Catharina “Kitty” Rackley passed away on March 19, 2023 at Washington Hospital, in Washington, PA. She died of complications from a variety of illnesses that were all long term. Kitty was born on November 4, 1950 in Jakarta, Indonesia to Molly and Barteld Beenen.
Kitty was the second of nine children. She loved large gatherings and she seemed to get energized in large family gatherings with a lot of noise. She loved to talk, but she was a great listener. In a short introductory conversation, she would know the birthdays of everyone in your family and she would not forget them.
When Kitty graduated high school, she was coaxed by a friend into joining the Air Force, at the height of the Vietnam War. She served as a medic at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS. Keesler was one of three hospitals that received the wounded from Vietnam to perform surgeries to repair their broken bodies. She became a surgical technician, so well trained with experience she could get nowhere else, that when she took the certification exam to become a surgical technician in civilian life afterwards, she received a lifetime certification. All certifications after that time had an expiration.
Kitty was preceded in death by her parents Molly and Barteld Beenen and her brothers Peter and Henk Beenen. Those left to cherish their memories of her are her husband Mark Rackley and their two sons Kyle (Jennifer) Rackley of Plattsmouth, NE and Benjamin (Melanie) Rackley of Collierville, TN and five grandchildren. Her surviving siblings include Paul (Jan) Beenen of Beaumont, TX, Bart (Trish) of Beaumont, TX, Sjonneke (Bill) Baker of Clear Lake, TX, Caroline (Scott) Armbrust of Apple Valley, MN, Judy (Gary) Harper of Houston, TX and Patsy (Jay) Schenkewitz of Carrollton, TX along with numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
A special thanks goes out to the staff of Washington Health Systems and Liberty Dialysis Center for all their care in trying to maintain her health.
She would always greet people with a smile, no matter how much pain she might be in. She said that she never wanted to be a burden to someone else, and that included greeting everyone cheerfully. She was never a burden. It was a privilege to know her and even more to provide for her care.
Please make donations to the Bridgeville Community Food Bank, Washington City Mission, or Feed the Hungry. As Kitty would say, “Everybody has to eat, and it’s hard telling them about Jesus when their stomach is growling.”
A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, June 9, 2023 at NOON at Bethany Presbyterian Church. Interment and honors to follow at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.