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Welcome to the memorial page for

Catharine S. 'Kate' Richardson

November 24, 2017


Catharine S. ‘Kate’ Richardson passed away Friday, November 24, 2017 at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Wabasha, MN.  Kate was born December 30, 1931 in Fairmont, MN to Brad and Mildred (Prouty) Richardson.  She lived in Fairmont most of her life with time away to attend college at both Macalester College and the University of Minnesota to study art history.  She returned to Fairmont and married Charles Zierke.  They had two children.  Kate was a full time mother and an active Fairmont community volunteer.  She gave of her time and talents to the Fairmont Hospital Auxiliary, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, the Fairmont public library, the Salvation Army and the Fairmont Civic Summer Theater.  She designed and provided the artistry for the sets of numerous productions for that organization.  Kate was always willing to share her artistic talents for community fundraising and hosted an annual Christmas boutique. 

Kate relocated to Wabasha in 1991.  She loved the community and her home on the Mississippi River.  She continued her life of community service with involvement in both RJAC and Eldercare and continued to paint in her home studio overlooking the river.  Kate had a host of wonderful friends in Wabasha and most importantly, the man she met and married, Ed Wirtz.  They enjoyed involvement with RJAC, their dinner club and exploring the communities along the river.  Kate was a member of the local Red Hat club and she and Ed enjoyed weekly coffee gatherings at the Eagles Nest. 

Kate was preceded in death by her parents, Brad and Mildred.  She is survived by her loving husband, Ed Wirtz, Wabasha, MN; son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Mary Zierke, State College, PA; daughter and son-in-law, Sue and Kevin Johnson, Eden Prairie, MN; three grandchildren, Cara Zierke and Meredith and Connor Johnson; son, Daniel Hartshorn; brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Sharon Richardson, Plymouth, MN, and their children and grandchildren; Ed Wirtz’s children, daughter, Kathleen and Joe Allen, Madison, WI, and their children, Nora and Tess; sons, Mike Wirtz and Tim Wirtz, both of the Twin Cities; and Ed’s six siblings and their families. 

A celebration of Kate’s life is pending and an announcement will be published in early 2018.  Should you wish to honor Kate with a memorial donation, the family asks that contributions be sent to Mayo Hospice-Wabasha Chapter, 1200 Grant Blvd West, Wabasha, MN  55981, the organization that provided excellent care and support to Kate and her family in the last months of her life.  


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