A Fantastic Colleague

I had the privilege of working with Cathy for many years at Carleton. She was not only knowledgeable, dedicated, a good sense of humour but a loyal friend. You could go to her for help at anytime and if she did not have the answer she would find it. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her. I will miss my dear friend. May you rest in peace.

– Susan Jameson

My condolences to Cathy’s family. She will be greatly missed.

– Sarah Mohammed

My dear friend Cathy

Cathy, still trying to process that you’re gone. You were a remarkable person with a beautiful smile and a wonderful sense of humour. You leave a void without your presence. I will always and forever cherish all of our great times, laughs and memories. My sincere condolences to Gerry, Meghan and family. Sleep well and rest my friend, your kind heart and generous spirit will be sorely missed. Enjoy your martini XOX

– Corrina Belok

When Cathy joined ODFASS as Financial Officer, she very quickly became an invaluable colleague. Her energy, capacity for hard work, and amazing ability to multi-task while simultaneously focussing on minute detail, served the Faculty exceptionally well in the economic downturn that followed two years later. She had an amazing head for figures, and was never afraid to ask tough questions related to the Faculty’s $40M+ budget. But well beyond her professional skills, she also made a significant contribution to life in the office. When others were hurting, she felt their pain, and more than once lent a shoulder to cry on; and when times were good, her smile was as wide as an Irish rainbow. She soon transitioned from the category of “employee” to that of “friend”, and when I left the office in 2015, we remained in touch through a regular exchange of text messages. I have shared some memorable meals with her and Gerry. Cathy had a passion for life and for her family. Every time we got together, the first thing she did was pull out photographs of her grandson, Joey. She also loved to travel, with a particular fondness for the glamour and glitz of Las Vegas. She touched the lives of many. All who knew her will feel a deep sense of loss at her passing.

– John Osborne

Thank you, Cathy

In 2009 I was hired as director of Carleton’s School for Studies in Art and Culture after having spent three decades at another university. To say the least, the differences between the financial rules and procedures in FASS, and those of my previous institution, were substantial. Not to mention the acronyms. (Oh, the acronyms: Carleton’s always mystifying, often exasperating secret codes.) Cathy called me up, out of the blue, and encouraged me to drop by her office for some basic lessons in FASS and Carleton financial and acronymic practices. That turned out to be my single best orientation to navigating my new reality. I’ve always been grateful for the time Cathy took that afternoon with such a Carleton greenhorn as I was at the time. I also learned that day that what Cathy really wanted – or at least what she claimed she really wanted – was for FASS to give her a large chunk of the Faculty’s accumulated savings so that she could take truckloads of cash to Las Vegas and turn them into a truly major fortune, Her financial wizardry in Nevada’s casinos was so legendary that I always (and not so secretly) regretted that FASS never took her up on her money-making offer. Several times in the years after that 2009 meeting Cathy would phone me up, asking for clarification when SSAC manipulated its budget lines in ways that piqued her interest. Those phone call always started the same way: with Cathy saying, “I just want to make sure I’ve got this right.” And she almost always did.

– Brian Foss

Live, Love, Laugh my friend

Cathy was a force of laughter, of love and full of life. The G-man, Meg, her family was her life. Stories about her dad, especially on St. Patricks day, when she would play Irish music in her office and tell stories about growing up. Her 1 cent slot machines that brought her much luck, luck which she shared with everyone around her, even strangers. There wasn’t a day that Cathy didnt have me in stitches laughing till tears streamed down our faces…. going to swiss chalet on our lunch breaks and boy did she love her chicken. It’s difficult to associate “”sadness”” with the name Cathy, yet here we are. To Cathy’s family; she loved you all so much and I am so sorry for your loss. Cathy will always be laughing down and watching over the ones she loved. May her smile stay with you always. With the most sincere sympathies, and prayers.

– Brookes Fee

My Heart is Broken

I feel blessed to have known such a beautiful, kind, selfless and loving woman. The loss of Cathy leaves a huge hole in the fabric of the ODFASS family – I will miss her every day! Warm hugs to you Meghan and Gerry.

– Allyson Buchanan-Watson

My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Losing Cathy is so hard. She fought this battle with such determination and optimism.
She will be missed.

– Marianne Keyes

Martini in the sky

Oh Cathy, I am so sad knowing that I’ll never see you in Paterson again, and that that long-postponed martini is just not going to happen. I shall think of you upon a cloud, smiling on all of us with a huge martini in your hand. You have made me smile and laugh so often – thank you for those memories. May your memory be a blessing to your family and your wide circle of friends. xx

– Randall Gess

Cathy Was One Of The Good Ones!

