. Smies in Cedar Grove. Norman preceded her in death on September 28, 1997. Catherine married Ralph VerVelde on October 5, 2002 in Oostburg. Catherine was employed as a secretary at Curt G. Joa, Inc. for 27 years until her retirement in 2003.

Catherine was a member of Bethel Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Oostburg, where she was active in the choir, Women’s Mentoring Program, as a Sunday school teacher, and in the Crossroad Bible studies for prison inmates. She enjoyed making cookies, reading, birdwatching, knitting, flowers, and especially spending time with her family.

Catherine is survived by her husband of 15 years, Ralph; her two daughters, Deb (Joe) Wojnarowski of Milwaukee and Shirl Smies of Chattanooga, TN; her two sons, Dale Smies of Sheboygan and Corey Smies of Deerfield; her grandson, Jacob (fiancé Hannah Contreras) Smies; a great grandaughter, Gabrielle Smies; two step-sons, Tom (Leila) VerVelde of Cedar Grove and Paul (Margaret) VerVelde, of Oostburg; two stepdaughters, Sharon (Bill) Brownell of Gibbsville and Sarah (Jason) Alsum of Oostburg; 17 step-grandchildren; Ethan (Lindsey), Marshall, Caitlin, Graham, and Stuart VerVelde, Jocelyn, Jesse, Josiah, Jo-Leigh, and Janeese VerVelde, Brandon (Rachel) VerVelde, Gabrielle Brownell, Michael, Caleb, Matthew, Nathan and Daniel Alsum; two sisters, Nancy (Harlan) Harmelink of Sheboygan and Mary Flachs of Albuquerque, NM; nieces and nephews.

Catherine was preceded in death by her first husband, Norman, a sister in-law, Virginia VerVelde; and two brothers-in-law, Gerald Flachs and Andrew (Jane) Smies.

Funeral services to celebrate Catherine’s life will be held at Bethel Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Oostburg at 10:30 am on Friday, March 2, 2018 with Rev. David Veldhorst officiating. Burial will take place at Oostburg Cemetery in the Town of Holland.

Relatives and friends may greet the family at the Wenig Funeral Home in Oostburg on Thursday from 4-7 pm, and at church, on Friday from 9:30 am until the time of the service at 10:30 am.

A memorial fund has been established in Catherine’s name for Sheboygan County Christian School and Westminster Seminary East.

For online condolences and additional information please visit

The staff of the Wenig Funeral Home of Oostburg (920-564-2771) is assisting Catherine’s family with arrangements.

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