Obituaries detail

Cleta Jean Lorenz

Cleta Woods Lorenz of Kansas City, Missouri, a retired nurse adored by friends and family, died at the age of 64 on December 25, 2018.


Cleta is preceded in death by her father, Cletus Woods of Clinton, Missouri, her brother, Robert Woods, her husband, Charles “Chuck” Lorenz, and her granddaughter, Jane Rose Weber.


She is survived by her mother, Roma Woods, her two sisters, Dixie Wirsig and Lisa Carl, and her daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren: Courtney Lorenz Gatzoulis and her husband, Steve, of Mission, Kansas; Clarissa Lorenz Swan and her husband, Robert, and son, Braxton, of Los Angeles, California; and Catherine Lorenz Weber and her husband, Derek, daughter, Mary Grace, and son, Luke, of Parkville, Missouri.


Cleta, the eldest of four siblings, was born in Clinton on November 13, 1954. She was a confident, adventurous child who delighted in leading her siblings on hikes through the fields and woods near their home. In her youth, Cleta also dedicated herself to a relationship with Jesus Christ that brought her strength and comfort throughout her life. “My life is not my own,” she told friends and family in her later years. “It is His.”


She met Chuck, her beloved husband, in Sedalia, Missouri in 1978. The two married on December 24, 1978 and remained sweethearts until his death in January 2009. They moved to Blue Springs, Missouri in 1980. In Blue Springs, they raised three daughters and became integral members of the community through their work at St. Mary’s Medical Center and their service to St. Peter United Methodist Church.


Cleta served as a Registered Nurse at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs, Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach, and Saint Luke’s Hospice in Kansas City earning many accolades throughout her career. She was a lifelong learner, and during the last few years of her career achieved a Master of Science degree in Health Care Ethics from Creighton University. Patients and colleagues revered her compassion for patients and their families as well as her good humor and her uncanny way of connecting with anyone.


In addition to her work in health care, she was a true nature lover whose most gratifying job was caring for any living thing that came into her orbit. She looked after many pets, including birds, dogs, cats and racoons. Flowers, shrubs, trees, or vegetables on the end-of-season discount rack found homes and flourished with Cleta. She kept regular tabs on the foxes, coyotes, turkeys, and deer in her neighborhood. One momma raccoon, in particular, became like a member of her extended family. Every spring, Cleta gave friends and family regular updates about the newest litter of kits. At the holidays, Cleta’s family knew to line up at the backdoor after meals to share leftovers with their mother’s adopted raccoons. 


Cleta was often the outspoken ringleader of family adventures. On Christmas mornings, she dressed as Mrs. Claus and marched through the house ringing a bell to wake her daughters. Saturday mornings her girls might find her in spandex and leg warmers ready to lead a family exercise routine. Her ebullience was balanced by her husband Chuck’s more measured nature. He enjoyed playing the elf beside his Mrs. Claus. In the kitchen, Chuck was a precise baker, while Cleta improvised and experimented. They reveled in one another’s company, and built a marriage and family characterized by fun, devotion, and love.


The legacy of Cleta and Chuck’s union lives on in the families of their daughters. Cleta remained a daily presence in their lives right up until her passing. Quite simply, she and her daughters, Courtney, Clarissa, and Catherine, were best friends. Holidays, vacations, any free moment was either spent together or spent planning when to be together next. She spoke with all three of them throughout the day every single day. Conversations almost always ended with her saying, “I have to let you go. Your sister is calling.”


In recent years, that devotion to family extended to her sons-in-law and grandchildren. With her grandchildren in particular, she had a way of communicating that no one else possessed. “Mom knew what they were saying when no one else did,” her daughters say.


Compassion defined Cleta Lorenz. Whether it was a house of worship, a patient’s hospital room, her granddaughter’s bedroom, or her own kitchen, Cleta brightened any space. Her laughter was infectious, her heart expansive. Even in moments of sorrow and grief, she brought to her patients, to her friends, and to her family a deep reserve of hopefulness and assurance rooted in her Christian beliefs and the boundless joy with which she lived her life.




Funeral services will be held Sunday, December 30th at 2pm at the Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. The church is located at 415 W. 13th Street in Kansas City, Missouri.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Cleta’s honor to Saint Luke’s Hospice House (, select Saint Luke's Hospice House in the drop down to designate your donation or the Center for Practical Bioethics (…/make-a-donation).



Additional Service:
Celebration of Life
Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral
415 W 13th St.
Kansas City
Zip Code:
Date of Service:
Dec 30 ,2018
Time of Service:
2:00 pm
Additional Information:
No Additional Information Added
Google Map:


Cynthia Peters Dec 27 ,2018

Friend ,Grain Valley ,Missouri

To the family of dear sweet Cleta. I know you all must have been by Cleta’s side as she left this world but I also know you believe as I do that she has entered the spiritual world of no pain, nothing but joy as she reunites with her loved ones especially Chuck and her granddaughter. It doesn’t make our loss any easier but know that we send to you our love and condolences. Cleta was one of a kind. She never knew a stranger. Peace

Paul & Brenda Geiler Dec 27 ,2018

Friend ,Blue Springs ,Missouri

Our hearts and prayers reach out to each of you girls as you mourn the loss of your mother. She was a great neighbor and friend. May knowing she is with Chuck and Jane Rose bring you some comfort.

Cindy and Tom Glover Dec 27 ,2018

Friend ,Blue Springs ,Missouri

For 35+ years I was blessed to call Cleta friend. Her zest for life was contagious. She was the kindest, most compassionate thoughtful person I have known. As a nurse her advocacy for her patients was her top priority making sure their mind, body and spirit were addressed. She loved and was so proud of her family. My deepest sympathy to Courtney, Clarissa, Catherine and their families. What wonderful memories Cleta has left with us.

