Cathy VanMiddlesworth


Cathy Lynn VanMiddlesworth, 72, Mandan, joined her heavenly family members on September 11, 2023.  She chose to live each day fully despite her battle with pancreatic cancer.  Per Cathy’s request a small service was held.

One of the few advantages of dying of cancer is that you have time to write your own obituary. The other advantages are you no longer have to bother with sunscreen or worry about weight, wrinkles or what to make for supper, etc. I would like to let you know that God must think that my work here is done. He gave me an assignment which I was unable to decline and from which I will not return. The good thing is that this assignment comes with a huge sign-on bonus: a reunion with family and friends I have not seen in a long time.  I was given the gift of life on earth, and now my time is up. Leaving is hard, but I was a lucky person who was blessed with a wonderful existence. For this I am grateful.

I received my diagnosis of advanced and aggressive pancreatic cancer in October 2022. I decided to be joyful about having had a full life rather than sad about having to die so soon. My faith helped me accept what I could not change.  At any rate I am at peace, and on that note, I take my mortal leave.  My new address is Heaven.

I was preceded in death by our sweet son Jason; my loving, generous and fun-loving father Clyde Hoovestol; my sweet niece Callie Haux; and my mother-in-law and father-in-law Ed and Clara VanMiddlesworth.

I am survived by my beloved husband and best friend John; my loving mother Coralyn Hoovestol; my four awesome sisters and brothers-in-law, Caryn and Darryl Schatz, Cindy and Mitch Kaelberer, Connie and Scott Beierle, Cherie and Jon Sanstead; many dear nieces and nephews; and the best friends anyone could ever dream of having. I am also grateful for the many friends I gained along the way from my nursing and real estate careers.

To my nieces and nephews, I saw something that said you never really know the true impact you have on those around you.  You never know how much someone needed that smile you gave them. You never know how much your kindness turns someone’s entire life around. You never know how much someone needed that long hug or deep talk. Don’t wait to be kind. Don’t wait for someone else to be kind first. Don’t wait for better circumstances or for someone to change. Just be kind because you never know how much someone needs it. To my siblings and friends another thing I saw that seems so meaningful said life is full of surprises.  When your day is wonderful, cherish it.  When it becomes difficult, stay strong.  There are no guarantees on how many days you have left so be grateful for each and every one of them.

To all my beloved friends and family, I want to thank you for being the best part of my life.  Not goodbye but see you later.

In lieu of flowers, Cathy requests everybody to make it a point to PAY AN ACT OF KINDNESS FORWARD or make a donation to your favorite charity.


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Oh, John. I’m so very sorry about Cathy. What a fabulous life you built together, full of blessings and treasured memories. Her obituary is just beautiful. What a gift she gave to us all; a reminder to be kind. Take good care. Peace to you.

Such a beautiful message from Cathy. This is her legacy. She has a wonderful smile that lit up room and then her giggle! I will never forget her giggle. I am blessed to have called her my friend. Heaven is a little more special with her arrival. John may God wrap HIS arms around you and grant you peace and memories to last until you are together again.

My dear Cathy. Leave it to you to depart so gracefully and on your own terms. I’m heartbroken. We’ve lost a beautiful light and big-hearted woman who made so many of us better people for have knowing her. I’ll miss you forever. My deepest sympathies to you, dear John. You were blessed with the best. I love you.

This is so beautiful of what she wrote. I loved visiting with her and her giggle was something I loved to hear. So sorry John for your loss but she is now at peace

I am sorry for your loss John. Cathy was such a sweet person. She will be missed.

Loving and spectacular words from a wonderful spectacular woman. You will be greatly missed Cathy


Whet a wonderful “ see you later “, from Cathy. So sorry for your loss John, Sincerely, Jim & Lisa Behun

John, we are so sorry to hear of Cathy’s passing and we will miss seeing her sweet, neighborly smile. Her obituary is beautiful. What a testament to the importance of a life well-lived … and filled with kindness.

Syd and Marnie Lahtinen

John, I am so sorry about Cathy. Our sympathies to you and Cathy’s family.

Such a wonderful soul the world lost, but heaven gained. I was lucky enough to have reconnected with her after many years. John, what a blessing you were able to share all those years with her. She will be missed by many. Sending love.

John and Cathy’s family; each day when I didn’t see any announcement of Cathy’s death I said to myself “ she is going to be with us here so much longer”! And I thought , she must be soaking up every minute and wanting to stay out of that way I simply didn’t show up. Forgive me for not reaching out . She had super class and rich kindness . A life that touched me and many. My sincerest sympathies to you and Cathy’s family.

Cathy my dear, your obituary is beautiful, insightful and heartfelt, just like you. I am a better person for knowing you. I will miss seeing your smile, hearing your giggle and seeing you and John together but I know you are right here with us, shining your light like the angel you are. Enjoy your time with those you love and know that I’ll never forget you and look forward to seeing you again soon.

In the spectrum of all time since man walked earth, I am grateful that in my lifetime, just like Cathy’s, that we have been living the good life since 1951 in a wonderful community and country with exceptional family and friends. Cathy was special – a joyful and trusted friend and reliable real estate colleague. Her passing makes me sad. The way she did it makes me proud and stronger.

John, I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you are with caring and loving family and friends at this difficult time. My mother passed from pancreatic cancer so take solice in knowing Cathy is now released from her earthly suffering. May God be with you.

John and Cathy’s Family, My heart goes out to all of you. Cathy was an exceptional and unforgettable person and a friend to many. Her smile, and of course her giggle will be remembered by all that knew her. She made this world a better place through her kind and generous spirit. The sun will be less bright without her. My condolences,