Catherine H. Helgeland, 67, of 2159 S. 15th Street, Manitowoc, died Wednesday morning, September 14, 2011, at her residence.She was born on August 2, 1944, in Rockford, IL, daughter of lifelong educators Thomas C. and Louise (Kintzel) Horrall. She grew up in Rockford, IL and Grand Marais, MN. Catherine was a graduate of Rockford West High School, and received her BS and MS in Geography from the
University of Wisconsin
Madison. In 1965 she married Rodney Helgeland. Following in the footsteps of her parents she was an educator throughout her professional life. She taught Geography and Geology at several University of Wisconsin Colleges, retiring as Professor from UW-Manitowoc in 2010 after teaching in the UW system for thirty-four years. Survivors include her husband, Rodney Helgeland, Manitowoc; two sons and daughter-in-law, Eric & Colleen (Ruebsamen) Helgeland, Readstown, WI and Greggar Helgeland, Portland, OR; grandchildren, Hunter H. Heth, DeForest, WI and Rosalie Renee Helgeland, Readstown, WI; brother and sister-in-law, Thomas R. Horrall and Nancy Eagle Horrall, Harvard, MA; mother-in-law, Rosalie Helgeland Larson, Madison, WI; and brother-in-law, Richard Helgeland, Madison, WI. Cathy was always optimistic, upbeat, and intellectually curious. She exhibited a positive attitude toward everything she undertook, looking at all sides of issues with keen fascination. Her geographic inquisitiveness was reflected in love of travel throughout the world, often in the company of former students and longtime friends, including Peter Strzyzewski and Mike Barry, Washington, DC; Thelma Hedstrom, Grand Marais, MN and grandson Hunter Heth, DeForest, WI. Combining deep interests in art and architecture, she restored many houses throughout the years in partnership with her husband Rod, a master woodworker. Cathy's compassion was reflected in loving relationships with many children in her life. She formed deep and lasting friendships from her own early childhood; Joyce Donaldson Schulein, Schaumburg, IL, Mary Collins Anderson, Rockford, IL, and Diane Corson Varona Holbrook, Rockford, IL, now deceased.Above all, Cathy was a passionate teacher. Excited about all aspects of Geology and Geography, her enthusiasm was contagious, making differences in the lives of countless students. In 1997, she was awarded the prestigious University of Wisconsin Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award as one of the best instructors in the UW System. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the UW-Manitowoc Foundation, 705 Viebahn Street, Manitowoc, WI. 54220. A celebration of her life will be held in November. The Pfeffer Funeral Home & All-Care Cremation Center, Manitowoc, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.