I first met Cathy many years ago when she won a trip to Barbados with our radio station and her and I quickly became friends on that trip and after we got home it continued. How could you not be her friend, as she was one of the most wonderful and kind souls you could ever meet. We had a few lunches and dinners along the way but now that I’m looking back, it wasn’t enough and especially in the past year although we did stay in touch via messages and such. My heart is very heavy tonight in knowing I can’t just reach out to her or I won’t get a message or a phone call from her telling me she is listening or just to say hi as she was very known to do. Cathy was a gracious soul and I don’t think I have ever met a nicer person or friend…..heaven has gained a good one and now she can give her Dad a big hug as I know how she missed him with all the great radio stories she used to tell me about him. RIP Cathy and to G-Man, Meghan and family and friends, my most sincere condolences to you all, I can not say I’m sorry enough for your loss. Hugs. xoxo

– Codi Jeffreys

I have known Cathy since I first took over as dept chair in Psychology, in 2007. She was always someone you could call up and ask for help – how do I do this; what does this budget line mean, what have i done wrong? And she always had an answer, or would find one for you. And she was always cheerful, even when you were asking the same question you’d asked last month. I have gotten to know her better since moving to ODFASS in 2018. Again, she has been helpful, willing to answer questions, and even more importantly, willing to take care of travel reimbursements, which I never seem to get right. But I also learned about her love of Vegas, her dogs and her strong Irish spirit. Her courage over the past few years has been inspirational and she leaves a legacy of loyalty and strength in ODFASS. My very deep condolences to her family.

– Anne Bowker

A true champion of FASS

As the HR Advisor with FASS in my portfolio, and in my new role, I had many dealings with Cathy over the past 14 years. Although we could differ in our opinions, Cathy was always one who wanted to do things the right way and with consistency, I truly admired that trait in her. We had many good discussions over the phone and in person and I never remember her being anything but friendly, courteous and pleasant in all of our exchanges. For me she was the face of FASS and always, always always would look to balance the best interests of the faculty, the University and the staff. She made great contributions in her almost 30 years at the university and will be sadly missed by many.

– Greg Bugler

Brave and Courageous

Cathy and I shared two things, our names (both Catherine Marie) and the year we were born (1959). It was always the way we greeted each other – “Hello Catherine Marie!”

Cathy was always the type of person you wanted in your corner. She was dogged in her determination to problem solve. A trip to her office to discuss an issue was never a quick trip as she wouldn’t let you leave until she got to the bottom of the issue. I think that determination is how she dealt with her cancer diagnoses and treatments. She was always so brave and courageous in her fight.

I will miss her little giggle and the twinkle in her eyes when she smiled. She was so much fun to spend time with and she always showed an interest in what you were up to. I will miss her.

Heaven has gained a true angel and I feel she will be looking out for all of us from above. My heartfelt condolences to Gerry, Meghan and all of Cathy’s family and loved ones.

– Cathy Schmueck

Shaken not Stirred

When I think of Cathy, I will always remember her generous smile and joy in the little things. I lived vicariously through her casino adventures and will always be jealous of the two trips she won through radio contests. Cathy was part of the committee that awarded me my first full-time job at Carleton and my career circled back to working with her in the Dean’s office again 5 years ago. I will always be thankful for everything she taught me at Carleton and will miss her sunny smile.

– Sarah Quirt

A True Colleague and Friend

Cathy was one of those people who left a lasting impression the minute you met her. She was easy to get to know and a true supporter of all who came to her for help. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it were not for Cathy. She was always there for me, supporting me in my role of Dept Administrator and happily answering my many, many questions. She also genuinely cared about everyone in her life. She was so concerned about my health and well-being even during her times of struggle. I will miss her smile and laughter, her stories about family (including Joey, Will & Kate) and our chats about life in general. Cathy, you will be greatly missed.

– Paula Whissell

Such a kind-hearted person!

Although initially most of my exchanges with Cathy were over the phone, she was always so kind, supportive and generous in talking me through budget-related things and finding answers to my questions, while taking the time to discuss our lives, families and laughing about our virtual connection over the phone. Once we grew to recognize each other in the tunnels and in ODFASS her warmth and care was projected through her giant smiles and intentionality in always greeting me. Cathy, you’ll be missed, but always remembered.

– Anna Hoefnagels

“It’s the Pest” she would announce when I picked up the phone. She would go on to demonstrate how meticulously she handled the finances in FASS by asking me for more detail on a budget adjustment I had done. Then she’d wish me goodbye and thank you with a promise to share her million-dollar winnings if she won the next lottery. She made me scrupulous in my dealings with “her” budgets, and, above all, she made me laugh so that I could never begrudge the extra time involved. She cared for the budgets in FASS as attentively as she would have cared for her own; and she cared for her co workers as if we were her friends.

– Angela Pelly

A bright and kind woman

I am so very sorry to hear of Cathy’s passing. Cathy and I worked together at FASS years ago, when I was just beginning my career, and we remained friends ever since. She was nothing but kind to me from the moment I started and I appreciated her warm guidance as I learned the ins and outs of the faculty. Cathy lit up every room she entered – the world will certainly be a dimmer place without her. She was courageous, generous, and a true friend. I feel blessed to have known her. She will never be forgotten.

