Catherine Trader

Catherine Ann Trader (Wachal), 65, passed away peacefully Dec. 7, 2021, surrounded by her loved ones, at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. She was born in 1956 and lived her childhood in Franklin.

She graduated from Alverno College in 1978 with a degree in music education and taught elementary music in Catholic schools for eight years. She married Rodger on April 26, 1985, and they partnered for 13 years at Tradecraft in East Troy before returning to teaching in 1998.

Cathy was the organist at First Congregational, UCC Church for 25 years. She taught music and assisted in theater programs in the East Troy Community School District for more than 20 years. She was a highly involved community member participating in the East Troy Community Choir, youth choir and band.

Cathy taught piano to many young musicians. She enjoyed singing, gardening, taking walks, attending plays and concerts, visiting Circus World Museum and natural wildlife areas, knitting, and puzzles. She was generous with her time and resources to anyone in need, and most of all she cherished spending time with loved ones.

She is survived by her loving husband, Rodger; beloved son, Robert Arthur; devoted sisters, Mary Pionkowski, and Janet (John) Rymaszewski; brothers, Thomas and Arthur (Holly Billings); nieces and nephews, Sara (Max Rogers) Pionkowski, Anne (Wesley) Larson, Jacob (Ainslie) Wachal, Benjamin Wachal, Angela (Matthew) Johnson, John Arthur Rymaszewski (Leah Peavler), Wendy (Brent Warner) Parsons, Tony (Heather) Parsons, Stacey (Rob) Miller, Erin Holland, Christopher (Meredith) Coplien, Lorelei Coplien, Andrew Coplien, Brian Trader, Daniel Trader, Nolan Trader, and Meaghan Trader; in-laws, Janet Trader, Pam (Roger) Parsons, Barbara Trader (Mark Gregory), Sandra Coplien and Douglas (Jacqueline) Trader; grand-nieces and grand-nephews; dear friends, John, Laura, Rebecca, Samantha and Olivia Rash, Sue Equi, Laura Brandt, Anthony (Victoria Hsia-Grande) Grande, Tim West; and many other cherished friends, colleagues and students.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Angeline and Arthur Wachal; father-in-law, Melvin Trader; and dearest friend, Adam Januszewski.

A private green burial took place at Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha, and a celebration of life will be scheduled in the spring of 2022.

The family extends their thanks to Dr. Razza and the Prohealth Oncology care team; and the Waukesha Memorial Intensive Care Unit staff, for their loving care.

In lieu of flowers, memorials provided to the family will be given in Cathy’s name to organizations supporting music education and cancer research.

Schmidt and Bartelt Funeral and Cremation Services, Mukwonago, assisted the family.



  1. Jeany Monahan Popp says:

    Roger and family. I am so sorry for your loss. I am saddened that I have just heard the news about Cathy. I thought of her often. I pray for comfort and peace to you and your son Robert. I will always remember her. She was a wonderful lady and full of life when she was with children and doing music. Please except my deepest apology for not sending you my condolences earlier. May God bless you during your healing.

  2. Garret says:

    I was one of her students and I saw that she died and I cried for a long time and I could come to her when ever I needed to she was like another mom to me may she rest in peace. So sorry for your loss.

  3. Samantha Thomfohrda (Grigg) says:

    I am sending so much love to you all. Mrs Trader made such an impact on mine and many students lives. Very sorry for your loss.