Kathleen Shuster

May 18, 2024

Kathy Shuster passed away peacefully on May 16 surrounded by people who loved her dearly. Her untimely death at the age of 67 came after a sudden illness lasting just over six weeks.

A graduate of Hinsdale Central High School, Kathy had a successful career as a legal secretary. She was a highly skilled professional who developed her expertise over decades of working at law firms in downtown Chicago. She relished being one of the masses of workers who commuted to Chicago every day on the Burlington Northern Metra train. She was especially thrilled to work in what was then (and, in her heart, would always be) the “Sears Tower.”

 In the 1970s, on a charter fishing excursion with her co-workers, Kathy surprised everyone — including herself — by catching the biggest fish of the bunch. It turned out to be the largest chinook salmon caught by a woman on Lake Michigan, a record that stood for many years.

 Kathy loved to travel. She spent many vacations happily strolling the beach or just watching the waves on the Michigan side of the lake in New Buffalo. Her many trips with family and friends included vacations in Hawaii, Las Vegas, San Diego, Cleveland, North Carolina, Italy, and trips to stay with aunts and uncles in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. While in Cleveland visiting family, she unexpectedly won a trip to Detroit. Being the avid traveler that she was, she gamely set out for Detroit on her own and thoroughly enjoyed her prize.

 Kathy delighted in being an aunt to many nieces and nephews, and she welcomed the birth of each of their own children. A lover of all animals, birds were her passion. She was a Bird Mom to Andie, a Senegal parrot, and Sunny, a stray conure that had the great fortune to be found by a compassionate soul like Kathy. She doted on all the fur babies in the family and was known for giving the lucky pups the best dog toys ever.

 A fan of music and movies, Kathy enjoyed going to the theater, especially when she could share these experiences with her friends and family. She introduced her little sisters to “Evita” on the stage and to “What’s Up, Doc?” on the big screen. Her favorite musicians were Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, and Barry Manilow. The music of this talented trio comforted her while she made the transition from this life to the next.

 Kathleen Rose Shuster was born in Hinsdale, Illinois, on July 15, 1956, the middle child of Joseph Shuster and Rose (Pavletic) Shuster. She is survived by her mother Rose; brother Joseph Shuster; sisters Susan (David) Errek, Linda (Robert) Shuster Forrest, and Lisa (Edward) Janairo; five nieces, three nephews, and nine great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father Joseph Shuster in 2001.

 Kathy was an amazing daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. She touched many lives, and we’re all better for having known and loved her. In her final days, her advice to us was not to put things off. To heed this advice will be a way to honor her spirit and keep her with us.

 A celebration of Kathy’s life will take place later this year. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Kathy’s memory to the charity of your choice, especially those that improve the lives of animals or help people to live their best lives.

 Kathy’s family would like to thank the staff at The Pearl of Hinsdale, Capital Hospice and Palliative Care, and West Suburban Funeral Home & Cremation Services for taking professional and compassionate care of Kathy and for helping all of us during this difficult time.

Info 630-852-8000 or westsuburbanfh.com