THOMSON – Dr. Catherine R. Akker, age 68, of Thomson, died Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, at Heritage Health in Walnut.
Catherine Rebecca Still was born Feb. 24, 1950, to Paul and Frances (McHan) Still in Clinton, Iowa. She married Steven Akker on Aug. 2, 1992.
Cathy graduated from Mt. St. Clare Academy. Later, she earned her nursing diploma from Clinton Community College, then a B.S.N. and D.N.P. from Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. She worked in several specialty areas, holding a CCN certificate for critical care, a CEN for emergency room care, and a CPEN for pediatric care. She had worked at the critical care neonatal ward in Iowa City, but her passion was the emergency room. She worked in critical care and emergency rooms in Clinton and Iowa City, Iowa and Belvidere, DeKalb, Dixon, Moline, Rockford and Sterling, Ill. She worked in doctors’ offices in Sterling and Freeport. She was a nursing instructor at Rockford University, and her final nursing position was passing on her knowledge and skills as a nursing instructor at Sauk Valley College in Dixon.
She had a Renaissance spirit. Her love of business and accounting started when she worked her way through high school at her father’s Clinton Laundry and Cleaners. Her artistic abilities displayed in many ways, including as a nail technician, in home decorating, and in baking. She was musically inclined, playing the piano, flute and saxophone. Cathy wanted her friends close, and worked to keep contact with her friends from everywhere. She fulfilled her highest dream of being a wife, mother, and grandmother. She loved the children she provided home health care for as bonus grandchildren. She was a very detail-oriented person and expected more of herself than anyone else.
Among those left to honor her life are her husband, Steve; daughter, Aimee (Daniel) Murphy; son, Eric (Heather) Birely; sister, Susan Still; grandchildren, Cody, Alex, and Kyle Birely, Hope and Noah Davis; sister-in-law, Pam (Dave) Sikma; brother-in-law, Phil (Deb) Akker; nephews, Paul-Jeremy Still, Ben, John, Jason, and Joel Sikma; niece, Cara Knott; and cousins, Dan (Jane) Rick and Kim (Mary) Rick, Laura (Durk) Fogle, Ken (Cindy) Still, Mike Still, and Tonya Still, Tim (Judy) Gilmore, Donna Nielsen, and Brian (Mary) Akker.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the McDonald Funeral Home & Crematory, 1002 12th Ave. in Rock Falls.
Condolences may be sent to www.mcdonaldfuneralhomes.com.