Obituary: Catherine Collat Mendel

Obituary: Catherine Collat Mendel

Catherine (“Caki”) Collat Mendel, 61, passed away Sept. 22 at Emory Hospital, surrounded by her husband and children, after fighting a courageous battle with cancer.

Catherine (“Caki”) Collat Mendel, 61, passed away Sept. 22 at Emory Hospital, surrounded by her husband and children, after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. She lived every day to the fullest and never let the disease take away her energy or enjoyment of life.

Caki was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and her heart always had a warm spot for Birmingham and the community, but she moved to Atlanta after college and met her loving husband, who survives her along with their three children, Bradley, Stacey, and Jason (Madison). She is also survived by her father Charles (Joanna) Collat, mother-in-law Joanne Mendel, sisters Nancy Goedecke and Susie (John) Collat, brother Charlie (Cheryl) Collat, brothers-in-law, Richard (Muriel) Mendel and Howard Mendel, sister-in-law Karen (Michael) Saul, and a great number of loving nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her mother, Patsy Collat, and her father-in-law, Jerry Mendel.

Her genuine, thoughtful, and generous nature brought happiness to everyone she encountered. Family was the most important thing to her, whether related by blood or not. She would drop anything to help anyone or bring fresh baked cookies to let you know she was thinking about you.

She had a remarkable love affair with her husband, Larry, for over 37 years. They were the true definition of soul mates, and she was his ultimate partner in creating a wonderful family to share life’s exciting experiences together.

Caki worked at Mayer, a family business, and was director of community outreach. One of her proudest accomplishments was starting and developing the “Mayer Cares” program to give back to local communities. She always wanted to help others and this position helped to fuel her fire. You could see and feel her energy and happiness as successful events grew within the organization.

Her faith grounded her, and The Temple, where she served as president of the Sisterhood, played an integral role in her life. She also enjoyed working with many other philanthropic organizations in her community.

Caki’s pride and joy were her children. She was always part of the PTA, a Room Parent, Sports Team Mom, and our #1 cheerleader. She traveled to every soccer game, baseball game, and golf match –— no matter the distance!

She loved to cook for her family and friends, and wanting to keep with tradition, would focus on meals which were passed down from generation to generation. If you just happened to drop in, she always had enough prepared. A home-cooked meal was always waiting.

Her hobbies included needlepoint and knitting, with which she spoiled her children and family. She made a special tallit for all her children, nieces, and nephews for their bar and bat mitzvahs and beautiful blankets for her family. She brought smiles and warmth to all who were lucky enough to be recipients. These labors of love she graciously leaves behind will be cherished forever.

She also enjoyed tennis with her friends at The Standard Club, followed by lunch and laughter. She was an avid sports enthusiast — playing golf with her boys, tennis with the family, and gathering around to watch football on Saturdays and Sundays. Together is where she wanted to be.

Her adventurous spirit took her around the world with her family and friends. She loved skiing in the mountains, a beachfront view, and finding new places to explore. But one of her favorite places to go was her family home on Lake Martin, where she especially enjoyed a sunset cocktail cruise. Wherever she went, she wanted the people she loved by her side.

All she touched she left in better shape. Her love will live on through those who were fortunate enough to know her.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to JF&CS Atlanta, Collat Jewish Family Services Birmingham, The Temple, or Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (

Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.


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