|Birth: ||Jan. 15, 1988|
|Death: ||Feb. 14, 2008|
Garcia, 20, of Cicero, was studying to become a teacher at NIU. She was the youngest of four siblings in a family from Guadalajara, Mexico, that had settled in suburban Cicero, west of Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
"She was adored by our family because she wanted to become somebody in life — that's what she was going to school," her father, Jacinto Garcia, told Spanish-language radio station WOJO-FM.
To Catalina Garcia, the entire world was a stage. An expressive, optimistic, and uninhibited individual, she was a performer in the theater of life. To everyone around her, she seemed to be eternally happy, and she willingly shared that joy with anyone whose life she touched. For Cathy, bringing out the best in any situation was as easy as offering a smile, a witty remark or the twinkle of an eye. And with just those simple gestures, she could evoke the most pleasant of emotions. Cathy really mastered the art of living and had great fun in doing so.
Cathy was born on January 15, 1988 at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents were Jacinto and Consuelo Garcia. Cathy was raised in Cicero, Illinois. Even as a child, Cathy had the ability to lift the spirits of all those around her. She was raised to be warm, caring and friendly. She couldn't help but capture everyone's attention. She was definitely a little bit of a show off, but in doing so, she succeeded in entertaining her entire family.
Always a good playmate, Cathy was easygoing and fun loving. She managed to lighten the mood wherever she was, even during family squabbles. She seemed to have a knack for bringing compromise and erasing tense situations around the house. Due to a generous dose of common sense, Cathy managed to find a satisfying solution to basic problems. Cathy was raised with three siblings. She had one older sister, Myra, and two older brothers, Jaime and Joel.
All of Cathy's playful good humor carried over into her childhood. She was possessed with an outgoing personality, a lively imagination and a mellowed enthusiasm for life that allowed her to be constantly on the go. As a result, Cathy experienced a rather active childhood, and this suited her very well. She took part in volleyball. In her spare time she liked to dance and listen to music.
Ask anyone who knew her from school and they would tell you that Cathy was a class "cut-up." She didn't do it to be unkind or to garner all the attention. Rather, Cathy simply enjoyed others' laughter and the sounds of her friends and acquaintances having a good time. It could be said that for Cathy, grades may not have been the most important thing to her, but she really did enjoy her school experience. Since experience was Cathy's best teacher. She enjoyed hands-on learning and applying the "practical" approach to knowledge, rather than getting caught up in "theory." Cathy graduated from J. Sterling Morton East High School in 2006. She enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. Her favorite class in high school was Health Class.
Cathy reveled in her college years, at Northern Illinois University, where her imagination could run free. She was viewed by many of her classmates as being a creative, artistic person. Cathy was usually found at the center of things, whether it was during class or in extracurricular activities. She was a jovial person who loved to share her passion for fun with others. But for Cathy, life was not a case of all play and no work. Cathy relished the task of putting her imagination to work in class. She was able to discover new and different ways of answering problems and creating unusual and different solutions. Her favorite course was English. Cathy's main interest was to enroll in the College of Education.
Cathy never actually encountered a stranger in her dealings with people. She was drawn to individuals and crowds, using her gregarious, adaptable and outgoing personality to captivate her audience. This quality allowed Cathy to continually develop new relationships, ever widening her circle of friends. Cathy delighted in her role among all her acquaintances, because she viewed them all as potential spectators for her performance. Whether it was a story, a joke, a song or just plain fooling around, Cathy was always right at home putting on a show among her friends. Cathy utilized her interest in others as a great way to connect with them. While growing up, some of her best friends were Gina, Stephanine, and Gladys. Even later in life, she remained friends with Gina and Stephanine. Cathy loved sharing life and having her home filled with people she knew.
At work, as in life, Cathy was a real "people person." She had a very successful way of dealing effectively with others, and her enthusiasm and energy was often contagious. Cathy liked to see herself as something of a virtuoso. When dealing with various projects and problems, Cathy was an adaptable realist, using her common sense and trusting her experiences and impulses to uncover the correct answer. Cathy's talent for being a down to earth thinker, allowed many around her to see Cathy as an excellent problem solver. Although she was a full time student, she was also employed by Carson's.
Cathy enjoyed her leisure time by taking part in various hobbies. An "arts and crafts" type, Cathy liked creating and making things. Her favorite pursuits were collecting stuffed animals, talking on the phone, and eating. Cathy was content to enjoy her hobbies alone but was also willing to share her interests with others.
Cathy felt excited and challenged by sports. Even if she wasn't the best, Cathy loved to participate and thoroughly enjoyed the competition and the pleasure of being around other people. Cathy relished the opportunities where she could make an impact, and she would often push herself to play above her abilities. A quick thinker who understood the basics, Cathy never seemed to get caught off guard, even when confronted with unexpected conflict. Recreational sports included volleyball. Cathy was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching her favorite events whenever she got the opportunity. Tops on her list was volleyball.
Cathy had an endless appetite for new and different activities. She was always ready to join in the fun and add her flair and energy to an organization. Because of her personality, her humor, and her ability to get along with everyone, Cathy's service was greatly valued by the organizations to which she belonged. In high school, Cathy was a member of the Dance Club (Audacity), and MEBE. In college, Cathy joined the Mujer a Mujer Mentoring Program as a way to "give back" and serve others. Throughout her most recent years, Cathy was an active member of the Mentor/Mentee.
Vested with a deep concern for spiritual development, Cathy recognized that her faith was important to her throughout her life. She was a member Our Lady of Mount Catholic Church for three years.
Naturally outgoing and generous, Cathy was regularly doing things for others. For her, the gift of giving to others was second nature. Though she never set out to gain individual recognition, Cathy was given accolades for her many and varied accomplishments throughout her life. Some of her most prestigious awards included Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance, and Student of the Month.
Living life in the fast lane suited Cathy just fine. It is no surprise that she loved to travel and to visit new and different places. She was naturally curious about other parts of the world and loved the real life adventure that came from visiting them. She was impulsive and willing to try anything once. Favorite vacations included Barreras, Mexico, and Washington D. C.
Cathy was a lover of animals and cherished her pets, enjoying them almost as much as she enjoyed being around other people. One of Cathy's favorites was Chapulin, a toy poodle.
Cathy passed away on February 14, 2008 at Northern Illinois University, in Dekalb. Cathy was killed in a terrible and senseless campus shooting. She is survived by her father Jacinto, mother Consuelo, sister Myra, and brothers Jaime and Joel. The wake for Catalina be from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Woodlawn Funeral Home, 7750 Cermak Road, Forest ParkFuneral. Mass will be held at Our Lady of Mount Catholic Church, 2414 S. 61st Avenue, Cicero, Illinois, on Monday, February 18, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. Cathy will be laid to rest in a beautiful location at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.
All of Cathy's arrangements are under the direction of Zefran Funeral Home in Chicago, Illinois. Concepcion Rodriquez, Funeral Director. For service information, call the funeral home at (773) 847-6688.
You may cut and paste the following link to view a video that was made by some of Cathy's friends:
Cathy brought joy to all of those around her. She never had a mean bone in her body. She loved to have a good time and was an eternal optimist, always looking on the bright side of things. She loved to share her energy, wit, and her zest for all of her activities with her friends and family. Catalina Garcia lived life to its fullest and made everyone around her happier just for knowing her. She will be remembered with a smile.
Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery
Created by: Part-Time F.A.G Addict
Record added: Feb 15, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24641785