Remembering Cathy Smale Caldemeyer

It is with heavy hearts that we remember our former board president, volunteer, supporter, and friend, Cathy Caldemeyer.

Daughter of the late Phyllis W. Smale and John G. Smale, Cathy was an ardent supporter of parks, continuing her mother’s passion for gardening and her father’s belief that vibrant parks create vibrant cities. She made it her mission to enhance the beauty of parks and green spaces in Cincinnati.

With contagious enthusiasm, Cathy was a founding member of the Women’s Committee of Smale Park, a board member of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation for nine years, serving both as board president and vice president for two years each, a chair, along with her daughters Lisa Caldemeyer Diedrichs and Madeline Caldemeyer Young, of the Foundation’s Hats Off Luncheon, and leader of the private fundraising effort to expand Smale Riverfront Park.

Never afraid to get her hands dirty, Cathy fully immersed herself in making Cincinnati Parks beautiful, planting trees, flowers, and bulbs, removing weeds and litter, and making so many friends in our parks along the way.

Cathy was a fierce supporter of the mission of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation and its team. Her legacy is everywhere in our city, but especially in her family's namesake park, where she worked tirelessly to ensure that Smale Park would be completed, consistent with her father's vision. We have created the the Smale Riverfront Park Endowment to continue Cathy's work and ensure stewardship of this treasured park through improvements, maintenance, and programming so that Cincinnatians can enjoy it in perpetuity.

As we remember this force for good in our community, please consider sharing a photo or memory of our beloved friend via email so that we may compile a collective tribute. Also please consider a donation in Cathy’s memory so that her vision may live on.