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Catherine Wahlmeier

December 21, 1930 — August 13, 2020

Catherine Wahlmeier


Catherine (Gilsdorf) Orth Wahlmeier, age 89, of Hays, passed away on Thursday, August 13th, 2020, at Good Samaritan Society. She was born on December 21, 1930 in Hilbert, WI to Joseph and Martha (Leonhard) Gilsdorf.

She married Harold Orth on November 12, 1952. He preceded her in death in 1974. She married Robert Wahlmeier on August 2, 1975. He preceded her in death in 2011.

Catherine received her nursing diploma in 1951 in Fond du Lac, WI and began her nursing career in Hays, Kansas with the Agnesian Nuns at St. Anthonys Hospital. After she married Harold Orth, she became a full-time mother and homemaker, but she always kept her RN license current.

Catherine was a fierce defender of the unborn. She became active in the Right to Life movement serving on the board of Right to Life of Kansas and speaking out against Planned Parenthood. Catherine participated in more than 25 annual Marches for Life in Washington D. C. She daily prayed the rosary in front of the local Planned Parenthood in Hays, KS whose doors finally closed in 2014. She was awarded the Guardian of Life Award from the Diocese of Salina in September 2008. Catherine also wrote a pro-life article entitled "Time for Life" in the Ellis County Star from 1974-1989. She served on Ladies Auxiliary that helped raise funds for Mary Elizabeth Maternity Home.

Catherine was a parishioner of St. Josephs Catholic Church and a daily communicant, made countless holy hours and sang in the choir. She was a member of Christian Mothers, the Third Order Franciscans, and Perpetual Adorers. Catherine also volunteered her time praying the rosary and singing in nursing facilities throughout Hays. She recently started a prayer group in her home that continued while living at Good Samaritan Society.

Catherine enjoyed dancing, baking and sewing. She was a skilled quilt maker and made hundreds of quilts for weddings and births of family and friends. She also donated quilts to the Samaritan House for the homeless population in Denver.

Catherine was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend and advocate of the unborn. She will be greatly missed by all.

Catherine is survived by three sons: Joseph Orth of Bellevue, KY; John (Ginger) Orth of Loyal, WI; and Michael Orth of Jefferson, GA; Seven Daughters: Joan Holt of Wright City, MO; Maggie (John) Cosner of Gillette, WY; Mary Burks of Stone Mountain, GA; Martha (Vince) Ervin of Clemson, SC; Maureen (Bob) McDaniel of Rogersville, TN; Judy (Jason) Berry of Denver, CO; and Jacinta (Dan) Gosbeth of Sahuarita, AZ. Four step-sons: Mark (Julie) Wahlmeier of Catoosa, OK; Thaddeus Wahlmeier of Tulsa, OK; Camillus (Dorrene) Wahlmeier of Wamego, KS; and Nathaniel (Elizabeth) Wahlmeier of Noble, OK; Six step-daughters: Rose (Bob) Ponder of Sherman, TX; Joan Wahlmeier of Longview, WA; Germaine Wahlmeier of The Colony, TX; Roberta (Ed) Valdez of Ogden, UT; Cordelia (James) Stephan of Melissa, TX; Bibianna (Jason) Maddox of Austin, TX; Brothers: Joe (Rosie) Gilsdorf of WI; Leo (Diane) Gilsdorf of Decatur, GA; Sisters: Mary Pable of WI; Margaret (Kris) Keij of Doraville, GA; Therese Stogner of Atlanta, GA as well as 56 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by parents, her first husband, Harold Orth, her second husband, Robert Wahlmeier, her daughters, Mary Catherine Orth, Margaret Rose Orth, and Mary Frances Orth, stepson Silverius Wahlmeier, and brother James Gilsdorf.

Funeral services will be 10 AM Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at St. Josephs Catholic Church in Hays. Burial will follow in the St. Joseph Cemetery.

Visitation will be Monday 4 PM 8 PM and Tuesday 9 AM 9:30 AM at Brocks-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory 2509 Vine Hays, KS 67601.

Monday at 5 PM will be the Franciscans Prayer Service and the Parish Vigil Service will be at 7 PM all at the funeral chapel.

Cards may be sent to the family at Care of Margaret Cosner 1615 Country Club Road Gillette, WY 82718.

In lieu of cards and flowers memorial donations may be sent to Kansas Right to Life PO Box 12044 Wichita, KS 67277-2044.

Condolences may be left by guest book at or by email at


Visitation Monday

August 17, 2020

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

2509 Vine Street

Hays, Kansas 67601

Funeral Mass Tuesday

August 18, 2020

10:00 AM

St. Joseph Catholic Church

210 W. 13th

Hays, Kansas 67601

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Catherine Wahlmeier, please visit our flower store.


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