– Lori Tarbett

A dear friend from way back

I am so saddened by the loss of my dear friend Cathy. My deepest sympathies to Gerry, Meghan & Duncan, Joey and all the Coughlin and Gaffney families. We go back to high school, and both had the fortune of working part-time at Sears in Accounting during that time. That’s where Finance all started for both of us. The funny story is, I accompanied her to apply for jobs and decided to put my application in too. They hired me on the spot because I had taken a course in business machines in high school and could add on the calculator very quickly. Sears had just implemented a new computer system and they were weeks behind in backlog of balancing register receipts. I felt so bad, because I was just the tag along and I got the job and she didn’t that day. To our delight, they called her the next day and thus began our years of taking turns picking each other up to drive to Carling Ave, having fun at work and afterwards. It was a great launch to our respective careers. I was a part of the whole G-man courtship drama, their wedding, excitedly anticipating Meghan’s birth. Cathy was always a dear friend and very supportive to me. A shoulder to cry on after failed relationships, deaths in the family, and even recently trying to help me find a job at Carleton after I was laid off in private industry. But I will remember most the laughter – the hold your sides, don’t pee your pants, roll on the floor laughter. I don’t think I have ever found it to that extent with anyone, even my dear husband. I love you, Cathy. You’re in my heart, babe. Enjoy your gin & tonics with all the gang. Until we meet again….. xoxox Deb

– Deborah St Jean

Cathy was everything you would hope for in a colleague. She cared deeply about the success of FASS and all the people who work for the faculty. She was passionate about excellence in her work and spread that passion to all of us her learned so much from her. She was always available to troubleshoot, answer questions, make a phone call or write an email of support and to listen to our work questions or concerns, our personal problems, our happy news & our sad news. But what made her extra-special (as if there needed to be more) was her sense of humour & her irrepressible zest for life! After answering my work questions (mostly reminding me for the 100th time how to do something budget related) we would share a few stories, or songs, or jokes & laugh! And laugh! And laugh! I will miss a lot about Cathy but I will miss our shared laughs the most.

– Natalie Pressburger

When I joined ODFASS as Associate Dean, Cathy quickly became a friend. She had a great sense of humour, a mischievous smile, and an indomitable spirit. She took enormous pride in her role as the financial administrator for FASS and approached her work with passion and enthusiasm. What made Cathy ideal for her position in FASS wasn’t just her financial acumen, it was her love of people. Cathy was genuinely interested in everyone she met and people felt at ease with her immediately. She never was too busy to share a laugh, strategize about a problem, or patiently help someone sort through their expense claims, even if she’d already explained it multiple times. Her luck at casinos was legendary and we all delighted in tales from her Las Vegas trips. I will always remember in particular her penchant for assigning hilarious nicknames to people whose name she couldn’t remember. Cathy’s extensive networks at Carleton meant that she always had news about campus happenings before me. When I would share with her something that was about to happen at the university, she’d often grin widely and say “Old news, my friend.” Cathy taught me the importance of taking the time to find the fun in every task, building camaraderie in the workplace, facing challenges with fearlessness and determination, and never giving up hope. She was one of a kind.

– Pauline Rankin

I was thinking about Cathy just a couple of weeks ago and was hoping that she would be safe through the pandemic to fight the battle that she always planned to win. I first “met” Cathy through phone and email while I was on a contract in Research Accounting before coming to join the FASS family. Her spirit came directly through the phone line and email to hit you in the heart! One of my favourite memories are from the days that, without warning I’d get a Monty Python clip in my inbox, usually talking about coconuts, the airspeed velocity of a European unladen swallow or if I might perhaps have a shrubbery. When you spoke with Cathy, a smile and a laugh was always just a few seconds away even during some of the hardest days for both of us. I have lost count of how many times people have told me that Cathy was their biggest cheerleader and the reason behind their successes at Carleton! Cathy was so good at everything she did, I expected her to beat this one more time. When Cathy was on your side, you were sure to succeed and she would take time to help her people navigate the “Carleton way.”

I can only offer my deepest condolences to her family and her closest friends. Our hearts are broken. I have never met anyone more true, more honest and more loveable than you. We will honour you, my friend, and you will never be forgotten. I will take life by your example and always try to look on the bright side. XOX

– Dawn Schmidt

I will miss Cathy. I enjoyed our 5 years working together in ODFASS. Cathy always had a smile and saw the bright side of life. Condolences to the family.

– Richard Nimijean

Courageous bright light

As I am deeply saddened to hear the passing of Cathy, I reflect on Cathy’s courage, kindness, thoughtfulness and grace dealing with her health issues and at the same time supporting others. Cathy was always there for those who were suffering with health challenges. She would keep in touch, make a meal and be the support that is needed. When Cathy received the news of her cancer returning she was positive in her approach to her treatment and outlook.
I send my deepest sympathy to Cathy’s family and her friends and colleagues here at Carleton. Cathy’s good acts and love for life will always be remembered.