Sheri Beissenherz Dec 27 ,2018

Friend ,Wellington ,Missouri

I could not add one thing that has not already been said in Cleta s obituary!! What a lovely tribute. Chuck and Cleta were mentors, friends and coworkers whom I adored and the utmost respect for. May their spirit for compassion and zest for life continue to shine through all of us whose lives they have touched !! Much love and hugs to Courtney, Clarissa & Catherine and families!

Erin Ragsdale Dec 27 ,2018

Neighbor ,Kansas City ,Missouri

Im saddened to hear the news of Cleta’s passing. She was a wonderful neighbor and friend. She will be missed greatly! My boys ask how she’s doing every day. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Lauri Mill Dec 27 ,2018

It was an honor to work beside Chuck and Cleta at St. Mary’s for all those years. Cleta sowed seeds of love and kindness by touching the heart of everyone she met. Her compassion knew no boundaries. She was an angel of God. Rest In Peace sweet Cleta. My heart goes out to Courtney, Clarissa, and Catherine, and your family. I know your parents live through you and your beautiful families. God bless.

Gail (Nauser) Mikula Dec 27 ,2018

Friend ,Sugar Creek ,Missouri

My love and prayers go out to Cleta's beautiful family. I had the honor of working with Cleta in the ICU at St. Mary's. She was my mentor after nursing school. She not only taught me the important things of ICU but compassion and how to have fun in a stressful environment. Many Saturday afternoons you would see Cleta going from room to room turning the televisions onto "The Lawrence Welk Show". Next you would be dancing in the cloud of bubbles provided by sweet Cleta, yes she always had a small Bootle in pocket. Never a dull moment. I've been blessed to have known Cleta and Chuck and will forever hold them in my heart. Heaven is singing with joy. A special Angel has returned home to her Lord, Chuck, grand-daughter and daddy. God bless you all.

Kathryn Ross Fine Dec 28 ,2018

Friend ,Sanger ,California

I am so very sorry for your loss! But...we can rejoice that she is with her Savior and we will be reunited with her someday in heaven! I pray for God's comfort for you all in your time of grief. Love and prayers Kathy

Ron and Peggy Arthur Dec 28 ,2018

Friends ,Clinton ,Missouri

We will always remember Cleta’s infectious smile and happy attitude toward life. May God give you strength and comfort at this difficult time of loss.

Jim Klasinski Dec 28 ,2018

Former Co-Worker ,Kansas City ,Missouri

Christine and I have so many fond memories of working with Cleta (and Chuck) at St. Mary's in Blue Springs. I will remember her most for her sense of humor and what a sweetheart she was. Her family is in our thoughts and prayers.

Erin McKenna Dec 28 ,2018

friend of Courtney ,Fairway ,Kansas

Dearest Courtney, My love and condolences to you and your family. You were a wonderful daughter and a great source of love and care to your mom. Sending love and hugs your way. With love and friendship, Erin

Doris Hunter Dec 28 ,2018

friend ,Chilhowee ,Missouri

Please accept my sincere sympathy. May you feel God's presence. Doris Hunter

Gina Moreno Dec 28 ,2018

Friend ,Lees Summit ,Missouri

We grew up down the road from the Woods' kids. We had a great time visiting back and forth up and down that country road. Cleta was a kind and beautiful child, young lady and woman. I will always remember the summertime playing outside and catching lightning bugs in jars. Everyone leaves footprints in your memory, but the ones that leave footprints in your heart are the ones you will truly remember.

Barb & Ron Kline Dec 29 ,2018

Friend ,Lee’s Summit ,Missouri

We are so saddened to hear of Cleta’s passing. COURTNEY, you & your sisters are in our thoughts and prayers.

Diana Zimmerman Dec 29 ,2018

Co-worker at St Mary’s Hospital

My heart goes out to the family. I knew Cleta and Chuck at St Mary’s Hospital. They always brought joy. Her memory will live on through the people who knew her.

Dina Lutjen Dec 29 ,2018

friend ,Blue Springs ,Missouri

I had the honor of working with Cleta for a few years at St. Marys. She was a great role model & loved caring for her patients. She made me a lovely Christmas centerpiece one year & I still set it out every year & think of her. My sympathies to her family.

Terry Frerking Dec 29 ,2018

Friend ,Blue Springs ,Missouri

I am so sorry for your loss. Cleta was a wonderful friend. She will be missed. God Bless..Prayers For All.

Jackie Behnke Jan 02 ,2019

Friend ,Jacksonville ,Florida

My thoughts & prayers continue to be with all of you. I wish I could have been in KC this fall. Cleta was such a remarkable friend, woman, & nurse. Her strength, courage,compassion, & faith carried her through & over amazing obstacles. She has touched the hearts & lives of so many persons & critters with her gentle loving spirit & we will all miss her so very much! My love & prayers go out to Courtney, Clarissa, Catherine & families & her Mom & Sisters & their families. May our loving Heavenly Father pour out His Holy Spirit upon all of you to sustain, comfort, encourage each of you during this most difficult time. Know that she intercedes for you with all the Saints who have gone before.

Sandra Creason-Howard Jan 03 ,2019

Friend and Daughter of My Mother’s dear friend ,Blue Springs ,Missouri

I am very sorrow for a loss of a beautiful woman inside and out. I can’t imagine dealing with the loss of both parents and having to endure the pain. Yet, Cleta will join her best friend and husband in heaven. She will bring so much cheer, beauty, love, and fun sparkle spirit up above. She will look over her loved ones on earth always til you meet again! I thank God for giving her in my life as well as a great friend to my mom and all the love, hugs, prayers, support, and warm spirit she gave us in the years of knowing her and her family! May you heal with all the memories you can hold close to your heart and the grace from God above.