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 Catherine Rachel <I>Wiens</I> Neufeld

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Catherine Rachel Wiens Neufeld

  • Birth 18 Jun 1899 Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas, USA
  • Death 24 Nov 1984 Marion, Turner County, South Dakota, USA
  • Burial Willow Springs, Cook County, Illinois, USA
  • Plot Section 11, Lot 343 Grave 6
  • Memorial ID 76816512

Our grandmother was a big part of our lives, even though many of our families traveled far and wide for mission work and various ministries. Her flat in Chicago was the place to go for vacation, and we spent many happy summers exploring the Brighton Park neighborhood near SW 42nd and Western.

Catherine was born in Richmond Texas,the eldest of 7 sisters, Her parents had moved to Texas with a group of Mennonite farmers. Her grandfather was the minister for the group. When Catherine was a year old, the Galveston hurricane hit, destroying many new homes and farms, and killing several, among them her grandmother.

A few years later her father, now a pastor. moved the family to Chicago to start mission work there. For a while the family lived above a bar! Her father started the Grace Mission, which became the Grace Mennonite Church, and now the Grace Community Church. Her father was a believer in education, and all seven sisters went on to further education after their high school graduations.

Catherine met and married John T. Neufeld, then an architecture student in Chicago. He came from Mennonite stock in Kansas, and had been a Conscientious objector inmate during WWI. She told the story that a voice from God told her she should marry him. They never really courted, but led the youth group together, and one night, out of the blue, he proposed to her, not knowing her story!

They remained in Chicago, and following the beginning of the Great Depression, John became a minister and took over Rev. Wiens' church. It became a place where needy could find a meal, some clothing, and a warm place to stay for a bit. My mother remembered always seeming to have "strangers" for Sunday Dinner!

Grandma always struck me as deeply devout. She kept a list of prayer concerns by her bed, and would go through the list if she couldn't sleep. She always had a Bible and a devotional book nearby. After her stroke, she was still able to clearly sing and remember hymns, even though her speech was severely affected.

In the 1950's and '60's Catherine worked as a sales clerk in the silverware department of Marshall Fields. She lived in her basement flat on Rockwell until her stroke in 1976. After that, she lived with her youngest daughter and family for a time, then moved to a nursing home in South Dakota near her son. She passed away on the day of a granddaughter's (Laurel Neufeld) wedding. Many whom had traveled a distance to attend the wedding stayed in Chicago for Catherine's funeral. There were at least eight ministers performing various functions at her funeral (son, sons in law, brothers in law, etc.)! I was honored to be pallbearer at her funeral.

She is buried next to her parents, her husband, and her sister Sarah Wiens and Sarah's common-law husband Helmut Stainer

Family Members






  • Maintained by: GeekyGraveGirl
  • Originally Created by: Kurt Johnson
  • Added: 20 Sep 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 76816512
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Catherine Rachel Wiens Neufeld (18 Jun 1899–24 Nov 1984), Find A Grave Memorial no. 76816512, citing Fairmount-Willow Hills Memorial Park, Willow Springs, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by GeekyGraveGirl (contributor 48141838) .