Skip to main content

OBITUARY: Catherine Munsell

November 24, 2022
By Staff Report

Catherine Anne Halpin Munsell, 81, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Boca Grande passed away on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Englewood. Cathy was born in Fort Riley, Kansas, to Lawrence and Margaret (Schuele) Halpin, on Oct. 30, 1941, and grew up in Cedar Rapids. She was young at heart and had an energetic disposition. She graduated from Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, studying two years at the University of Iowa, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She enjoyed playing tennis, clogging, and will be remembered for her philanthropy in the Junior League, the Children’s Theatre, the Embroiderer’s Guild and her generosity with the History Center, the Monarch Butterfly Research Project, and the Lightkeeper’s Fund in Boca Grande. She owned the monogram shop Initial Impressions at Town and Country Shopping Center, and a knitting supply store. She retired to Florida with her husband Bill in 1996. She was extremely talented, creating many beautiful needlepoint, knitting and crochet projects for family and friends. Always with a young-at-heart nature, Cathy will be fondly remembered and missed by many. 

She is survived by her siblings, Lawrence Halpin (Judy), James Halpin (Mary), and Margaret Halpin Eovino, all of Naples.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, David Halpin (Kathleen); her first husband, Richard Kohl, with whom she had two children, Caroline Kohl Gannon of Rotonda West, Fla., and Julie Kohl Vietor of Granite Bay, Calif.; three biological grandchildren, Burke Vietor of Placerville, Calif., Shamus Gannon of Boulder, Colo., and Hunter Vietor of El Dorado Hills, Calif. She also was preceded in death by her second husband, Bill Munsell, who blessed her with seven stepchildren, Amy O’Brien, Steve and Scott Munsell, David, Steve and Doug Nordstrom, and Kris (Nordstrom) Hayes; 12 stepgrandchildren, whom she held close to her heart; and three step-great-grandchildren, whom she certainly would have spoiled had she had the opportunity.

Cathy was very philanthropic, volunteering her time with Meals on Wheels in Iowa and Florida, and spent countless hours knitting hats for newborns.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to The History Center in Cedar Rapids, or The Monarch Research Project. A celebration of life in Cedar Rapids will be planned in the spring.