Catherine “Cathy” Elizabeth Parson passed away November 16, 2023. The eldest of nine children, she was born February 20, 1943 to Lois and Richard Lampert in Portland, Oregon. She contracted polio in the 5th grade, spending many weeks in the hospital and left with one leg permanently shorter than the other. She was a second mother to her siblings, helping her mother Lois through multiple pregnancies, caring for her brothers and sister, and keeping house.
She graduated from Holy Child Academy in 1961 and attended Marylhurst College for a time until she married James Robert Parson in 1962. While raising three children, she went to nursing school at Chemeketa Community College, becoming a registered nurse. Her marriage ended in 1978.
Cathy worked at multiple nursing homes, rising to Director of Nursing. She admitted patients at OHSU hospital. She then worked as a psychiatric nurse at Dammasch and Oregon State Mental Hospitals. While living in Woodburn, she volunteered as a nurse at a free clinic, helping those without health care.
She retired to the Oregon coast, where she loved walking on the beach, storm watching, and entertaining visitors. She volunteered at St. Augustine Catholic Church, baking homemade bread, and serving it to those in need. She was also a lay minister, serving communion to those unable to get to church.
After spending many years at the gray and rainy beach, she moved to sunny Jerome in 2014. Despite health issues, she still helped friends and neighbors as best she could and hosted many family gatherings. She was active at the senior center and was a proud member of the Red Hat Society.
Complications from surgery ultimately led to her death. While her passing is difficult, her example of service to others, her kindness and generosity are an example of a life well lived.
Cathy was preceded in death by her son, James; her brother, James; and her sister, Susan. Survivors include her sons, Robert and Jerome; and her brothers, Thomas, John, Charles, Donald, Steven, and Gregory.
Funeral Mass for Cathy will be held at 11:00 am, Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at St. Jerome Catholic Church, 216 2nd Ave E, Jerome, with a luncheon to follow in the Parrish Hall. Her final resting place will be at Zion Memorial Park Cemetery in Canby, Oregon, where her ashes will be buried next to her son James.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Cathy’s memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.