– Cindy Taylor

Special Person

Cathy was a foundational member of the FASS Dean’s Office team. She trained everyone about financial and staff personnel protocols, all with enthusiasm and whit. Her knowledge of university past practice was legendary. And she did not hesitate to share it. She seemed to have a view on everything but her passion was her grandson Joey. Working with Cathy was an adventure but when the stakes were down you could always count on informed and informative advice. Cathy’s presence, spirit and kindness will be greatly missed. A one of a kind character. She will be missed by all.

– Wallace Clement

Always Helpful

Cathy will be missed! She was always eager to provide help and advice. As the Director of a FASS unit, I was often puzzled about financial issues. I learned to pick up the phone and call Cathy — she was happy to explain how things worked and suggest solutions. She did her best for our faculty. I was very sorry to hear of her passing. My heartfelt condolences to her family.

– Jo-Anne LeFevre

Cathy made a difference, every day

I didn’t understand how much Cathy contributed to life at Carleton until I started chairing our department. Thanks to her experience and problem-solving skills, people got hired, paid, taught, and taken care of, often in trying situations, and many of them never knowing of her role. I miss her smiles and good humour when I visit ODFASS, although her influence there remains.

– Scott Mitchell

Always a helping friend

My sincerest condolences to the family. Cathy was such a kind spirit and was always there to bail me out of trouble or explain things to me 5 times when I didn’t understand something. She was very patient and always said “don’t worry, that is what I am here for” with a big smile. She was a real wonderful person and a warm heart and always willing to help. She will be missed dearly.

– Rodney Nelson

Cathy was a truly wonderful colleague and all who knew her share our community’s deep sense of loss. Our hearts go out to her loved ones in their grief. Cathy was the first administrator I met when I came to Carleton. I remember sitting with her on many occasions with stacks of disorganized invoices and frustrating administrative forms, which she always whipped into shape and demystified for me. She had the rare gift of making you feel you were sitting at the kitchen table of an old friend. She made Carleton feel like a family. She joked. She laughed. She made everyone around her laugh. She welcomed warmly. And her light will be sorely missed.

– Stuart Murray

a smiling and “positive” angel!

Cathy would always find a way to help me when I was not understanding the intricacies of FASS business. When I was asking for help, she was there to explain, support, figure out a way… She has been a guardian angel for me many times, and for this, I will forever be grateful… A positive and smart presence in FASS, a beautiful role model. To her family and friends, my sincere condolences.

– Chantal Dion

In memory

It will take time to get use to Cathy’s absence in the Office of the Faculty. She has accompanied many efforts, transactions, and planning exercises, and she has patiently trained us to the use of many tools. Her memory will live through all what she has made possible, and her good nature and cheerfulness was unforgettable. My sympathies to her close colleagues and family.

– Dominique Marshall

I am so sorry to learn of Cathy’s passing. As a colleague, she was knowledgeable and our “go-to” for all things financial. She never made you feel like an idiot for asking a question, and instead made you feel like she had your back and would help you sort it out. Like so many of us at Carleton, I will miss her warmth, humour and kindness. She always had a smile and a greeting for everyone and helped to make this place special. My deepest condolences to her family. Cathy will be greatly missed.

– Susan Burhoe


I was fortunate enough to have worked with Cathy in ODFASS, but before that I worked in the business office. I tell a story of me being eager to maintain a zero inbox. I was working diligently to get my work done before the Christmas break, sending many emails after most had already left the office. I received followups and answers from only one person during the holiday break.

It was of course, Cathy. Friendly, dedicated, hardworking, always with a smile and ready to tease you. She was a tremendous woman, an asset to the University, her department, and anyone fortunate enough to know her. during her time on campus, the systems and technology changed radically, as did the administration and job requirements. Cathy was dedicated to doing a good job with every component and learning and adapting.

In life, we often take for granted those that supplement our lives in positive ways. It is easy to not realize the incredible asset one is, until their absence. I will truly miss, knowing and benefiting from such a fine individual as Cathy, there is truly no one else like her.

My sympathies go to the family, but beyond that, to her Carleton family, who had the benefit of care, attention and diligence for a demanding position, attended to, and helped with jovial grace while she was there – in continual support for almost 3 decades.

What an asset, whose absence has already been felt and mourned from an environment she was committed to the success of for so long. It’s my dearest hope that she knew how much she was valued and appreciated by those around her, who like me, in retrospect, can only now truly appreciate the many gifts she gave in her warm demeanor, willingness to share knowledge, and example of dedication to service through her career and for others.

Put simply, Cathy you will be missed, by all that were fortunate to be part of your community, and my condolences to your *entire* family for the very significant loss.

– T. Torok

Dear Cathy

In memory of the most loving, caring and genuine person I have ever met, who always went above and beyond not only at work but with those of us who were lucky enough to have been her friends.

