Catharine Jane St. Johns Wren
September 26, 1924 - October 26, 2022
Catharine Jane St. Johns Wren of Madison, Florida, passed away on October 26, 2022, at Presbyterian Home in Quitman, Georgia. Born in Keego Harbor, Michigan, on September 26, 1924, Catharine spent most of her childhood in Pontiac, Michigan.
1n 1942, she graduated from Pontiac High School and became an apprentice printer at Pontiac Daily Press. At the age of 20, she joined the Women’s Army Corps, which had been founded the previous year, to support the war effort. This was the first time that women had been allowed to enlist in the US Army. At the end of World War II following her Army discharge in 1946, she married Rodney Wren.
Catharine grew up during the Great Depression. Through their active membership in the Salvation Army her family taught her what it meant to love God and to love others. In 1945, Catharine joined the Episcopal church and remained active as long as her health permitted. She lived her faith, supporting her church with her prayers, her presence, her gifts, her service, and her witness.
Catharine was a homemaker and reared four children. After her children reached adulthood, she attended Miami Dade Community College where she was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and earned her AA in 1975. In 1979 she earned her BA in Humanities at Florida International University.
Catharine and Rodney moved from North Miami Beach to Madison, Florida, following his retirement in 1982. She joined St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Madison and served in various capacities into her 90s. Catharine enjoyed art classes at North Florida Community College and was involved with the American Legion serving as Chaplain, Adjutant, and Commander at various times. In addition to her church and community activities, Catharine had lifelong passions for painting and other artwork, sewing, needlework, and crafts. She was also an avid reader.
Catharine is preceded in death by her father Harrison St. Johns; her mother Bessie Gillings St. Johns; a brother Harrison who died in infancy; her husband, Rodney; a son Brian; and a son Rodney. Her brother, Ernest passed away on October 26, 2022, a few hours after Catharine. Catharine is survived by children Carole Nelson (Reese) and David Wren; Grandchildren Paul Nelson (Lynn); Sarah Nelson Wells (Michael); Jennifer Wren; Scott Wren (Margaret); Troy Wren; Teresa Wren Whitesel (Keith); and 11 great grandchildren.
A celebration of life service will be held 3:00 p m on Sunday, November 6, 2022, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 140 NE Horry Avenue, Madison, Florida, with Fr. Joe Boyle officiating and Rev. Michael Wells assisting. The family requests in lieu of flowers that any memorial gifts be directed to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.