November 18, 2021
Catherine “Cathy” Moseley Van Cleave didn’t need to look at recipes. She knew them all by heart. Born on Valentine’s Day in 1947 in Moultrie, GA, she often expressed her love for others through her cooking. Sunday dinners made from scratch were a tradition in the Van Cleave household, where husband Larry, and their children, Russell, Andrew and Raina, gathered for recipes passed on across generations like “Mama’s Biscuits,” “Cathy’s Lasagna” and “Grandma’s Applesauce Cake.” Baking is where she shined. Also known for her homemade jams and jellies, she would wake the whole family up at the crack of dawn to pick the freshest fruits in the orchard. With her husband in the U.S. Air Force, this love for cooking and togetherness carried over across the many states they lived in. Alaska—where she had her first born—was always her favorite. Easy to adapt, Cathy was a social butterfly and open to friendships everywhere she went. She and her family eventually settled in Gainesville, FL in 2001 to care for her mother and, where she later succumbed to a long battle with breast cancer on Nov. 21, 2021 at the age of 74. While Cathy, who earned her B.S. in Education in 1969, only formally taught preschool, her love for teaching was apparent throughout her life. She taught Sunday school and country line dancing at Celebration United Methodist Church, where she was an active member and devout Christian, and shared her passion for plants as a volunteer with the UF/IFAS Florida Master Gardener Program. Planting seeds of inspiration was a large theme in her life, especially when it came to her children. She took her daughter to her first yoga class—for seniors—and went on to watch Raina became a yoga instructor. She shared her love of cooking with her son, Andrew—teaching him how to make her celebrated quiche before he left for college—and praising him for his creative cooking, inspired by her scratch-made family recipes. And a science fiction geek, she introduced her children to Star Trek, and later beamed with pride when her son, Russ, became an aerospace engineer. Family ancestry and time together was a source of inspiration for her too. A prolific storyteller who loved the ocean, beachcombing and fishing for Spanish Mackerel, she published her first book, “The Briny Sea,” in 2021. The colorful story was inspired by a family trip to Ana Maria Island and features her granddaughter, Harper, exploring a beach for a rare shell. Cathy had other children’s books in progress—“Down at the Mud Farm,” “Moonfish,” “Sun Cats” and “The Great Pie Wars”—and her children hope to finish them for her someday, and rewrite the faded family recipe cards, to carry on her legacy for future generations. Cathy is predeceased by her parents, H.L. and Muriel; her brother, Richard Moseley, her uncle Heyward “Butch” Moseley and her aunts Verna, Virgie, Lorene and Bertie Moseley. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Larry; daughter, Raina; sons, Andrew and Russell; daughter-in-law, Carol; granddaughter, Harper; cousins Tom Moseley and Marilyn Woelk; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members. A memorial service and reception will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 at 4 p.m. at Celebration United Methodist Church, 9501 SW Archer Rd. in Gainesville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Cathy to the Richard Moseley Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Florida's Diabetes Camp (Richard Moseley Memorial Scholarship, P.O. Box 14136, Gainesville, FL 32604) or to the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, floridabreastcancer.org/donate.
Catherine “Cathy” Moseley Van Cleave didn’t need to look at recipes. She knew them all by heart. Born on Valentine’s Day in 1947 in Moultrie, GA, she often expressed her love for others through her cooking. Sunday dinners... View Obituary & Service Information
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