Thank you for your friendship your unconditional support and for believing in me when there were bumps on the road.

I will forever remember our countless laughs and good times.
My sincere condolences to Gerry, Meagan, the royals and the rest of the family.

Cathy you will be missed, until we meet again my friend!

– Cristina Becerra


So sad to hear about Cathy; my sincerest condolences to Gerry and the family. Cathy and I worked together at CCS (now ITS) a few years ago and when she moved to FASS, we were constantly in touch and later on Facebook. She was always cheerful and funny; and even going through this horrible disease, was so optimistic always. Rest in peace, my friend.

– Susan Nesrallah

I will miss you and your brilliant sense of humor

Dear Cathy, I will miss you terribly. You made me smile every time I saw you in the office. I thought for sure I’d be seeing you again! My heart breaks for your daughter and husband, and for your grandson who will not know his amazing grandmother. Thank you for all your help when I had questions for you, you were a walking encyclopedia of Carleton knowledge. You fought valiantly, my friend. The world is less fun and amazing without you. XOXO.

– Patricia Saravesi

For a wonderful friendship

Cathy has been a close and dear friend of mine for almost 48 years. We first met when we were employees with Pik-Nik in Bayshore shopping centre. She always had a welcoming personality and it didn’t take long for the friendship to grow. We had lots of laughs in our teen years, as well as in our adult years. She cherished her family and spoke of them often.
I feel blessed that I was able to have her in my life for as long as I did. I will miss her laughter, her generous nature, her positive attitude‚ but most of all I will miss her friendship and presence.
Rest in Peace my friend. Love you forever. xoxo”

– Izzie Kingsley

My sincere condolences to Cathy andfamily. She was respected and loved in FASS. Cathy will be missed greatly.

– Carol Payne

I first met Cathy when I started at Carleton in 2013. She always insisted that I go to her office to talk in person rather than via email or over the phone, which I loved. She was SO patient with me as I tried to figure out what I was doing, which I really appreciated. Because I have the same name as her daughter, Cathy always updated me on her family. She was so proud of Meghan and so delighted by her grandson, Joey. She just glowed when she talked about them. My deepest condolences to her family during this difficult time.

– Megan Rivers-Moore

Deeply Missed

Oh Cathy, you are so deeply missed in FASS already!

I can only begin to imagine how much more deeply missed you are by your closest friends and family, and I’m sending my most heartfelt condolences to Gerry to share with them. (Gerry, you may remember me as that Dave from Cathy’s work who seemed to haunt her favourite grocery store as much as the corridors of Paterson Hall.)

– David Matheson

As a FASS faculty member, I went to see Cathy in the past for help with an occasional financial issue within her purview. Although it was only a numbers question, she brought her whole personality to addressing any enquiry, no matter how minor it might be. She was relentlessly kind, patient, flexible, caring, welcoming, accommodating, and thoroughly helpful, sweetened all the more with her gentle good humour and genuine warmth.

Deepest condolences to Cathy’s family and loved ones, including all those at Carleton who are mourning her loss.

– Joddie Medd

My condolences to the family of Cathy G

I first met Cathy when I held the role of SSAC Administrator some ten years ago. I was only in the position for a short period of time but while I was there, Cathy took me under her wing showing me kindness, compassion and her patient loving self. We laughed more than I learned and since then she has been my solid ally and friend on campus. Cathy’s generous spirit is something I will draw on moving forward. She put her faith in me multiple times and even during very difficult times, she always showed her support. I hope her father warmly welcomed her on the other side and that she is smiling that delightfully sweet smile for all of time. You are going to be sorely missed, friend.

– Jazz Ujjainwala

I am very lucky to have worked beside Cathy when I first moved to Ottawa and joined Carleton University. Her positive attitude, friendliness, kindness and especially her sense of humor really made the day brighter for many people. And we always had something to laugh about. I have many fond memories, and I will miss her. Thanks for everything, Cathy – you were a great friend.

– Rob King

I didn’t know Cathy well, but she made such a lasting impression on me when, about 11 years ago, I had to submit my first PER and travel expense claims. This was the days of paper receipts, of course, and being a new employee of course I screwed things up. Cathy took the time to sit with me, explain the different codes and procedures, and though she probably had the same conversation with dozens of others she didn’t act like it: on the contrary she was cheerful and patient and kind and didn’t make me feel stupid (which I am sure would have been warranted). And then, of course, she checked and double-checked all the sums on her calculator. And whenever I couldn’t figure out how to do something or screwed something up (again) over the next couple years, Cathy made time to go over the numbers with me. Always smiling, patient, and helpful. I missed those interactions when the reimbursement system went online, and I trusted Cathy’s calculator more than I’ve trusted the computers since then.

