Rev. Dr. Catherine I.H. Braasch, 72, of rural Smithfield, and most recently serving in Fort Wayne, Indiana, passed away on Thursday, September 10, 2020, following a courageous battle with cancer. Celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and the life of Rev. Dr. Catherine I.H. Braasch, STS, will be Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. at Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in rural Smithfield, Nebraska. Inurnment will be in the Hope Lutheran Cemetery in Gosper County, Nebraska.
Born Aug. 15, 1948, in Palo Alto, California, she was the oldest child of Robert Hanchett Hopkins Sr. and Donna Ethel (Anderson) Hopkins. At age 11, she was placed with her foster parents, Harold and Katherine DeAlvarez.
Cathi retired from full-time ministry in 2011, then received her doctor of ministry degree in 2012. She served as an interim pastor with North American Lutheran Church congregations in Nebraska, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio before receiving a call to serve as development and strategic planning officer at the Lutheran Military Veterans and Families Ministries in Fort Wayne.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Red, in August 2016; her daughter, Sara (Braasch) Schmidt, in June 2016; her foster parents; her parents; and a brother, Robert “Hank” Hopkins Jr. She leaves to celebrate her life; her foster siblings, Nell (DeAlvarez) Bernstein of Maxwell, California; Hal DeAlvarez of Santa Cruz, California; and Duane DeAlvarez of Superior, Wyoming; sister, Sally Hopkins of Whidbey Island, Washington; half-sister, Kenna Crane of Edmonds, Washington; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ron and Bonnie Braasch of Rochester, Minnesota; son-in-law, Jim Schmidt of McCall, Idaho; and nephews, David Braasch of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and Jerry Braasch of Black Creek, Wisconsin.
Memorial gifts are kindly suggested to the I Believe in the Future of Ag Program, designated to the BerMis FFA Chapter, c/o the Nebraska FFA Foundation; to Lutheran Military Veterans and Families Ministries; or to Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church.