Just before dawn on September 8, Catherine (Cathy) passed away at age 80 after a valiant fight with Metastatic Breast Cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family with beautiful views of the lake that she cherished for over 2 decades. Words like strong and optimistic only scratch the surface of her determination to beat this disease. Her zest for life was contagious and impressive.
Born in East Brunswick, New Jersey, she was the youngest child of Patrick Francis Casey and Elizabeth McGovern Casey, both deceased. Her 4 siblings are also deceased. Her husband, the late Harold (“Hogie”) F. Hogrefe was the love of her life and soulmate.
Cathy’s family was her everything. She is survived by: her daughters Kathy (& Eddie) Caruolo of Carolina Beach, Kelly Bledsoe of Denton, Jocelyn (& Kevin) Bradford of Carolina Beach; three grandchildren, Casey and Barrett (& Burgundy) Bledsoe and Dylan Bradford; and many extended family members in the NJ/NY area.
Although Cathy had a career much of her adult life, she was a homemaker first and foremost—homemaker extraordinaire to be exact. She was an excellent cook, so hosting dinners or parties—whether planned or impromptu—appeared effortless. Her welcoming home was always one where folks gathered, ate, drank and laughed. Her reputation as “the hostess with the mostess” was legendary.
Cathy had an adventurous spirit. She married Hogie in 1960 and left New Jersey for Alaska which was definitely unchartered territory for her. Despite living there for less than a year, she visited Alaska regularly in the years to come as well as Montana, Texas and Maryland to hunt and fly-fish. She was an excellent shot and could cast a rod like a pro. She took great delight in traveling and was lucky enough to visit many destinations that most just dream of.
Cathy loved music and was teased by her family that she had a song for everything! Music was ever-present in her home and she would sing a song to make her family laugh or provide comfort. She was an avid reader, enjoyed dancing, and reveled in bowling, particularly Wii bowling with her grandkids. She adored her many “grandpuppies” and they adored her equally. She appreciated good wine, fancied dining out, was fond of shopping (for shoes especially), always wore stylish earrings, had a flair for decorating, and above all, rejoiced in the love of family and friends.
Cathy’s caring, compassionate, generous nature was felt by everyone who knew her. Her strength, wisdom, and pragmatism were admired by all. She had incredible blue eyes that always twinkled and easily expressed her thoughts of love, concern or happiness. Her warm, endearing smile greeted friends and strangers alike. Her ability to laugh at herself (in a delightful cackle), smile in the face of adversity, and always put others first, made her an inspiration. She was absolutely one-of-a-kind.
The world truly got a little darker with Cathy’s passing, but she would prefer we celebrate her life and bask in the sunshine she spread. A private family memorial was held shortly after her passing and a tribute to Cathy’s amazing life will be held later this month. If you wish, a donation to the construction of the new Rex Cancer Center can be mailed to: Rex Healthcare Foundation, Attn: Kay Taylor, 2500 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 325, Raleigh, NC 27607.