Catherine LaPorte, 92, passed away June 20, 2019, at her home in Westfield, N.Y.
Catherine was born on July 4, 1926, in Wesleyville, Pa., a daughter of the late Rocco and Josephine (Campanella) Andronica.
She graduated from Strong Vincent High School of Erie, Pa., in 1944, where she earned a championship in tennis. She learned to play the saxophone at the Erie Conservatory of Music, and later taught herself to play the piano and organ. Her first job was at G.C. Murphy followed by others in retail sales.
Catherine and Joseph LaPorte were wed on Nov. 11, 1945, where upon she moved to Westfield to begin her married life and raise their five children. During their marriage of 46 years, they owned LaPortedale Farms, raising cattle and growing grapes for Welch’s. They established their first farm equipment dealership early in their marriage, and many years later joined with their sons: Sam and Tom to form LaPorte Farm Equipment Inc. on Prospect Road. Finally, they purchased LaPorte Chevrolet Inc. (Joe’s dream). Cathy was always at Joe’s side, a loving wife and wonderful mother.
She always wanted to own a dress shop and was delighted to acquire “Sincerely Yours” which she owned for six years. She served as president of the Westfield-Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and was involved in many civic and service activities in the community.
A member of Lakeshore Assembly of God, Cathy was a devoted woman of faith. Her ministries in the church included Sunday school teacher, Sunday school superintendent, musician, youth leader, Keenagers (Seniors Group) leader, Women’s Ministry president and Prayer Chain Ministry coordinator. Shortly after becoming a widow, she initiated a group called “Single Again,” inviting those who were heartbroken to have dessert, coffee and to share and heal. In addition, she personally discipled, mentored and counseled countless family and friends ~ usually over a cup of coffee.
Cathy leaves a legacy of faith, grace, beauty, kindness, genuine caring and service. Her hospitality was legendary, as folks from all walks of life, all ages, pastors, missionaries and renown speakers from all over the world, were seated at her table. Her Chicken Soup, cheerfully delivered to those in need, was famous!
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph; her parents, Rocco and Josephine; her step-father, Eugenio Cervero; one brother, Joseph Andron; two sisters: Elizabeth DeSantis and Frances Gligora; and two stepsisters: Manuella Buzzanco and Katie LaPlaca.
Surviving are her children: Marilyn (John) Hemmer, Shirley (Chris) Schimel, Sam (Eileen) LaPorte, Tom (Julie) LaPorte, and Kimberly (Vinny) Sanzo. Also surviving are nine grandchildren: Brett and Michael (Julia) Hemmer, Jeff (Cathryn) and Joel Schimel, Matthew (Christina) LaPorte, Jennifer (Nate) Novelli, Emily LaPorte, Nate and Joanna Sanzo; five step-grandchildren: Brooke (Ryan) Calkins, Meredith Sheesley, Dino, Perry and Michael Alexandrides; one great-grandchild, Jack Schimel; two step-great-grandchildren: Piper and Nola Calkins; and two sisters: Victoria Tedesco and Dorothy (Sal) Pecoraro.
Friends and family may call on Friday, June 28, 2019, from 1-3 and 6-8 p.m., at the MASON Funeral Home, 37 Clinton St., Westfield, N.Y. Catherine’s funeral service will be held at Lakeshore Assembly of God, 252 E. Main St., Westfield, NY 14787, on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Vinny Sanzo officiating.
Interment will be in Westfield Cemetery.
Memorials made to Lakeshore Assembly of God, and the Westfield Memorial Hospital Foundation (189 E. Main St., Westfield, NY 14787) will be greatly appreciated by the family.
Catherine’s children wish to express their sincere appreciation to all those friends and family members who have been so gracious, kind, caring encouraging and supportive during her illness. You have surrounded them with love and they wish for you the richest blessings in return.
Log on to www.mason funeral.com to send the LaPorte family a message of sympathy, to light a memorial candle or for further information.