Catherine Ann Bayer

Catherine Ann Bayer

MADISON-Catherine Ann Bayer, age 90, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

She was born on October 17, 1927, in Milwaukee, the daughter of Anna (Gugel) and Edward Hanley.

On Jan 31, 1948, she was married to Ralph J. Bayer of Milwaukee. The couple, who would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this January, had five daughters Mary B. (Jon) Doidge, Monica (Gary) Bayer Heaton, Martha Bayer, Susan Bayer Van Steen, PhD. (Scott Van Steen , M.D.) and Jeanne Bayer. A former resident of Perry, Iowa; Munster, Ind.; and Middleton, Wis., she stepped into many roles during her lifetime. When her daughters were young, she was a Girl Scout leader and neighborhood chairman on the east side of Madison. When she worked at the Perry Public Library, she especially loved helping young people with their research.

A graduate of St. John Cathedral High School, Milwaukee, she earned an associate of art degree in 1972 from Des Moines Area Community College Boone Campus, where she was a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

In addition to her daughters she is survived by nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Catherine was preceded in death by her parents, a sister and a son-in-law, Thomas F. Cheng, M. D.

She loved books, art, music, cooking and gardening. A voracious reader, who pursued physics for pleasure, she was thrilled by scientific exploration and discoveries. Until the tragedy of Alzhiemer’s, she yearned for education and knowledge, always wanting to know more. She fostered those values across her family.

A time for sharing of memories will be held at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton from 2:30 PM until 3:30 PM on Friday, December 1, 2017. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Oakwood Foundation, Inc. 6209 Mineral Point Road, Madison, Wis., 53705-4560. Online condolences may be made at