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Catherine Marilyn ("Lyn")  Heider

Obituary for Catherine Marilyn ("Lyn") Heider

December 21, 1929 - March 21, 2021
Westlake, Ohio | Age 91

Loving Wife, Mother, Stepmother, Grandmother and Step-grandmother


Catherine Marilyn ("Lyn") Spath McCarthy Heider

Lyn Heider, of Westlake, Ohio, passed away on March 21, 2021, after a lifetime of active engagement with family, friends and religious organizations. Lyn was born on December 21, 1929 – a "depression baby" - in Albany, NY, to Frank and Catherine (McCabe) Spath, the eldest of two children. She followed in her mother's footsteps in attending Trinity College in Washington, DC, capping 16 years of Catholic education, graduating magna cum laude with a BA in Chemistry. Lyn was very involved with Trinity Alumnae events and maintained close relationships with her Trinity friends throughout her life. She went on to obtain her MS in Physical Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University, the only woman among a class of 53.

Lyn started her career as a research chemist at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY, and was the holder of 5 patents in emulsion chemistry, as part of the Kodachrome II development team. It was in Rochester that she met her first husband, John McCarthy and their first child, Joseph, was born. They moved to West Hartford, CT, where their second child, Alicia, was born. Lyn and John went their separate ways in 1986. Lyn started another master's degree, in Computer Science, from the Hartford Branch of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Lyn went to work for Travelers Insurance as a manager in the Telecommunication Division before moving on to become the Operations Manager at KT International Software Company.

The connection to Carnegie Mellon is what brought Lyn and Frederick Heider together on an alumni trip to Lake Como, Italy, the beginning of a true love story, or what Fred's minister later deemed "a divine accident". On that trip, they met and realized they both had a strong faith, shared values and similar life experiences. They shared many interests including a commitment to family, maintaining and expanding their network of friends, and enjoying early evening social hours with friends and family, sometimes accompanied by a round of bridge.

Lyn and Fred married in June of 2003 and began a pattern of seasonal migration among their 3 homes. Lyn loved spending the cold months in Clearwater, FL, and splitting time in other seasons between her home in West Hartford, CT, and Fred's home in Rocky River and then Westlake, OH. She loved family gatherings and attending any sports or other events involving her expanded set of grandchildren, so that she could cheer them on and acknowledge their accomplishments.

Lyn was deeply involved in religious activities and organization from a young age. She was active in the Legion of Mary in Rochester and became a lector and eucharistic minister in West Hartford, and was involved in Cursillo and many other Catholic retreats and groups during that time. After marrying Fred, Lyn expanded her involvement in religious organizations beyond the Catholic Church to include Fred's Presbyterian affiliations, belonging to a total of 5 churches across their different residences, and receiving 5 sets of giving envelopes each year.

Lyn was always available to her far-flung network of family and friends, willing to listen, offer encouragement and support, and to share her wisdom with anyone who sought it, providing an anchor for many people's storms. Even as she faced increased physical challenges in her later years, she was always focused on the challenges that others were facing, wanting to help in any way she could.

Lyn had an insatiable curiosity, a passion for life, and for trying new things. She was always striving to help those less fortunate and to improve the lives of everyone she touched, never wanting to give up on anyone or anything. She leaves behind her beloved husband, Frederick Heider, children, Joseph (Amy) McCarthy, Alicia McCarthy (George) Lainas, stepchildren, Julie Heider (Brian) Gordon, David Heider, Megan Heider (Michael) Harris, grandchildren, Margaret and Evan McCarthy, Peter and Catherine Lainas, step-grandchildren, David and Lauren Mullen, Ingrid, Cameron, Geoffrey and Greta Heider, Nathan and Jack Harris, her sister-in-law, Mary Spath, sister-in-law, Kathleen McCarthy Gauntt and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her younger brother, Dr. Thomas Spath.

In lieu of flowers, we invite family and friends to consider making donations in her name to a charity of their choice.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 1007 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114 on Friday, April 23, at 10:00am. Service will be streamed live and recorded. Contact funeral home for information. Cremation by Busch Crematory. 440-333-9774

Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, April 23
10:00 AM    3910783 4002345 20210423T100000

Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
1007 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 777-6666

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21369 Center Ridge Road
Fairview Park, OH 44116
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