– Justin Paulson

RIP Cathy

I am grateful to have been a part of Cathy’s life for the last 25 years. She was full of life and laughter. She was a generous person. When I think of the expression she’d “give you the shirt off her back‚” I think of Cathy as that was so true of her big-hearted personality. I will miss her stories of Gerry (G-man) her daughter Meghan, Grandson Joey and of course the Royals, Will and Kate. I will miss her smile, sense of humor and friendship. My deepest condolences to Cathy’s family. She will be greatly missed.

– Melissa Manocchio

It is hard to believe that Cathy is no more with us. It is difficult to imagine the ODFASS office without Cathy’s lively presence. she was a wonderful colleague — warm, kind, full of laughter, and always ready with a story or two of her great success at winning radio contests and at the casino. I loved hearing of her dogs, whom she adored, and engaging her in chit-chat about this and that. She was generous with her time (patiently explaining the complex budgetary system, repeatedly at that), worked diligently away to the sound of the radio (in her office), which brought music to our offices as well, and was such a reassuring presence. I will miss her dearly.

– Sukeshi Kamra

It is with great sorrow that I read this message late Saturday night about Cathy’s passing. While I knew of her ongoing struggles with her health, Cathy was always positive and upbeat, and striving to make changes for the sake of her health. I will remember her with a smile on her face.

I have fond memories of Cathy explaining to me some of the basics of how to read a budget, back in my days as Chair of French. She was incredibly patient, and this became all the more valuable to me when I stepped into the role of dean for a year. I could not have gotten through that year without Cathy’s precious help, patience, wisdom, attention to detail, and her phenomenal memory. We shared a first name and a love for our boys – my son Leo and her grandson Joey, who happen to share a birthday – and stories about them.

We had vowed to walk a 5km race together once she got well enough – Run for the Cure, Terry Fox Run, or one of the other organized events in support of cancer research. I am deeply saddened that I won’t be able to fulfill my promise of doing this with her, but I will do so in memory of her, once confinement rules allow walking and running events to be held once again (maybe next spring?). I would be more than happy to be accompanied if there is anyone else interested in joining me. Keep that in mind and I’ll follow up on that in due course.

In the meantime, I’ll look forward to a celebration of Cathy’s life. My sympathies go out to those of you who were much closer to her than I was, as I know you’ve lost a dear friend.

In sadness,

– Catherine Khordoc

Kindness Defined Cathy

Having worked with Cathy for years as she helped us with the financial affairs of the Centre for Initiatives in Education, I knew of her battles with cancer. Most recently, this knowledge became more intimate as I faced my own cancer diagnosis. Cathy and I were both away from Carleton this past year, staying in touch via email. Despite her lengthy battle with cancer, yet perhaps because of it as well, she was an empathetic companion throughout my own journey. She listened to my fears as I waited for the oncologist’s prognosis. She shared her insights from her own experiences. She offered comfort when I know she struggled daily with her own treatment effects and worries. In a word, Cathy offered kindness, and this kindness defined Cathy. Together over the past year, we kept in touch sharing experiences of treatment effects as well as our continued hope for recovery. Most recently, check-in emails went unanswered, and I worried about what this meant. Now we are left remembering all that Cathy meant to us. I will miss her laughter, her incredibly quick email replies, her patient attention and thoroughness, but most of all I will miss her kindness.

– Tim Pychyl

What a loss! My sincere condolences to Cathy’s family and close friends. As so many others have already noted, I won’t forget Cathy’s patience and warmth. I’ll also remember her sharp sense of humour. I will miss running into her in the stairwell and hallways of Paterson Hall.

– Michel Hogue

My Hero

I have only ever had 3 heroes in my life and Cathy was one of them… and I told her this a year or so ago.

What can one say now that Cathy is no longer with us. She was intelligent, determined, hard working, fun to be with, an absolute hoot at recalling old tv show scenes, cared about everyone and a good friend.

I’ve missed talking to and emailing her in this last year… a lot.

The last time we got together for something to eat (aside from lunches at Carleton) was brunch at the Hull casino with her husband Gerry. We all stuffed ourselves and then the real reason for the gathering: the casino itself. Cathy was transformed and a master in front of a slot machine. just like she was a master in front of her office computer helping everyone who asked. I was dazzled by her ability to control what she was doing, way over my head.

That was one of her ways of relaxing and now she has more time to relax than ever before.

I’ll miss you Cathy; rest in peace.

– John Tracey

Missing you

Cathy was the most generous, kind, loving and patient person I’ve met in a long time. We spent so many hours in her office together. It always started with me needing her help and ended in laughs, looking at pictures of her family, deep conversations about life, and always said goodbye with a hug. I’m so grateful that she gave her time so freely to me. I enjoyed every moment. Cathy made the world a better place simply by existing in it. I miss her so much already. Sending my deepest condolences to her husband and family.

– Diana Greene

Deeply saddened

I am deeply saddened by this great loss. Having my office at Paterson Hall made it easy for me to walk to Cathy’s office to discuss finances and numbers. She always made me feel I had the right not to easily understand things that she was so good at. Every time I left her office, I felt more comfortable approaching her again. I will miss her. My condolences to Cathy’s family and all the members of Carleton University who mourn her loss.

