Catherine Salamone Worstell passed away peacefully on July 13th, 2020. She was born at home in St. Louis, MO on January 13, 1926, the middle child and middle sister of seven children. Growing up in the 1930s had its share of economic difficulties, but Cathy’s Sicilian immigrant parents provided for their thriving young family through hard work, resourcefulness and her father’s prolific garden. She respected her resilient mother and she adored her quiet and pious father. As a teenager, Cathy attended business school and acquired important skills she wielded throughout her life. While her brothers headed off to war, Cathy worked for the Rationing Board and volunteered at a Red Cross Canteen where she met young soldier Bill Worstell from Oregon. They were married on July 10, 1946 and spent 60 years of life together in the Pacific Northwest.
Cathy worked for the Veteran’s Administration in Seattle while Bill completed his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Washington until the arrival of their first child. In 1956, the young couple moved to North Spokane where they purchased a home and lived there together for the next 50 years. Cathy and Bill started a small business together and operated it out of their basement, the Salesco Merchandise Brokerage. Every order, invoice, and form was typed by Cathy’s skillful hands and filed away with her endless attention to detail. Three more children followed and she prepared all four for college and advanced degrees that were beyond what was ever available to her. She worked miracles on the sewing machine, and with her friends in the Garden Club made beautiful arrangements of flowers and driftwood which she loved. She took delight in her large flower and vegetable gardens nourished by endless work with help from Bill and the kids. She taught her children the virtues of her cherished Catholicism, especially emphasizing care for those less fortunate and showing respect and quiet warmth for all.
She went back to work outside the home in 1977 for the Bonneville Power Administration, where she rose to the G7 level before retiring in 1991, having formed a close group of friends there. Retirement saw Cathy and Bill travel Europe together, visiting for the first time the birthplace of her parents in Sicily but by the 2000’s she became caregiver to Bill until his passing.
Cathy’s life then moved toward its final decade, beginning with the difficult step of moving out of their family home. Starting at the Bishop Place Senior Living facility in Pullman, WA, she later moved south to San Diego and Belmont Village Sabre Springs. She became a fixture at Belmont, running the library and resident Canasta champion. As she did all her life, she enriched the lives of those around her, and she led by quiet example. We will miss her terribly, and we will always remember her to the end of our days.
Catherine Worstell is survived and remembered by her sister Antoinette Mohrman of St. Charles, MO; daughter Susan and William Bowe of Camano Island, WA, son William and Pamela Worstell of Wayland, MA, son Timothy and Julieta Torres-Worstell of San Diego, CA, son Robert and Julie Bergeron Worstell of Wenham, MA, alongside 9 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass for Cathy will be celebrated at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Poway (San Diego), CA at 10:30 on Wednesday, July 22, after which she will be laid to rest alongside Bill at Holy Family Cemetery in Spokane, WA.
Remembrances may be sent to Catholic Legal Immigration Services, or Catholic Charities USA.
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