Monday, December 11, 2023
11:00 AM EST
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
171 West 13th Street
Holland, MI 49423
Life Story / Obituary
Fred Kathi passed away on December 5, 2023. He was born October 28, 1940, and grew up on the historic West side (the best side) of Grand Rapids, MI to Lillian and Zigmund, or Jigs, as he was lovingly known. Fred was fortunate to grow up in a time when kids stayed out well past dark and jumped on trains, without the burden of cell phones and Instagram reels.
Fred was an active and astute Boy Scout, attended Fairview Elementary, and went on to graduate Catholic Central High School. He attended Aquinas College and went on to earn an Associates Degree from DeVry Technical in Chicago, IL. He went on to work for Smith Business and The Copy Center, both in Grand Rapids.
Fred served his country honorably in the United States Army, stationed stateside in Virginia, and overseas in Iran and also in Japan, where he was fortunate to be joined by his wife, Paula. Fred and Paula went on to settle and raise a family in Holland, MI.
He had many passions in his life including a love for music across all genres and color lines. Few can say they saw the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino live in concert. Fred was there before social media and hashtags when music history was made. He enjoyed Lionel hobby trains later in life, especially alongside his beloved grandson.
A big fan of movies and comedy, he enjoyed science fiction, the brilliance of Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, and just about anything Mel Brooks was involved in as a writer and actor.
Fred was so many things: a devoted husband, a loving father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, a thinker, an empath, and always a good friend. He had an infectious sense of humor, and a willingness to help others in whatever way he could. He volunteered with Meals on Wheels and was involved in St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church outreach and advocacy. He ultimately retired from the parish in 2004 as their head of maintenance and grounds.
He was the best guy you’d ever meet.
Fred is survived by his wife Paula, daughters Jennifer Coll and Emily Kathi; son-in-law Ken (Coll) and grandson Bram (Coll); his sister Sharon Alexander, nephews Chris and Greg (Alexander), and sisters-in- law Mary Burwitz and Marge Kars.
A funeral mass will be 11 am Monday (December 11) at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 171 West 13th Street. Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Gardens. Visiting will be 6-8 pm Sunday (December 10) at the Dykstra Funeral Home-Downtown Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.