Healy, Kate (1837 - 1923)






----Source: Owen Enterprise (Clark County) Thursday, May 24, 1923

The death of Mrs. Kate Healey which occurred on May 11, 1923, at the age of eighty-six years marks the close of a life which should receive more than a passing comment.

Kate Cook was born in Toronto, Canada, March 21, 1837, the daughter of William and Jane Cook, she being the third child in a family of twelve. In 1855 the family migrated to Wisconsin and settled at Stockbridge on the shore of Lake Winnebago, passing through all the experiences and vicissitudes of pioneer life in what was at that time a very primitive section of the country. On Dec. 14, 1858, the daughter Kate was married to Conner Healey of Fond du Lac and the young couple settled there, continuing to make that city or the near vicinity their home for twenty-two years. In 1880 they again braved the hardships incidental to pioneer life and moved to Unity, Clark County, which was in the heart of a thriving lumbering section at that time. Mr. Healey who was an expert millwright, for some years acted in that capacity in the mill at Unity. Later on he engaged in the general mercantile business in which he continued up to within a year or two of his death, which occurred at Unity on August 29, 1909.

On December 14, 1908, Mr. and Mrs. Healey celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, marking a half century of happy married life that it would be hard to equal. The tender bond between them broken less than a year later by the passing of her husband left a heartache in Mrs. Healey's life that could not be healed this side of eternity. Together they had met deep sorrow more than once, for of the ten children born to them they were called upon to part with three in early life. The oldest child, Henry, died at the age of eight years and Jennie, the second child, at the age of three. Another son, James, died just as he entered young manhood.

The seven children who survive their mother are J. H. Healey of Mankato, Minn., Mrs. Gust Anderson of Stanley, Wis., Mrs. Geo. Feuerhelm of Withee, Wis., Mrs. F. F. Groelle of Milwaukee, Wis., E.W. Healey of Mankato, Minn., E. J. Healey of Butternut, Wis., and Mrs. Percy Thayer of Fond du Lac, Wis., all of whom are present for the funeral. Mrs. Healey also has eleven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Another trial thru which they passed was at the time of the Civil War when the cruel exigencies of the times called her husband to respond to the call of his country's need, leaving the faithful wife to keep the home, care for the little ones and anxiously await the longed-for return of her husband and father.

Perhaps the greatest sorrow that came into the life of Mrs. Healey was the loss of her mother and oldest sister, who were drowned on the ill-fated Lady Elgin on Lake Michigan, in 1860, when returning from a visit to the old home in Canada. Then her oldest brother died in early manhood and her youngest sister in childhood, but the family circle was not broken until a very few years ago since when she parted with three of her brothers, the late J. H. Cook of Appleton, S. A. Cook of Neenah and Alfred Cook of Unity. Surviving her are two sisters, Mrs. Sarah Drake of Stanley and Mrs. Loretta Elliott of Kettleby, Canada and three brothers, Wetson Cook of Washington, D.C., James and Albert Cook of Hope, Idaho. In 1907 a remarkable reunion of this family was held at the home of S. A. Cook at Neenah, at which were present the three sisters, six brothers, two brothers-in-law and three sisters-in-law. They spent a week together and it was indeed a joyous gathering.

Since the death of her husband Mrs. Healey has made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Feuerhelm, who has lived in Withee since 1913. In fact, this daughter has never been separated from her mother except for a few weeks at a time and the bond between them was very close and tender. Between all the children and their mother there was a strong bond of affection and it would be hard to find a more loyal or devoted family. In the late years the home of Mr. and Mrs. Feuerhelm has been the rallying place for many happy gatherings with mother as the central figure. Notable among these gatherings was that on Mrs. Healey's 80th birthday when all seven of her children with their wives and husbands, gathered to make merry in a celebration that will remain as a beautiful picture on memory's walls as long as life shall last. Again on her 86th birthday, March 21st of this year, all of her children were with her and although mother was unable to be out of her bed at that time, she entered into the joy of having her dear ones with her in a manner that was beautiful to see and remember. Surely, her children arise up and call her blessed. What greater monument can a mother ask of Mrs. Healey's character we cannot speak in too high terms. She was truly a fine woman in every sense of the word. Possessed of very strong convictions as to the right and wrong, nothing could swerve her from the right as she saw it. In her later years, after the burden and stress of life's work was to a great extent laid aside, she found great comfort in the study of her Bible and her faith in the goodness of her Heavenly Father became a very living comfort to her. It is a very rare thing to see one retain the joy of living through all the years of long life to such an extent as did Mrs. Healey. At the same time, the hope of immortality was a real and abiding comfort to her and she frequently expressed herself in recent months as ready and willing to go when her Master should summon.

The funeral service on May 14th was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Feuerhelm and concluded at the Methodist church at Unity, her old home, with interment beside her husband in the cemetery there. Friends from Withee went with the family and relatives to act as pall-bearers and to sing. Rev. Grandy of Withee gave a very comforting address. Old friends, including members of the Rebekah lodge of which Mrs. Healey was a faithful member, gathered to pay their last respects and one of earth's gentlewomen was reverently laid to rest.



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