Kathi (Hillery) Mandelert, 78, of Chippewa Falls passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, at Azura Memory Care in Eau Claire, WI. She died from complications of diabetes.
Kathi was born on November 14, 1944, to Fred & Anne Hillery in Chicago, IL. In 1947 Kathi moved with her family to a farm in rural Clark County, WI. Her education began in a small, one room schoolhouse in Taylor County. Later, in 1953, the family moved to Chippewa Falls where Kathi resumed her schooling at Holy Ghost Grade School and in 1962 graduated from McDonell Central High School. While growing up Kathi enjoyed horseback riding with her friends, and her love of animals, especially cats, continued throughout her life. For a time, she worked under Holly Meier at the Chippewa Herald Telegram writing articles on wildlife. Later as a member of the Chippewa Wildlife Society, she often rose early to go birding with the late Dr. Charles Kemper and other members.
On September 30, 1978, she married the love of her life James Mandelert on the Hillery Family Farm in Chippewa Falls. Kathi was especially skilled with her sewing machine, fabricating clothing and quilting with her friends. She excelled as a homemaker, decorating her home and cooking for holiday visits with family and friends. As a member of First Presbyterian Church, she volunteered in many church activities, helped run the food pantry and served as church secretary. Her son Mitchell, born in 1983, was a source pride and joy to Kathi, Jim and all his grandparents. The family was proud of Mitchell’s service in the US Army and was relieved after he returned from multiple deployments.
Kathi is survived by her son, Mitchell Mandelert (Cassaundra Greene) of Chippewa Falls; grandchildren, Tristyn and Audrieanna; brothers, John Hillery of Chippewa Falls, and Allen (Julie) Hillery of Boulder Junction, WI; sister-in-law, Julie Gribbon of Cottage Grove, WI; and other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 43 years, James S. Mandelert; parents, Anne and Fred Hillery; and brother-in-law, Dan Gribbon.
Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 23 at First Presbyterian Church, 130 W Central St, Chippewa Falls. A celebration of life will follow at 11:00 a.m., with Pastor Ed Williams officiating. Interment will be at Forest Hill Cemetery, Chippewa Falls.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the American Diabetes Association, Dementia Society of America, or First Presbyterian Church of Chippewa Falls.