Cover photo for Catherine M. Kostelc's Obituary
Catherine M. Kostelc Profile Photo
1945 Catherine 2024

Catherine M. Kostelc

June 29, 1945 — March 2, 2024



Catherine Mary (Carli) Kostelc, 78, passed away peacefully at home in Joliet, Illinois surrounded by loved ones on March 2, 2024.


Cathy was born on June 29, 1945, in Joliet, IL.  She lived in Joliet her entire life, attending St. Paul Grade School and St. Francis High School Academy. 


After high school, she went to work at Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL, as a secretary. 


In 1965, she married Richard Kostelc, and they were happily married for 26 years. She took a break from work, and they had two wonderful children, Linda, and Ron.  Both children born deaf, Cathy ensured they obtained a good education with the limited resources available at that time. She encouraged and guided them to be wonderful adults with strong family values. She was a wonderful mother and homemaker. 


Growing up, the family enjoyed spending time at their Wisconsin cabin by the lake and experiencing the outdoors during their many family camping trips to MN, KY, MO, CO, WY, and UT. At their Wisconsin cabin, Cathy enjoyed snowmobiling and cross-country skiing over the frozen lake with her family. In the summer, the family liked moto trail bike riding, fishing, and boating. Cathy enjoyed sunbathing, always enjoying the feel of the sun and fresh air.  


Cathy rejoined the workforce and dedicated the next 20 years to St. Joseph’s Hospital’s billing office before retiring.


Sadly, Cathy was tragically widowed in 1990 when her loving husband, Rich, passed away. Five years later, Cathy met her very special companion of 28 years, Bob Legner, at a dance by the Kingsway Kickers Country Line Dancers Club, which they both were members. Bob’s family became another branch of Cathy’s family tree; she loved his children, siblings, and extended family, too. 


Cathy continued enjoying her interest and love of the outdoors with Bob.   Over the years they canoed the Fox River, bicycled the trails along the I&M canal, and bird watched peacefully in the backyard while reading the newspaper and books. Bob made many bird houses and squirrel feeders for Cathy creating a beautiful backyard habitat. She found joy in the simple antics of the squirrels and birds whether sitting outside or from an inside window. They liked reading the newspaper and books out on the patio listening to the birdsongs in the background during summer, spring or fall. Cathy enjoyed gardening and Bob helped her create a backyard compost pile, which she later used for tomato plants. She was fond of flowers too, and perhaps missed her calling as an architectural landscaper designing lovely flower beds and borders in her beautiful yard. 


As Linda and Ron grew their families, Cathy found delight in family picnics, bon fires and cookouts. Avid gardener that she was, she assisted her son with his new home’s yardwork. She taught her daughter-in-law about plants and guided her in the new world of yard maintenance


She was proud of her grandchildren and attended their school band events where each played the French horn like their father. Over the years, Cathy happily took a plethora of canned goods to donate to the Joliet American Legion Band’s annual Christmas show where her son-in-law and his sister were members. She was thrilled to see her grandson play on the Rialto stage with the band, too.


Family was important to her. She later became a caregiver for her parents and always looked after our older family members.  Even though her brother Ray lived across the country, they were devoted to weekly calls maintaining their affectionate relationship. She also found great pleasure as her grandchildren grew.  She loved how they carved out time for her during their busy college years for dinner and dessert nights, sometimes enjoying a game of Sequence, one of her favorites. 


Cathy was a marvelous baker and cook, sharing family recipes with others. She shared her famous peanut brittle recipe with her son who also has a knack in the kitchen. Her candy is one thing many may remember about her since she gifted this treat at the holidays. Cathy and Bob also made her mother’s’ cranberry recipe at the holidays, as well as other family favorites. Cathy enjoyed making every holiday and birthday special, always hanging a banner, and decorating no matter our age. She enjoyed hosting and scouring the papers or internet for fun quizzes and games to liven the holiday gathering. Those Christmas quizzes were killers, but so much fun. A couple years ago Chris & Linda came up with their own games and now will try to continue this tradition in her memory. 


Cathy was natural born nurturer and loved her family. She was wonderful person, beautiful on the inside and out. She made everyone feel special. Cathy supported her daughter-in-law’s volunteerism with the Girl Scouts and church, brainstorming ideas and assisting with projects.  She regretted not making time to volunteer at Friends of the Library or at her local Food Pantry.


Preceded in death by her father and mother Henry (Joe) & Helen (Rodeghier) Carli, husband Richard Kostelc, in-laws Albert & Kate (Veronica Podnar) Kostelc, and brother Raymond & Roxanne (Davis) Carli. 

Survived by Bob Legner, daughter Linda (Peter) Cartelli, grandchildren Joshua and Emma Cartelli, son Ronald (Chris Alsip) Kostelc, her brother’s daughters, Patty (John) Sprague, Tina (Robert, Sr.) Kosednar. Brother-in-law, Raymond (Polly) Kostelc, nephew Joseph (Nicole Mologousis) Kostelc and niece, Christine (Kostelc) Wagner as well as eleven great nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, March 15, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at the Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home.  Entombment Woodlawn Memorial Park.  Visitation Friday morning 9:00 a.m. until time of services.

In lieu of flowers please support your local food pantry, library, church, or local Girl Scout Council. 


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Catherine M. Kostelc, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, March 15, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Blackburn, Giegerich, Sonntag Funeral Home

1500 Black Road, Joliet, IL 60435

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, March 15, 2024

11:00 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Blackburn, Giegerich, Sonntag Funeral Home

1500 Black Road, Joliet, IL 60435

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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