– Jaffer Sheyholislami

Remembering Cathy

It is with great sadness that I heard of Cathy’s passing. She was an incredibly warm, thoughtful, and helpful person. When I became the director of the new Institute of African Studies, I had very limited understanding of all the financial and administrative requirements of the position. Both I and our administrator, June Payne, were learning our positions and we constantly had to get assistance from Cathy. No matter how busy she was (and she often was super busy), Cathy would find the time to patiently explain what we needed to do. She became not only someone who I went to for advice but also someone who I really enjoyed chatting with, as she always had a good sense of humour and insights to share. My sincere condolences to her family for her untimely passing. We will truly miss her at Carleton and in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; I can only imagine how large of a loss her passing is for her family and close friends.

– Blair Rutherford

A 30 year blessing to Carleton

It was such a joy to liaise with Cathy in my early years at Carleton in Robertson Hall. Cathy freely shared her spark that was always a guiding light for me and I imagine countless others.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” … Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.” Ancient Jewish Proverb

Rest well Cathy until we meet again.”

– Roz Woodland

Cathy’s kindness

I am so sad to hear of Cathy’s passing. I worked with Cathy in the FASS Dean’s Office years ago and had the pleasure of having an office right next to hers. Cathy welcomed everyone who visited the office with a bright smile and showed genuine interest in how each person was doing. She noticed if you were feeling down and always took time to reach out to help you feel better. She will absolutely be missed and remembered by me and many others at Carleton!

– Mandi Crespo

A beautiful lady both inside and out

To the Gaffney family, relatives and friends. So sorry for your loss. Over the years running into Cathy, she always had a smile on her face, warm hug to offer and time to ask how things are going and share what is happening in her life. She will be missed. Rest in peace Cathy.

– Nicole Gaertner

With Sadness

My thoughts and prayers goes out to the family, my Cathy rest in peace.

– Ann Bold

I met Cathy shortly after starting my job as the Dean’s Assistant in the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Public Affairs. I called her for help with a task and she invited me to her office to show me how to do it in the span of a 2 minute conversation; that was Cathy, always willing to help and mentor even if she didn’t know you. Wherever you would meet her on campus, she would always have a huge smile on her face and time for a chat. She was a wonderful colleague and a beautiful person, inside and out. I hope your happy memories of her help you through this difficult time.

Take care,

– Christine Barkley

Never won the lottery but lead a beautiful life

My condolences to Cathy’s family and friends. Cathy and I met on campus back in 2008 and we hit it off. She provided advise to me throughout the years, coaxed me to take on her role when she had to take time to fight cancer, but she became accustomed to my zigs where she thought zags might be better, and humouored me every step of the way. It was never a quick chat with Cathy, she always had a story or something to share, and I realized early on it was best to bring a full cup of coffee if I was going to visit her office and to clear my calendar for at least an hour. She often spoke of winning the lottery, and I had banked on her inviting me on a vacation when she did, but alas her lucky number never did get drawn. However, in how she chose her words, it was obvious Cathy had won the lottery a long time ago, she had an amazing husband, a wonderful daughter and really good life despite the trial sin recent years. She loved her work, loved her colleagues and was a genuine sweet and caring person. Good luck with the lottery in your next life Cathy, you already won it once in this life, maybe you’ll be as lucky again. Love you, C.

– Clair Switzer

Cathy was unfailingly kind and supremely generous with her time. She was always quick to reply to a message and shared her abundance of knowledge freely. I will miss her quick wit and easy smile. All my best wishes to her family and friends. She will be missed.

– Karen Tucker

I am so sorry for your loss. Cathy was such a kind and beautiful person. It was such a pleasure to work with her. I had not gotten to work with her for a very long time but, in the short time we worked together I was touched by her kindness and caring of other people. She always started our conversations with “how are you doing”. She was far too young. She will be greatly missed.

– Maureen MacMullin

generous and helpful to all

Cathy was one fo the first people I met at Carleton as she answered my many questions about the initially impenetrable travel and expenses reimbursement system. Although she was always working on something when I came by her office, she made me feel that she had plenty of time for me, and as so many have mentioned, explained the ins and outs of expense reporting to me with patience and clarity. It was a wonderful welcome to my new community, and she always greeted me with a warm smile and a wave whenever we would cross paths.

Cathy was not the only one who supported me in the FASS office, and when I was telling her how helpful her colleague Corrina Belok had been, she told me about the Service Excellence awards at Carleton and suggested that a nomination would be a great way to show my appreciation. This small act says so much about who she was– generous, selfless, and supportive, not only of the faculty that relied on her experience and expertise, but also of her fellow colleagues. This experience made a strong impression on me about the importance of supporting and celebrating my colleagues, and following through to more formally recognize the many members of our community who are doing their job so well.

