Although her journey came to an end much too soon, Cathy Sandercock lived life to the fullest each day while making priceless memories with her loved ones along the way. She was intelligent, hardworking, and greatly respected in her career, yet she was humble, gracious, and ever mindful of others first and foremost. Cathy spent much of her life with her true companion with whom she experienced countless adventures. She was eager to take on new challenges of all kinds and was never one to let life get the best of her. Cathy’s selfless compassion, generous acts of kindness, and contagious zest for life will never be forgotten.
The 1950s were a time to remember as America was going places we had never been. Civil rights was gaining momentum while televisions were becoming part of our homes in record numbers and Elvis Presley became known the world over. Amidst this exciting time there was an event to remember in the lives of Kenneth and Theresa (Busalacchi) Baumler for a much different reason as they were blessed with the birth of a baby girl on January 28, 1957, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Cathy Jean was joined in her family by her older sister, Denise, and her parents divorced when she was still a young girl. She later became an older sister to two additional sisters, Sherry and Tammie. Cathy’s mother went back to work after the divorce, and Cathy became very close to her Aunt Roseann who cared for her while her mother was working. She loved all her relatives deeply and was especially close to her Nana. Cathy was proud of her Italian heritage that came to her on her mother’s side, and throughout her life she made it a priority to maintain close relationships with her extended family.
Many of the traits and interests that accompanied Cathy throughout her life emerged during her formative years. She was a shy and sensitive girl, yet she was also sure of herself and developed a strong sense of values. In addition, Cathy was a lifelong perfectionist. While growing up she discovered her love for animals at a young age and enjoyed the companionship of several dogs. Cathy was a Brownie, which was something she enjoyed. As a student she attended Saint’s Peter and Paul Catholic Grade School on Milwaukee’s East side and later attended Messmer High School and graduated from Nicolet High School. As someone who was smart and capable of doing whatever she pursued, Cathy was an excellent student.
With her education behind her, Cathy was poised for a rewarding career. She spent her working days as a quality analyst at Briggs & Stratton where she quickly developed a knack for being able to figure out quality problems. Cathy was very effective and successful in her work, gaining the respect of those around her and was recognized as a go-to person. She spent her entire career there, retiring after 27 years of dedicated service.
New and exciting changes were in store for Cathy when she met the man who stole her heart. His name was Mark Sandercock, and they met while she was working third shift. He was a young die cast engineer who had moved to Milwaukee from Los Angeles at the time and was assigned a project to improve quality while Cathy was the one to explain the problem that was to solved. Mark was smitten with her right from the start, and the attraction between them grew stronger over time. Cathy moved in with him in Menomonee Falls, and their love continued to deepen further. Her family knew he was the one since not long after they met Cathy introduced him to her Nana and her large Italian family. When Mark was being transferred to Rolla, Missouri, they decided that the time was right to get married. Despite having a rather serious case of wedding day jitters that delayed the wedding for an hour on a hot August day, Cathy and Mark were married on August 18, 1995, at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Milwaukee.
Through the years Cathy and Mark looked at life like an adventure to take on together. Moving to Rolla, Missouri, was certainly one, and it was Cathy’s first experience with living outside of Wisconsin. She supported Mark in everything he did including his work and “junking” at car swap meets. They even found a pedal car that needed restoring. Cathy did most of the work so it wasn’t a surprise to anyone that it came out beautifully. When they returned to Milwaukee, she and Mark decided to build a home in Pewaukee on the beautiful three acres that Cathy masterfully discovered. Building their home, which is where Cathy called home throughout the rest of her life, was an adventure that challenged their relationships at times, but they ended up with a such a beautiful home that was a replica of their home in Missouri.
There were numerous things that enriched Cathy’s life over the years. She was all about having fun and loved partying and dancing all night. Cathy enjoyed attending the Catholic and Greek church festivals, too. She really got into Halloween and frequently made costumes for both her and Mark, which even won them first prize one year when they went as a cavewoman and a caveman. Carving pumpkins was also a favorite part of the festivities for Cathy. New Year’s Eve was another time to celebrate, and she really liked decorating the house for the occasion. Camping was something that Cathy and Mark enjoyed as she loved everything about it including all the fun food and drink, decorating the campsite with Christmas lights, and sitting around a roaring campfire.
As her friends and family can attest, Cathy dearly loved her animals and found such joy in their companionship. She had numerous dogs over time including her German shepherd, Carla; Spot, Mark’s dog that Cathy accepted; Gypsy, Cathy and Mark’s adopted dog; Katie, the dog Cathy purchased because she wanted a small dog; Lily; and Lucy, a border collie that was Cathy’s favorite out of all of them. She taught Lucy to get over 50 different toys around the house at one time. Lily, that came from the same line of Lucy, and Peanut, a silky terrier that Mark gave Kathy as a present. Cathy would always say, “Good girls get treats,” and “Good girls get kisses,” to the dogs.
In everything she did, Cathy Sandercock was full of life with an infectious laughter that always ensured that those around her would be laughing, too. She was a leader, not a follower – when she entered a room, the waters parted. Cathy’s beauty and glamor brought pause and intrigue. She was forever focused on others and treasured the relationships she had with her family and friends. Cathy will be deeply missed and forever remembered.
Cathy Jean Sandercock died on April 7, 2014. Beloved wife of Mark L. Sandercock. Dear daughter of the late Kenneth Baumler and the late Theresa (Johnnie) Haws (nee Busalacchi). Dear sister of Denise (John) Paterimos, Sherry (Jose) Sampedro, and Tammie (Steven) Van Zummeren. Daughter-in-law of Dr. H.J. (the late Nancy) Sandercock of Bollingbrook, IL. Godmother of Jonathan Reams and Angela Williams. Further survived by other relatives and friends. Visitation will be held on Saturday, April 26 at Three Holy Women Parish – St. Hedwig Church 1702 N Humboldt Ave from 11 a.m. until the time of Memorial Mass at 12 Noon. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Wisconsin Humane Society, Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes, Suminski / Weiss (414) 276-5122, www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com