On December 9th, 2021 Catheen Ottero was called Home to be with our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. “Great Cathe”, as she was affectionately dubbed by her grandson Luke Descheemaker was a deeply devoted and loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother & great grandmother, and dear friend to many.
Cathe was born in Portland, OR on July 27th, 1952, and moved to Scottsdale, AZ as a child where she was raised with her two sisters Chris and Claudia and brother Jerry. They enjoyed living there in the sunshine, and Cathe especially enjoyed the time spent with her first horse, Sheba, whom she shared with her sister Chris. Cathe met and married Rick Descheemaker there as a teenager, and her dreams of her first horse of her own came true when they moved to Pine, AZ in 1980 with their infant daughter Brianne, one cat, “Dino”, and one dog ”Coooper”. Her first horse of many was a grey Arabian named Spike, whom she enjoyed for many years, and shared great adventures with. A talented artist, Cathe developed her talents quilting, weaving, drawing and painting in this time, as well as being a partner in Mountain Cabinets and a loving mother. She began sharing her artwork and talents publicly in our local Northern Gila County Fairs, and participated in art shows, rabbits shows, and horse shows across the state. Cathe went on to continue her dreams professionally as an artist, commissioned to create portraits of many beloved pets, and stunning wildlife in many mediums. She carried her profound love for animals into her life more fully when she married Randy Ferry, and loved her time with all the animals and people there at The Payson Zoo. It was during this time when she became more fully involved in animal rescue and rehabilitation, and earned her Raptor Rehabilitator License. She continued to pursue her career in her artwork and earned many awards and accolades doing so. Some locals may recall her painting local business windows during the holidays over the years. Through Australian Shepard Clubs she enjoyed capturing dog’s individual personalities in her portraits, and fostered many dogs and animals of all sorts of species. Not many people can say they have raised up orphaned javelinas in their house, rescued and rehabilitated an orphaned coyote pup found along the highway, or slept with an African Lion roaring outside their home, but Cathe could, and did. She became a doting grandmother during this time as well, and fully enjoyed this new role as “ Great Cathe”.
Cathe became an AZ State Parks Ranger at the Tonto Natural Bridge in 1999, and flourished there, sharing her love for the outdoors and nature, animals and people. She led the volunteer program there and was a beloved and appreciated, integral part of running the park smoothly, and shined the light of Christ there in her position, as well as throughout her life wherever she was. She led many hikes and tours through this time, and enjoyed the ones with her daughter and young grandson the most. She helped him navigate through the technical parts of the trails with skill and confidence, and this was a gift, and a tradition she carried on with her great granddaughter Lilah most recently. Cathe also loved plants, as was evident in every home she lived, and every place she loved. She helped open a sister Plant Fair Nursery with Rob McComb in Pine at Mary Ellen Randall’s place, a wonderful woman whom Cathe was very close to during her life. Cathe and Mary Ellen shared a love of Arabian horses, and enjoyed many afternoons in the sunroom together watching them. Later on, Cathe worked at Plant Fair in Star Valley, sharing her love and knowledge of planting and growing in the Rim Country. Through the years all who knew Cathe would attest to her infectious love and compassion for all things, all people, and of course all animals. She led many to Christ, and shined the light of her Creator through her life through thoughts, words and deeds. Cathe met her loving husband, Michael Ottero through her church work, and they shared a deep love of Christ and dedication to each other. Leading and participating in bible studies at Rimview Church in Star Valley, and in their home as well. Cathe continued her adventures in her art, botany, animals and horsemanship through all her years, and her family and friends all enjoyed her and loved her deeply. Great Cathe used to drive her miniature horses with their carts around Green Valley Park and brought joy to many hearts through this, and entered them into parades and horseshows as well where they were much appreciated. Cathe and Michael built a wonderful life together where Cathe flourished, her garden blooming, animals playing and little horses galloping around their property. Anyone who met Cathe would consider her a friend, and her life was one centered around Christ, family, friends and love. Services will be held Saturday, January 8th at 11 am at Messingers in Payson, and a fellowship reception will follow featuring many of her artworks. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to Cat’s World Rescue, Arizona Wild Rescue or Rim View Community Church.
How excellent is thy loving-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. Psalm 36:7