Catherine Marie Peckham

June 15, 1955 ~ May 5, 2020 (age 64)


Peckham (Schmidt), Catherine Marie, age 64, of Sun City West, Arizona, passed away on Tuesday, May 5th, 2020, after a four month battle with brain cancer. Cathy was born June 15th, 1955 in Mount Clemens, Michigan, the daughter of Edward Augustus and Virginia Louise (Roethlisberger) Schmidt. She was a graduate of Adrian High School, Adrian, Michigan, received her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan, and a Nursing Degree from Washtenaw Community College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Cathy worked for a number of companies in southeastern Michigan including CPHA (Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities), Ameritech and General Motors Hydramatic division. In her mid-forties Cathy returned to school to fulfill a lifelong dream of first becoming a certified nursing assistant and then a registered nurse. She worked at Towlsey Village Memory Care Center and Chelsea Community Hospital in Chelsea, Michigan and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti, Michigan. After moving to Sun City West in 2014 she worked for Mary's Place Memory Care and Banner Del Webb Hospital before retiring in 2017. Cathy’s favorite nursing position was as an operating room nurse in the neurosurgery department at St. Joseph Mercy and later found a passion in dementia care and behavioral health. Cathy also enjoyed and was blessed in her life by a mission trip to remote Mizak, Haiti where HAPI (Haitian Artisans for Peace International) were building a community center and a medical clinic and a wonderful trip to Israel to visit the Holy Land. Cathy was an active member of Sharon United Methodist Church in Manchester, Michigan, singing in the choir, occasionally playing the piano and serving on various committees. After retirement she became very active at Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church in Sun City West, joining the choir and the Family Life and Worship teams. She helped with mission projects including multiple trips to the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) depot in Salt Lake City. She became chair of Family Life committee, served on the 40th anniversary team and had just become lay leader.


Cathy was kind, smart, loving and compassionate and truly loved helping others, her servant’s heart was evident in all she did. Her beautiful heart and spirit matched her beautiful smile and she lived by the motto, “Happiness is not getting what you want but wanting what you have”. She will be terribly missed by family and friends and will live in their hearts forever.


Cathy was predeceased by her parents, step-father Laurence A. James, brother-in-law Paul James and brother-in-law Ray Wilson.


Surviving is her husband of 29 years Kenny C. Peckham, sister Mary Anne Wilson and niece Margaret (James) Gutierrez of Jackson, Michigan, and sister-in-law’s Carol (Cy) Richards of Moscow, Michigan and Cindy Sherwood, nephew Mark (Linda) Oberlin, niece Julie Oberlin and nephew Jesse (Abbey) Sherwood all of Jackson, Michigan.


Memorial Contributions may be made to Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church, Sun City West, AZ or the American Cancer Society.

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