Catherine Rehfeldt


Catherine Ann (Gammelin) Rehfeldt died at home in Rochester on Thursday, January 19, 2023, following a diagnosis of recurrent cancer. Born on October 4, 1939, in Milwaukee, Wis., to the Reverend Waldemar and Dorothea (Sutter) Gammelin, she was baptized on October 22, 1939. On April 11, 1954, she was confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Appleton, Wis., affirming the faith that was so important to her. After graduating from Wartburg College, Cathy taught elementary school and, on June 16, 1963, married Richard Rehfeldt. Together they lived in Dubuque, Iowa (prior to Dick’s graduation from seminary); Waverly, Iowa; St. Andrews, Scotland (a place that remained especially dear to Cathy); Des Moines, Iowa (which was their cherished home for 34 years); and, upon retirement, Rochester, Minn. (for the past 17 years).

When their children were born, Cathy became a full-time parent, devoting her time and her heart to creating a loving home, one filled with the aromas of baking, the beauty and whimsy of her handwork and sewing, holidays imbued with tradition, and everyday occasions graced with special touches. She served Windsor Heights Lutheran Church in Des Moines in countless ways, preparing meals, leading the women’s Advent services, hosting gatherings, and so much more, and in retirement volunteered with the Mayo Clinic. She delighted in sharing conversation over a cup of tea--and hosting fancy tea parties--was an avid reader and found great joy in collecting and studying Christmas creches and attending national and international creche conferences.

Cathy is survived by her husband, Dick; daughter, Ann Rehfeldt; son, Kent Rehfeldt (Siri Stenberg); grandchildren, Nina, Kian, and Elsa Rehfeldt; sister, Mary Gammelin; brother, Paul Gammelin; as well as nieces and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Joanne Gammelin.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, January 28 at 12:00 p.m. at Zumbro Lutheran Church (624 Third Ave. SW, Rochester, MN 55902). A funeral service will follow at 1:00 p.m. (and will also be livestreamed and available for viewing later at, with a reception afterwards at the church. The family requests no flowers, please; Cathy’s wishes were that any memorial gifts be made to ELCA World Hunger (

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