Catherine DeStefano • December 9, 2022
Here’s to Catherine, the great. She was born, February 26, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois, and died, December 9, 2022 in Pensacola, Florida. Catherine was a gift to all who loved her. Wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend, Catherine was an amalgam of her time, past, present, and planning for her future before she peacefully passed surrounded by her family in her bedroom as she slept. She is survived by her sons Guy, Pensacola, Florida; Gary, Pensacola, Florida; Clay (Anne) San Marcos, Texas; Gregory (Douglas Taylor) Seattle, Washington; daughter Susan DeStefano Higgins (Daniel) Portland, Oregon; six grandchildren; two great grandchildren; and her loving nieces and nephews, friends, and extended family. She was preceded in death by her brother, Robert W. Raff, her parents, Madeline and Francis D. Raff, and her husband of 58 years, Edward G. DeStefano.
Though she was ninety-nine years old, Catherine’s life was still a work in progress. She continued to absorb and pivot in the world around her. She was an informed thinker basing her reactions on real life experience. She had a huge imagination fueled by school, travel, conversation, books, crosswords, movies, music, and song. She was gifted with an ability to perform or portray life before our eyes and was a captivating storyteller. She was private in faith and wasn’t comfortable with dogma. She learned to cook from her mother and surpassed even the best. Her homes were her creations, her canvas, inside and out and revealed her champion stamina in maintaining them. She gave of herself caring for her husband, parents, children, and pets, with a heart full of compassion. She wasn’t a saint. Nor did she try to be. She just naturally loved and sacrificed for her family.
Catherine was of her time which over ten decades spanned history, family events, great times, sad times, and the many ordinary times when Catherine stood with her style and beauty as one of the last of the great dames. Her life touched many and her children will remember her love, intelligence, and strength in facing the responsibilities for surviving what life unfolds before you. Good night, Mom. We love you.
Private interment at Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida.
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