Catherine Hall Timson, 96, passed away December 20, 2017 at Bell Trace Health and Living Center. Catherine was born October 16, 1921 in Sioux City, IA to Grover Cleveland Rollins and Lydia (Harrington) Rollins. The family moved to Bethel, MO, where Catherine started school. In 1935 the family moved to Westfield, IA where she started high school. After a fire at the school, Catherine and her sister moved to Lamont, IA, staying with a cousin who was a teacher. Catherine graduated valedictorian from Lamont High School in 1939, then attended AIB College of Business in Des Moines, IA. At the beginning of WWII, Catherine was one of the thousands of young women who answered the War Dept.’s call for secretaries and traveled to Washington, DC. She worked typing Army war manuals in one of the many Quonset huts set up on the Washington Mall. She also worked across the river in Virginia at the Pentagon at a time when that building had only three sides, a mud field for a parking lot, and a definite lack of signage in the new building. Catherine returned to Sioux City in 1942 to work at the Sioux City Army Air Base. She married her high school sweetheart, Mervin Ray Hall, October 10, 1943, in Sioux City, and they returned to his family farm in Lamont, IA.
Catherine loved to knit, crochet, tat, and embroider, skills learned from her mother. This led to an avid interest in trying new skills such as Swedish weaving and bobbin lace. She had a four-harness floor loom and made many rugs and carpet runners for her own home and for friends and neighbors. Catherine was an expert seamstress and designed her own quilts, pieced table runners, and tablecloths. Not only did she create these for herself, but was eager to teach others these skills. Any visitor to her apartment would be asked if they wanted to learn, and she would teach them.
Catherine was a master baker, famous for her cookies, candies, desserts and breads (especially the cinnamon rolls!). The cookbook that she and the family put together in 2000 had 23 pages for Meats/Poultry/Fish/Seafood and 37 pages for cookies.
Catherine was the one person who kept in touch with far-flung relatives and friends, sending out as many as 160 Christmas letters which usually included a full page of recommended recipes.
Survivors include her children: Jimmy (Kathy) Hall of Marion, IA; Kay Hall Reglein and Sue (Stan) M. Shapiro of Bloomington IN; and AFS daughter Rita (Larry) Ortega Miller of Minnetonka, MN; grandchildren Brian (Meredith) Hall of Cedar Rapids, IA, Jennifer (Jeff) Gonzalez of Cedar Rapids, IA, Brett Hall of Coralville, IA; Michael (Trista) Reglein of Severn, MD, Carolyn (Raul) Silva of Wheaton, IL; Sonia (Mark) Miller-Van Oort of Hopkins, MN; Maria (Joseph) Miller-Rinaldi of Hopkins, MN; and Natalie (Ryan) Miller-Ritt of Palatine, IL. Survivors also include great-grandchildren Adrienne, Samantha, and Sadie Hall of Cedar Rapids, IA; Alexis, Jobe, and Mathias Gonzalez of Cedar Rapids, IA; Mathew, Nicholas, and Madison Reglein of Severn, MD; Victor and Alicia Silva of Wheaton, IL; Quinn and Kiara Van Oort of Hopkins, MN; Joseph, Rasmus, Vedder, and Enzo Rinaldi of Hopkins, MN. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Catherine was preceded in death by her husband Mervin Ray Hall in 1995, her husband Elmer Timson in 2015, and by her brother, Kenneth Rollins (2010), and sister, Helen Hebeler (2005).
The family would like to thank the Bell Trace staff for their wonderful, loving and professional care of Catherine during her 5-year stay, as she transitioned from Independent Living to Assisted Living to the Rehab Center. She loved living there and made many friends with the staff and residents.
A memorial service for Catherine will be held Saturday, January 6, 2018, at 10:00 in the Chapel of the First Methodist Church, 219 E 4th St, Bloomington, IN 47408.