Cathy Hellmann, 67, died Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in her home in Littleton, Colorado. Although Cathy’s life ended in Colorado, she spent most of her life in Columbia.
Cathy was born to Harold and Margaret Wilmes on Nov. 3, 1951, in St. Louis. Growing up with her two sisters, Cathy loved to jump horses and won many awards for doing so. Her father, an avid fisherman, taught her to fish at a very young age. This is a skill that she used for most of her life and one she passed down to her own children.
After moving to California and Louisiana in grade school and high school, Cathy returned to her Missouri roots in Columbia. She began college at Columbia College when it was still an all-girls’ college. After a year or two, she transferred to MU, where she met her future husband, James Hellmann, on a weekend backpacking trip through an outdoor appreciation class. Cathy graduated from Mizzou with one of the first dual majors: art and landscape design.
After marrying, Jim and Cathy went on to create a landscaping business in Columbia: Oak Forest Landscaping. Cathy did all of the landscape designs for clients and knew her plants well. Up until a few days before her death, she still could recall the Latin name for most plants and was arguing about whether or not a plant was a primrose.
Cathy believed that most of the answers in this world could be found in nature, and she always encouraged her children to “get outside.” When her daughter asked her to move to Denver with her, Cathy couldn’t argue. She loved looking at the mountains that she used to backpack in every summer with her husband.
Cathy also maintained her love of art throughout her years. In 2019, her watercolor of “Azaleas in Bloom” was chosen by the Denver Alzheimer’s Association to be auctioned off as a fundraiser.
One of her favorite sayings was “to follow your heart,” and that’s truly how she lived her life. She did what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it, and she believed everyone else should do the same.
Cathy is survived by her two children, Andrea and Timothy; and her three grandchildren, Oliver, Spencer and Harper. Cathy was predeceased by her husband in 2012.
The funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, at Columbia Cemetery, 30 E. Broadway. A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. at 44 Stone Public House.