Catherine E Sweier

May 13, 1951June 7, 2018
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Catherine Elizabeth Sweier, age 67, of Harrison Township, Michigan, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, June 7, 2018, in her home.

Beloved sister of John Michael (Shelley) Sweier; loving aunt of Amy Catherine (Jeff) Olind and Brittany Anne (Sean) Von Tersch; and great-aunt of Juliet Olind. In addition to her family, she was loved and will be missed by many close friends.

Cathy was born the daughter of John and Virginia (Huginski) Sweier in Detroit, Michigan on May 13, 1951. She graduated from Lakeview High School in St. Clair Shores and earned her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Wayne State University.

Cathy shared her enthusiasm for art in her work as Director of Retail Operations for the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum Shop, where she recently retired after 24 years. She loved all animals, but cats held a special place in her heart. She maintained a positive outlook and attitude despite her daily struggles with rheumatoid arthritis.

Memorial donations in her honor may be made to the Michigan Humane Society – or the Arthritis National Research Foundation –

Cathy’s family will hold a memorial celebration of her life on Sunday, June 24 at Pixley Funeral Home in Rochester, Michigan. Visitation will take place from 2-3:30pm, and there will be a Catholic prayer reading at 3:30. Interment at Resurrection Cemetery will follow at a later date.


  • John Michael (Shelley) Sweier, Brother
  • Amy Catherine (Jeff) Olind, Niece
  • Brittany Anne (Sean) VonTersch, Niece
  • Juliet Olind, Great Niece


  • Visitation Sunday, June 24, 2018
  • Catholic Committal Prayers Sunday, June 24, 2018

Catherine E Sweier

have a memory or condolence to add?

Karen Bryan

June 25, 2018

(This was sent to a friend to read at Cathy's Memorial Service)

Cathy was one of my oldest & dearest friends. I am still in shock & disbelief that she is gone.

I met Cathy in April, 1985, at Ruperts in Minneapolis. My sister who was also a buyer at Dayton-Hudsons introduced me to Cathy that night. I was in Minneapolis, interviewing for a job. Cathy told me, “don't move here”. So, I did! Cathy, and I became dear friends, bonded together, because we were not from here. Minnesota “nice”, can be Minnesota “ice”, to outsiders, that did not grow up here.

Cathy and I obviously kept in close touch, by phone, and visits. About 10 days before her passing, my phone rang. I saw it was Cathy. Did I want to get lovingly yelled at? OK, I'm up for it, I decided, and answered the phone. Cathy and I had the longest and best phone call EVER. One of those easy, breezy, calls, that makes my heart smile. You hang up and just feel warm all over. We were catching up, sharing details about our upcoming trip, and our conversation was punctuated with lots of laughter. (We had reservations to meet up in Southaven, MI in August for a few days).

We ended that call, as we frequently did, by saying “I love you.” The tears are forming now, as I write this, because I will be forever grateful for that very recent call, and those words.

I love you Cathy, I miss you, my dear friend.

Love and Hugs,

Karen Bryan

Judy and Michael Reed

June 23, 2018

We have always valued Cathy's friendship and her kindness and her love of animals,especially cats.She was very devoted to her position as president of the condo association. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. We send our condolences to her family.

Nefertiri Wilson

June 23, 2018

CATHY WE WILL MISS YOU . YOU WILL always be in our thoughts and hearts. We are so sorry for your loss. Love Diedre Williams and Nefertiri Wilson.

Anna Helkowsky

June 18, 2018

I worked with Cathy for 18 years at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Upon reflection of my work memories with Cathy, I admired her tenacity, perseverance and determination to get the job done while in severe pain and discomfort with her rheumatoid arthritis. She efficiently balanced buying for a gift shop and exhibition shops while designing a new gift shop, working with architects, curators and vendors.
The last time we talked we were planning an evening out enjoying a Polish meal after my chemotherapy had finished and my strength returned. Unfortunately, God had made other plans for Cathy. Rest in peace surrounded by your cats.
Anna Helkowsky, retired, Manager/Buyer DIA Retail Department

Sandi Thompson

June 16, 2018

Cathy was a wonderful friend and neighbor. I will truly miss our talks outside on many occasions. She truly cared about our community and will be greatly missed. Prayers for family and friends. So happy I was blessed to know her.

Judy Swancutt

June 16, 2018

Farewell good friend, until we meet again! Cathy and I have been good friends since high school and we have shared so much together. She was always there for me in so many ways and I will miss our monthly dinners. She was truly a special person, close friend and one of the kindest people I have ever known. I will miss her.

Judy Vuylsteke

June 15, 2018

I was privileged to volunteer in the DIA Museum Shop office doing computer tasks for Cathy for many years. She was always appreciative and patient with my many questions. I enjoyed her sense of humor and we shared a love of our cats. Cathy was direct but a very caring woman. I admired the goods she selected for the shop and learned much about the retail trade from her.

I am very sad that she could not enjoy many more years of retirement. I will be heavy-hearted for a long time. My condolences to her family. It enhanced my life greatly to know her.

Judy Vuylsteke
DIA Museum Shop Volunteer

Biljana Stewart

June 15, 2018

I always looked forward to seeing Cathy at the DIA gift shop and so enjoyed working with her. She had a tough exterior but I always knew she really cared. She knew exactly what she wanted and wouldn't hesitate to tell me “make more pieces like this! ...” . She had a great eye. She was always fair and honest with me. I really respected that about her and missed her when she retired. May she rest in peace.

Sincere condolences to her family from ours,
Tom and Biljana Stewart

Shelley Grzymkowski

June 15, 2018

Cathy was a friend and neighbor. I was so shocked and continue to feel disbelief.
She always wanted what was best for our community.
Condolences to her family. She will be missed.
Rest in Peace, my friend.

Anita Cooney

June 15, 2018

She was missed by her sister Anita, brother- in-law Tim, nephew Brian, niece & god child Katie & niece Megan. Unfortunately, 12 years ago when our mother passed away, our relationship was marred by circumstances beyond my control. But I will always cherish the 50 good years we had together & the 20 plus years my husband & children had with her. Rest in peace Cathy!