Cathy was born July 11, 1961 at the Braham Hospital to Ronald and Dorothy Rysdam. She grew up in Braham where she enjoyed her pets and horses as a child. She was also known to be one of Ronny’s favorite fishing/hunting buddies. In her later teen years she met the love of her life, James Finnerty, at Braham High School where they both graduated. They were united in marriage on Dec. 9, 1978. Together they raised two boys, John and Eric. Throughout the years they enjoyed doing many activities as a family such as snowmobiling, camping, car trips, holidays, or just being together. Cathy had the unique ability to turn anything into something special. They remained living in Braham until the boys graduated High School.
Early on Cathy had a few part time jobs, such as driving school bus, as she was a fulltime mother. For the last 20 plus years Cathy was employed at the Braham High School where she did many different things. She served longest and most recently with the ECMEC program.
In 2001, Cathy was diagnosed with Lupus and she and Jim moved to rural Pine City to begin fulfilling Cathy’s childhood dream. They purchased a 40-acre soybean field and built what is now Wildflower Farm, a horse boarding and training facility. Cathy loved to train horses and give riding lessons to people of all ages and disciplines. She was so passionate about what she did. Cathy was also a carded 4-H judge and donated many hours to local 4-H clubs. She was proud to be the owner, trainer and rider of her show horses. She won numerous awards over the years for her accomplishments. Some of her proudest moments were in 2008 winning Horse of Year and Reserve High Point at the Pinto World Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. These were world championship titles. Cathy not only enjoyed showing her horses but she also took pride in mentoring many young adults how to ride. She and Jim very much enjoyed doing all of this together. These events are where they met many of their closest friends and “adopted” children. They also enjoyed trail riding, camping with friends, just sitting by the fire or climbing such tall hills that “the sun felt like God’s hands on your face” as Cathy would put it.
Everyone who knew Cathy could tell by her laugh and smile that Cathy had her own heaven on earth, especially when she was with her husband Jim. They did everything together. Recently she was blessed with her first Grandchild, her little Avery. Cathy was also filled with joy and excitement to meet her first grandson who is to be born in January. Cathy was so excited about spending her future with these two. They both already had ponies planned for them.
Cathy’s family and friends will always miss her kind heart and caring nature. May we all find peace in knowing we will see her again in Heaven. With love and severe sadness, Godspeed loving Wife, Mom, Second Mom, and Friend.
Cathy is preceded in death by grandparents, Wally and Gerty Anderson, John and Amanda Rysdam; mother, Dorothy Rysdam; mother-in-law, Peg Ryberg-Finnerty.
She is survived by husband, Jim Finnerty of Pine City; son, John Finnerty and Melissa Nellis of Pine City; son, Eric Finnerty and Cortney Moske of Foreston; grandchildren, Avery Finnerty and Baby Boy Finnerty; father, Ronald Rysdam of Stanchfield; brother, Lee Rysdam of Stanchfield; sisters, Linda (Alan) Tucker, Barb (Jon) Barnes, Sandy (Lonny) Frederickson; many nieces, nephews, in-laws, her girls from the farm, and many close friends.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Braham Evangelical Lutheran Church with Rev. Rich Chronis officiating. Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Monday, October 22, 2012 at the Rock Ingebrand Funeral Home of Braham and 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Music is provided by Ruth Grundyson (organist) and Eddie Pangerl (vocalist). Pallbearers are Johnathan Finnerty, Eric Finerty, Lee Rysdam, Mike Dobe, Lonny Fredrickson, Mike Finnerty, Bill Finnerty and Steve Brown. Honorary pallbearers are Bobbie Johnson, Beth Johnson, Emily Haug, Betsy Olander, Jackie Olander, McKenna Tindal, Morgan Mattson and Madison Mattson. Arrangements by Rock-Ingebrand Funeral Home of Braham.