Katherine C. “Kasey” Waring
Nov. 29, 1932 – Aug. 1, 2021
Preceded in death by husband, Maurice “Moe.” Survived by children: Patrick (Carolyn) Waring, Michael (Julie) Waring, Mark (Deb) Waring, Molly (Rick) Drews, Tom (Sheila) Waring, Ann (Jim) Barta, and Mary Ellen (Matt) Hurley; grandchildren: Molly, Lizzie (Cecil), Patrick, John, Randy (Sarah), Kelly (Danny), Carrie, Ryan, Colleen, Abby (Ryan), Sara (Andrew), Emma, Mark, Emily, Tommy, Kacy, Bridget, Sydney, Jack, Kate, and Annie; great-grandchildren: Tyler, Drew, Quinn, Dillon, Cole, Evan, Reese, Charlie, Lucy, Pete, Leo, and Miles; sisters, Patricia Corkrean and Jane (Jim) Weist; brother, Michael McLaughlin; sister-in-law, Jeannine Heiss.
VISITATION begins Wednesday, August 4th at 5pm with a WAKE SERVICE at 7pm, both at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church (74th & Vinton St). FUNERAL MASS: Thursday, August 5th at 10:30am at St. Joan of Arc Church. Interment: Resurrection Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to Poor Clare Sisters or charity of your choice. To view live broadcasts of the Funeral Services, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.
Katherine Celine McLaughlin was born November 29, 1932, in Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. Her parents, John and Alice (McCusker) were descendants of Irish immigrants, and raised their seven children in the close-knit parish of St Patrick’s Church of Winterset. Mom’s siblings were Patricia (Pat), Richard, Johnny, Helen, Jane, and Michael. She was called “Celine”, her middle name, for reasons she never could explain to us, her children, when we asked about that later. The Catholic faith that inspired mom was instilled by her parents, her extended family, and the Irish community in which she grew up. Her faith would be her defining character trait, and something she would pass to her children.
Her childhood was probably typical for that age, and while she remembers the Depression and World War 2, most of its negative effects did not directly impact her. She did tell us some stories, like the time she participated in clothing collections after the war for refugees in Europe. Even at a young age, she was inspired to acts of charity and kindness. More on that later.
Celine experienced loss with the death of her father when she was only 17 and away at boarding school. She talked about him lovingly ever since, and her own seven kids regretted not knowing him the same way. But her mother, Alice, lived until 1989. Grandmother Alice was a big part of our lives growing up, as mom ensured that Alice was always welcome. Family, in addition to faith, was the other pillar of mom’s character.
She went to Creighton Nursing School where she met our dad, Maurice (Moe) Waring. By that time, she was going by the name “Kasey”, and got her nursing degree and practiced for many years. Years later, when my daughter Colleen was ill, and I was incompetently trying to perform a nursing role, Colleen would say, “You’re not a nurse; call grandma Kasey because she will know what to do.”
Mom and dad were married August 18, 1954, and she took dad’s surname of Waring. Pat was the first child, born in Virginia. Mike and I were born in Iowa, and the remaining four, Molly, Tommy, Ann, and Mary Ellen, were born in Omaha. We grew up in the St Joan of Arc Parish and went to school there. Several of us were married in that church, because that parish and the community was a big part of our lives. Mom and dad remained faithful Catholics all their lives and made the church part of our lives too. We were proud members of the Westgate neighborhood, even though, technically, we moved out of Westgate’s boundaries in 1968.
The seven of us all got married, did well in life, and thankfully found spouses who shared and strengthened our values. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren followed. Pat and Carolyn have Molly, Lizzie (now married to Cecil), John and Patrick. Mike and Julie have Randy (now married to Sarah and parents of Tyler, Drew, Quinn, and Dillion); Kelly (married to Dan Povondra and parents to Cole, Evan and Reese); and Carrie. I married Deb, and our kids are Ryan and Colleen. Molly married Rick Drews, and their children are Abby (married to Ryan Nelson, parents of Charlie, Lucy, and Pete); Sara (married to Andrew Mohr, parents to Leo and Miles), and Emma. Tommy is married to Sheila, and their children are Mark, Emily, and Tommy. Ann and Jim Barta are parents to Kacy, Bridget, Sydney, and Jack. Mary Ellen and Matt Hurley are parents to Kate and Annie. If you’re having trouble counting, I’ll do it for you: 7 kids, 7 spouses, 21 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. I should add that Molly and Carrie followed in grandma’s footsteps and became nurses.
I will come back to the story of the clothing drives after WW2. Mom, at age 12, placed a note in the pocket of a coat with her name and hometown. She asked the recipient to write back. She heard nothing for 29 years, but then out of the blue in 1975, the daughter of the woman who got the coat, as a young girl herself, wrote to mom. The girl who received the coat was a displaced Jewish orphan in 1946. She did not speak English but was told what the note said and kept it for decades. Through her daughter, she explained the coat served her well in horrible times, and that act of kindness restored her lost hope for humanity. I share that amazing story because it demonstrates how mom’s act at a young age made the world a better place. Mom made the world a better place for all of us, for people she knew and for people she never expected to meet.
Mom lived her last years being a loving and involved grandmother. Dad passed away in 2015. Mom’s health declined sharply in 2020. She was under hospice care when she passed August 1st. In just the few days since her passing, we have received many tributes to her. She had an impact on so many people, and she will be missed. She told Mary Ellen before her passing that she found this poem that summed up how she viewed the world:
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.
By Adam Lindsay Gordon
May we all be so inspired by our mother.
Mom is survived by sisters, Patricia Corkrean and Jane (Jim) Weist; brother, Michael McLaughlin; sister-in-law, Jeannine Heiss. She was preceded in death by our father, Moe, her husband of 61 years. She was also preceded by her parents, her siblings Richard, Johnny and Helen, and brother-in-law Kenneth Heiss.
Submitted by Mark Waring on behalf of the family