Catherine H. Hallman of Ellwood City passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 after a courageous three-year battle with abdominal cancer.
Catherine was born April 11,1932, in Beaver Falls, PA to the late Alex and Amelia Schinke. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, the Reverend Dr. Franklin D. (Bud) Hallman, brothers Andrew Schinke and Alex Schinke, and sister Lillian Lindner.
Catherine is survived by daughter Barbara (Mark) Parr of Bay Village, Ohio; son Tom (Shirley) Hallman of Ellwood City; daughter Lisa Hallman of Rocky River, Ohio; grandsons Steven Rottura of Fairview Park, Ohio; Craig (Holly) Hallman of Greensburg; Michael Hallman of Cranberry Twp.; and great-grandson Quinn Hallman of Greensburg. She is also survived by her dear sister, Gertrude LeDonne of New Brighton and loving niece Cindy Richner of Koppel.
She had very fond memories of growing up in Beaver Falls, participating in musical productions in school, and working in her father’s grocery stores. Catherine graduated in 1948 and then attended both Thiel and Geneva Colleges where she studied elementary education.
She was a full partner in her husband’s 43-year ministry in the United Methodist Church, serving alongside him in Church Creek, MD (1950-51), Rogersville (1951-56), South Greensburg (1956-68), New Brighton First (1968-80), Uniontown Asbury (1980-91), and New Castle First (1991-93). She loved all of the various pastoral appointments and often said, “I believe each location was just perfect for us in each stage of our lives in His ministry.”
In her role as “First Lady” in each congregation, Catherine served on many committees, led Bible Schools, taught Sunday School and confirmation classes, and was a very dedicated member and leader in the United Methodist Women. She was also a joyful soprano in the choir. In both New Brighton and Uniontown, she led the teams that sewed costumes for many dramatic/musical productions. Catherine loved to entertain and her home was always open for a dinner or other form of gathering for friends and family, no matter where she lived.
In 1970, she founded the First United Methodist Church Nursery School in New Brighton, where she was the director and head teacher for 10 years. In 1980, she and Bud were transferred to Uniontown and she founded another nursery school at Asbury United Methodist Church. She again served as director and head teacher for 10 years. Both schools continue to this day and owe their existence to Catherine’s love of teaching and working with children.
Catherine served beyond the local church through her involvement at both the District and Conference levels with the United Methodist Women. She was a staunch supporter of worldwide mission and also served on the Board of Directors for many years at Jumonville Christian Camp and Retreat Center in Hopwood, PA.
She toured Europe in 1982 as a member of the American Cathedral Choir, and locally was a member of the Beaver Valley Choral Society for many years. Professionally trained, singing was a major form of relaxation for Catherine. Many will remember her annual rendition of “O Holy Night” on Christmas Eve.
Once she and Bud officially retired, she spent much of her free time volunteering at Ellwood City Hospital, working with the local election board, and going on bus trips. She became a very active member of Chippewa UMC and for many years enjoyed her Sunday School class, greeting people before the Sunday service, the sewing ministry, and working at the festivals. She also reconnected with her card club and spent many wonderful afternoons playing canasta with her dearest friends. She was an avid reader and enjoyed completing the daily crossword puzzle. Catherine loved to travel and was fortunate enough to have seen many parts of the world with her husband, dear friend Vivian Brannock, her daughters and son-in-law, and her friends from Chippewa UMC.
Catherine will always be remembered for her big smile and positive attitude, organizational skills, can-do attitude, commitment to the UMW, and loving manner with everyone she met. Within minutes you always felt as though you had known her all your life.
Arrangements will be handled by the Hill and Kunselman Funeral Home, 3801 4th Avenue, Beaver Falls, PA 15010, where visitation will be held on Friday, September 4th from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Visitation will again be held on Saturday, September 5th from 10 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m. at the New Brighton UMC, 1033 6th Avenue, New Brighton, PA 15066 with Rev. Gary Hilton presiding. Due to the pandemic seating will be limited. Masks and social distancing will be required for the visitations and the funeral service. The service will be recorded and posted later on the NBUMC website for virtual attendance.
Private interment will be held at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.
Her family extended deepest gratitude to Dr. Rahim Remtulla of UPMC Hillman Cancer Clinic, the IV Therapy Staff at Heritage Valley Medical Center, and Good Samaritan Hospice.
Charitable donations can be made, if you so desire, to the NBUMC Pre-School, Asbury UMC Pre-School, Jumonville Training Center, The Salvation Army, or City Rescue Mission in New Castle.