Mary Catherine Rukavina

Services for Mary Catherine Rukavina, 88, of Grand Rapids, Minnesota will be held Saturday, Sept. 25 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wayne at 10:30 a.m.  

Catherine died at her home in Grand Rapids on Aug. 16, 2021, with several of her family with her.  There will be a graveside service with her immediate family in Chisholm, Minnesota at a later date.  

Mary Catherine Gross was born March 22, 1934 in Wisner to William and Frances Gross.  She was baptized, received her first Holy Communion, and was confirmed in St. Joseph’s Church in Wisner. She attended Wisner High School and graduated with the class of 1951.

Cathy took Normal Training in high school and graduated with her two-year teaching certificate. She taught for a short period of time at District 44, south of Wisner. While taking a summer course at Wayne State Teachers College in Wayne, she met and dated Norman Roeber. In 1954, Catherine and Norman were married at St. Joseph’s Church in Wisner. To that marriage six children were born — Daniel, Terri, Thomas, Stanley, Jason, and Carter. While they were living on a farm near Carroll, Norman died in a farm accident in 1961. Cathy then moved to Wayne to raise her family.  She decided to get her teaching degree, majoring in history, and received her BAE in 1967 from Wayne State Teachers College.

She and her children moved to Chisholm, Minnesota, where she taught history and social studies for eleven years and inspired students to higher learning. It was while teaching in Chisholm she met George Rukavina, a fellow teacher. After a whirlwind courtship of board games and cards at her kitchen table, Cathy and George were married in 1969.  Together, they enjoyed raising the kids to adulthood, and found time to participate in square dancing and the Iron Range Historical Society. George passed away in 1992.  

Cathy then started working full time at the Fingerhut Corporation in their telemarketing department, first in Eveleth, Minnesota and then in 1995, to escape the North Country winters, she moved to Tampa, Florida, and continued to work for the Fingerhut Corporation. Cathy retired from full time work in 2004.  In 2005, she moved to a retirement apartment in Onley, Maryland, to become the grandmother baby sitter for Carter’s children, a job she thoroughly enjoyed.

Survivors include her six children, Daniel and Jewel (Tel Aviv, Israel), Terri and Phil (Hibbing, Minnesota), Thomas (Yarmouth, Maine), Stanley and Robyn (Grand Rapids, Minnesota), Jason, (Austin, Texas), and Carter and Rebecca, (Evanston, Illinois); 16 grandchildren; Daniel’s children – Miriam, Bentzie, Naftalie, Tzippy, Itzy, and Simi; Terri’s children – Joe and Patrick, Tom’s son – Graham; Stanley children – Angela, Amber, Luke, and Zach; Jason’s son – Calvin; Carter’s children – Trudy  and Oscar; and 39 great-grand children; two sisters,  Liz (Leonard) Jindra, Norfolk, and Bridget (Howard) McNiff, Cook; five brothers; Joe (Rita) Longmont, Colorado, Michael, Dennison, Iowa, Patrick and Steve (Debby), both of Wayne and John, Lincoln; anda host of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husbands; Norman (1961), and George (1992); her parents, William (1987) and Frances (1971) Gross; one sister, Rita (1991), and four brothers; William (1994), Leo (2002), Dominic (1975), and Gerald 2007; two sisters-in-law, Michael’s wife, Donna (2001), and Patrick’s wife, Mary Jo (2017).  


Subscriber Login

Login Help

Thank you for visiting our new website. For your initial login to the site, please use the following information:

Username: Your current username (or screen name from the previous site)
Password: Please also use your username as the password

You can change your password after successfully logging into the site. Thank you.

Trending Video


  • September 22, 2021
    Check out some of the photos from this week's Memory Lane feature.To see the stories featured this week, visit this link:
  • September 20, 2021
    While everyone may have their own definition of what age range constitutes a “youth leader” it is important to remember that all of them are our future leaders. These youth are the...

  • Twenty-three of the 36 active firemen pictured here are, left to right, back row: Harold Fleer, Harry Leseberg, Lloyd Russell, Ivan Creighton, Ivan Beeks, Dick Mead, Wayne Tietgen, Pat Hailey, Bud Froehlich, Pete Dawson, Lee Swinney (chief), Paul Koplin, Merle Beckner; front row, left to fight: Bill Kugler, Leonard Schmidt, N. H. Brugger, Bill Mellor, Warren Bilson, John Theil, Mert Ellis, Kent Hall, Clete Sharer and Joe Dorcey.
    September 14, 2021
    From the Sept. 14, 1961 edition of The Wayne Herald:Wayne and the Wayne Rural Fire District calls for practice as well as actual fire fighting. Waynefiremen meet twice a month, holding a meeting the...

The Wayne Herald

Mailing Address:
114 Main Street
Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600

Comment Here