Catherine Weiss, who spent a lifetime learning, making connections and loving those around her, died at the age of 90 on May 28 in Lakewood, Washington. She was preceded in death by Stanley Weiss, her husband of 68 years who died March 6.
Kitty always wanted to help. Whether it was supporting her children or grandchildren, or reaching out to neighbors and friends, Kitty jumped in to make life smoother for others whenever she could. Genuinely curious about people, she took time to make them feel special and offer comfort and encouragement.
Kitty’s life was shaped by growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she was born in 1929. During World War II, when she left the city to spend time with extended family, her uncle nurtured her love of adventure and exploration in the countryside. She wasn’t afraid to try new things like moving to Paris to work and leaving Scotland for the States to join her new husband, who she met on the way to Paris and married after a whirlwind courtship.
After a few years in the Midwest, Kitty moved with her family to California where she juggled raising four daughters and attending college. She majored in geography and earned a Master’s in Cybernetic Systems at San Jose State University where she later taught geography. When she and her husband moved to Washington, D.C. in 1979 Kitty put her degrees to work and embraced the intensity of D.C. life. As an intern for the Taskforce on World Hunger, she learned to lobby Congress, and when President Carter set up the Synthetic Fuels Corporation, she became its first Environmental Analyst. Five years later, back in California, she worked in the environmental wing of a design engineering firm.
Kitty created new opportunities wherever she lived. When she and Stan relocated to Boston in 1992, she took up watercolor painting and taught geology and geography at Boston College’s Learning in Retirement Program. During their eight-year stay, Kitty also found time to write a history of the MIT Women’s League. Upon returning to California, she continued painting and was active in the Santa Clara Watercolor Society.
The last six month of Kitty’s life were spent in Tacoma, first at Franke Tobey Jones retirement community and then at her daughter’s house in Lakewood. She engaged with family members and caregivers, and she appreciated everything people did for her.
In a collection of stories about her life, Kitty wrote a letter to her children and asked them to talk about her after her death: “Share your memories, your wistfulness and your joys. Relive the great times.” Her children, Ann, Audrey, Janet (Tony) and Marion (Michael); her grandchildren, David (Liz), Andrew, Laura, and Lindsey; and her great grandchild, Dalton, will take pleasure in honoring her request.
A private family graveside service will take place at Haven of Rest in Gig Harbor, Washington on June 4, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. Because of the current health situation, a celebration of life will be at a later time
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