I will always remember Cathy with her characteristic big smile, sparkling eyes, and ringing laughter. She will be sorely missed.

– Monica Patterson

I’m so sorry to hear about Cathy’s passing. Cathy was always very supportive and helpful. Her door was always open to lend an ear and offer assistance. She had a great sense of humour. She will be greatly missed at Carleton. My sincere condolences to Cathy’s family and colleagues.

– Mary Giles


Dear Cathy – After reading the posts of your friends and colleagues, it is clear to me that your kindness was indeed legendary. I will remember your kindness always and I will pay it forward in your honour. Thank you.

– Norah Vollmer

A wonderful colleague!

I have known Cathy for over 13 years, and she has been a wonderful colleague and friend. Cathy always made time for me, even when she was at her most busy, and she would take as much time as I needed to explain how financial things work. I was often slow to understand, and Cathy was a patient teacher: I appreciated her warm intelligence. She continually went above and beyond to be kind, helpful and all-round supportive. I loved her stories of your family, especially the furry members. She leaves a big hole at Carleton University, and she is deeply missed and will be remembered so very fondly by many of us who had the sincere good fortune to know her. I send you my very best wishes and love.

– Beth Hughes

Mentor and generous spirit

I first met Cathy when I was an Executive Assistant for the University Librarian. Cathy was a veteran in our EA group always providing advice and assistance. As someone new to working at the university her guidance was invaluable. When I started as University Secretary, her dear friend Barb Steele always kept me up to date on Cathy and it was so sad to hear of her passing. She has been taken from us too soon and will be dearly missed. Cathy I hope you are now at rest and in no more pain. My thoughts and prayers are with Cathy’s dear husband, family and friends. My deepest condolences.

– Amanda Goth

It has taken me a few days to try and come up with the right words, but I’m just not sure there are any right words right now. Cathy was there the day I started work at Carleton over 26 years ago, and I thought for sure she’d be there on the last too. Over the decades we have shared many laughs and a few tears too, as any family does. I loved to hear her stories and if we had a dollar for every time she said, “I just need to win the lottery”, we’d all be sitting pretty right now. I didn’t hear it as much once the casinos opened up here.

What a terrible hole this will leave in the lives of Gerry, Meg and her precious Joey, and hope they find some comfort in knowing how much of an impact she had on all of us. Rest in peace my dear friend.

– Angie Marcotte

I was so sad to hear of Cathy’s passing. Cathy and I started in the Dean’s Office around the same time. She was a great colleague, then and since. She was also a good friend to the Department of History, always ready with advice and support. She cared so much about FASS and about all of the people she worked with and helped over the years. She was patient and kind and always good for a chat and a laugh in the office or around Paterson Hall. I will miss her. For myself, and on behalf of the Department of History, I offer my condolences to Cathy’s family.

– James Miller

Dear Cathy

In memory of the most loving, caring and genuine person I have ever met, who always went above and beyond not only at work but with those of us who were lucky enough to have been her friends.

Thank you for your friendship your unconditional support and for believing in me when there were bumps on the road.

I will forever remember our countless laughs and good times.
My sincere condolences to Gerry, Meagan, the royals and the rest of the family.

Cathy you will be missed, until we meet again my friend!

– Cristina Becerra

I was so saddened to hear the news of Cathy’s passing. We have known each for many years from working at Carleton. We had many conversations which would normally start about something work related but would always turn to our personal lives, and no matter how tough the situation was that Cathy was dealing with, she always had a positive outlook and a sense of humour about it and we’d end up laughing our heads off over something she said. I will miss seeing her on campus and our phone conversations. My deepest condolences to Gerry, Meghan and her cherished grandson Joey. Rest in paradise Cathy.

– Donna Pereira

I was so very sorry to learn of Cathy’s passing. I did not know Cathy very well as our paths didn’t cross job-wise. Whenever we ran into each other in Paterson Hall, outside enjoying the lovely weather, or at events and functions, we would stop and chat and have a few laughs. She always had a smile and would ask how I was doing, if everything was going well in the History graduate program and with “my” grad students, and so on, because she was genuinely interested. Cathy was always so pleasant and was truly a very caring, lovely lady.
My sincerest condolences to Cathy’s family and loved ones, friends and colleagues, for your loss.

– Joan White

When Irish Eyes are Smiling

Although I’ve known Cathy for well over ten years, I spent the most time with her when I started a new position three years ago. She was unfailingly patient with me as I learned the ropes, and was so generous with her time and skill. Besides our work relationship, she was always interested in my personal life, and asked about my daughters. Cathy was excited to hear that I was returning to Ireland on a trip last June and we both shared our love for the country and the music. We sang a song to each other over the phone once, and said we’d have to get together outside of work sometime to really celebrate our roots! Her smile and sense of humour lit up a room and I’ll always think of her when I hear “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”, because hers always were.
She will be greatly missed at Carleton. Wishing her family much comfort and love.

– Lana Keon