Catherine B. McLeod

Catherine B. McLeod
Catherine ‘Kay’ McLeod of Otsego, Michgian, born on August 14, 1919 in Allegan, Michigan the daughter of Anthony Class Lobretto and Francis (Maggio) Lobretto. Catherine had a long and eventful life. She was the third child in a family of eight. Both her father and her oldest sister passed away when she was 15 moving her into the spot of being the oldest daughter. She willingly took up the mantle of working to help her mom raise and support the rest of the family. Catherine was fluently bilingual. Sliding back and forth from English to Italian she would interpret conversation and write letters for family and friends to loved ones in Sicily and interpret their mail for them upon its return. On April 19, 1937 she married the love of her life Earl “Shorty” McLeod and they were married for 59 years. They were very poor for a long time. Having lived through the depression she’d occasionally tell the story about heading to town with her two girls in a wagon to buy a few groceries and losing half of all the money they had. She lost her dollar in the leaves. In 1942 Catherine and her husband purchased the then Blacksmith shop on North Farmer Street in Otsego and it became the site where their future business life would be. Originally “McLeod’s” was a welding shop and salvage yard. Through the years the business evolved in the late 50’s early 60’s into McLeod Auto Parts, Inc. with the help of their son-in-law Art. Catherine was a bookkeeper. She and Earl worked side by side in the Otsego business community for 54 years. Together they also enjoyed raising and racing thoroughbred horses. Weekends on their farm several horsemen (and women) would gather to work their horses on the old dirt track down on the 35. They would travel to Detroit, Van Wert and other destinations to race or watch. A lifetime of friendships formed as a result of meals shared, along with success and failure, love and loss. “Kay” as she was nicknamed will be remembered by many for her high heel shoes. She wore them with her jeans before women wore heels with jeans, she wore them cleaning house, she wore them doing her gardening and she wore them to the grocery store. A friend told us recently that as a young girl she could remember Kay walking home from work and that she could hear her shoes clicking on the sidewalk. She couldn’t understand how Kay could walk so fast with those shoes on but she knew that when she grew up she wanted to wear shoes like that. Catherine truly enjoyed her flower gardening, her ducks and guineas and was an avid bird watcher. She was a wonderful cook and a great seamstress. She loved sharing her home with friends and family and especially liked the holidays. She made the meanest spaghetti, the best pupa lova and the hottest cup of coffee you ever had. You never left her house without a cup of coffee. Catherine was a tough lady and she loved with the same tenacity. Never in her wildest dreams did she think she’d have four grandchildren and 10 greats. She basked in their love, cheered their accomplishments and cried when they cried…right to the very end. It was nothing to have a grandchild spend the night and “bring a friend”. The friends became her grandchildren too. Catherine was preceded in death by her husband Earl “Shorty”, her daughter Patricia Ann McLeod Curtiss, her brother Anson Lobretto, her sisters Mary Lobretto, Josephine McDougal and Jennie Phillips. She is survived by her daughter, Nancy (Art) Schmitt and her grandchildren, Vincent (Rachael) Schmitt of Otsego, Chris (Lisa) Schmitt of Plainwell, Suzanne Sisson of Kalamazoo and Angela (Mark) Hoffman of Pine Lake; 10 great grandchildren and 6 great-great grandchildren; a brother Jim Lobretto of Lions, Michigan, her sisters Angeline Cosby of Cottonwood, AZ and Francis Wood of Otsego. Friends may meet with Kay’s family at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego from 5-7 P.M. Sunday where a time of remembrance and sharing will be held at 7 P.M. The family suggests in lieu of flowers a donation may be made to Christian Neighbors, St. Vincent DePaul food pantry or the charity of your choice.
Print Obituary & Condolences Print Obituary & Condolences

Offer Condolence for the family of Catherine B. McLeod

Please share your thoughts ...

  • How do I send condolences?

    At the bottom of this page, you will find a condolence form. You will need to fill out some basic information prior to typing your message. (We will not share your e-mail address with anyone)

    Once you are finished, simply click the submit condolence button. Within 24 hours the condolence will be approved before it is published to the web site.

    We also provide a Tell-A-Friend feature located directly below these instructions. This form allows you to send the obituary to a friend. This is particularly helpful to someone who may live out of town.

  • Share This Obituary

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.