In Memory of




Obituary for Cathy Runquist (Ojakian)

Cathy (Ojakian) Runquist died peacefully at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 17, 2020. Cathy battled multiple sclerosis for over 25 years which left her immobilized and in a wheelchair for over a decade. Despite her ongoing strength and will to fight and not succumb to her disease, Cathy tragically passed away due to complications from injuries obtained in a car accident while being transported to an appointment.

Cathy was born on July 6, 1958 in Hartford, Connecticut to Nancy and Eugene Ojakian. Cathy grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut with her parents and three brothers before relocating to Longmeadow, Massachusetts where she spent most of her teenage years. Cathy attended St. Brigid in West Hartford and Longmeadow High School where she had many friends and was recognized as a star athlete. Cathy spent years cheerleading and was never without her partner in crime and best friend Barbara. Cathy enjoyed musicals and was involved in the community theatre where she performed with her mother. Cathy attended school for court reporting and excelled at her work as a stenographer. She also worked in several banks and restaurants.

Cathy had three daughters to which she devoted her entire life and heart to. The 4 C's they would call themselves. They went on many adventures most of which were during the summer months in Rhode Island and at the Cape. Cathy never missed one of the girls dance recitals, soccer, basketball, softball, field hockey or lacrosse games. She was always the most consistent and biggest fan of the girls and their friends. Cathy was the proudest mother and showered her daughters in the most unconditional love. They shared an incredible bond, and Cathy would often say that God gave her three daughters for a reason.

Cathy is survived by her daughter Christina and her husband John Williams, daughter Cassandra and her husband Johnny Gisolfi, daughter Carly and her wife Jessica Runquist, grandchildren Mya, Andre, Amelia and Giuliana, mother Nancy Ojakian, brother Mark Ojakian and his husband Jason Veretto, brother Paul and his wife Tina Ojakian brother Chris Ojakian and his fiance Marie Lanoy, sister and best friend Barbara Bilodeau, several nieces and nephews and countless friends and loved ones.

Cathy's strength and resilience was admirable to anyone and everyone who knew her. She has touched many lives throughout her lifetime. She tirelessly fought an ugly and unpredictable disease for many years, yet still carried on with a smile on her face and found joy and happiness in little things everyday. Cathy will forever be remembered for her kind and generous spirit.

A private funeral service and burial of ashes will be held for Cathy's family. A memorial service and celebration of life will be scheduled for a later date.

To honor Cathy's memory, please consider making a donation to Ojakian Commons, an independent living facility in Simsbury, CT designed for people with MS and other physical disabilities. Please make any donations payable to the Petit Fund at The Multiple Sclerosis Society and mail to Mark Ojakian, 43 Mountain Brook Rd. West Hartford, CT 06117. Online condolences may be made at