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Catharine N. Edlen, 94, of Rockford, passed away on November 2, 2018. She was born on June 19, 1924 in Lee County, Illinois, the daughter of John W. and Mary (Clingan) Nelson. Catharine married Robert Edlen on June 23, 1946 in Rock Island, IL. He predeceased her on September 23, 2008. She attended Augustana College receiving her Bachelor's Degree and attended Rockford College receiving her Master's Degree. Catharine was an elementary teacher in Rockford and Kewanee Public Schools, a special education teacher, an administrator in Rockford, and director of Spectrum School. She retired in 1989. Catharine was a member of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, member of the Swedish Historical Society, and member and past president of the Winnebago/Boone Genealogical Society. She loved to read, do genealogy research, and was a library volunteer.
Survived by sons, Steve (Maggie), Philip (Mary), and David (Aileen) Edlen; grandchildren, Christine (Nick) Edlen-Korneski, Jason (Bob), Marak (Jenn), Nathan (Renee), Sarah (Rocky DiSilvestro), Erik (Stephanie), Paul and Hannah Edlen; and ten great-grandchildren. Predeceased by daughter, Sarah Catharine Edlen in 1971.
Memorial Service will be at 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, November 18, 2018 in Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 2715 S. Mulford Rd, Rockford, IL o61108. Visitation will be from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. prior to the service. Memorials may be made to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4620 20th St., Rockford 61109, Spectrum School, 2909 N. Main, Rockford, 61103, or Habitat for Humanity, 7141 Harrison Ave., Rockford, IL 61112.

Condolences & Shared Memories (8)

  1. Darlene Davis

    Will stay safe in my heart. She will be ever a great gracious women. Her kindness and teaching was outstanding. May she rest in peace. Prayers for her family.

  2. Sandy (Swanson) Kissinger

    Kay was introduced into my life in the 70s when I was student teaching at Cherry Valley Elementary School. Following that experience, I continued with my assignment in Learning Disabilities at White Swan School under Kay's mentoring. From that experience, I saw firsthand what kindness, a gentle spirit, being passionate, understanding, encouraging and compassionate for others was all about. Those character traits resonated through her to others, but the most admirable trait of all was her unwavering faith in her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and her willingness to not only share her faith with others, but also genuinely model the life of one changed through her faith. Kay's friendship meant the world to me, and my only regret is that after I lost contact with her (after she left Spectrum), I never told her how greatly she influenced my life. May Kay's legacy of faith live on forever through her family, and may God's blessings continue to follow her family and loved ones. Kay will always remain a very special part of my memories.....

  3. Linnea K. Gustafson

    Kay was such a special lady whose faith shown thru in all she did and said. She touched so many lives, including mine. In children's choir at Zion she taught me to sing with expression. I still think of her every time I sing "When Morning Gilds the Sky." When I got to attend Junior Choir Camp at Camp Augustana because Edlens let Mary Koehler and I stay with their family in a cabin, I had my first taste of blueberries. I have fond memories of the summer I shared at Augie with Kay and Sarah. And I still have the Winnie the Pooh figurine they gave me at the end of that summer. Even this summer, when she was confined to bed, Kay was full of joy, letting her faith shine. I feel very blessed to have known her!

  4. Duane Wilke

    I worked with Kay in RPS in the 80s. We taught learning style workshops together. I looked up to her as a wise mentor. Always so kind and patient. She was so committed and dedicated that she left and started Spectrum. No one will ever determine the many thousands of lives she has touched. I'm sad for your loss and ours.

  5. Ruth Mule'

    My heartfelt sympathy to the family Your neighbor

  6. John and Cheri Saarinen

    We are very sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful lady. We remember her and your father fondly from when we were Bethlehem members. Your family is in our prayers.

  7. Carol Bailey

    Kay was a wonderful leader in our church and such a faithful person who taught me a lot over the years we were friends. Blessings on your family.

  8. Carole Carbone

    Kay was mentor, teacher, friend to so many of us in the area. Her humanity, her wisdom, her kindness, her spark, and her gentleness will remain in our hearts and minds always. Thank you, Kay. We love you and will miss you.

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