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Obituary: Donahoe, Catherine M.

Age 100

DONAHOE, Catherine M. (Age 100) Catherine Donahoe was born on August 16, 1913, and lived her full life in Spokane.

Her father came from England, opened Prince’s Grocery in Spokane in the early 1900s, and then sent for his fiancÄ‚Ĺ  Bertha Brantscheun from Switzerland.

They married and had three children: John Prince, who studied in Rome and became a Catholic priest; Beatrice (Bea) Prince Sullivan, a teacher who had three children of her own; and Catherine, the youngest.

Catherine graduated from Holy Names Academy and attended Cheney Normal School, which later became EWU.

She then attended the University of Washington where her studies were cut short to return to Spokane and care for her ailing mother.

She worked at the family grocery store and met her future husband Vince (Huck) Donahoe, the son of Irish immigrants, while he was shopping at Prince’s on a visit from Omaha, Nebraska.

Catherine and Vince married in 1940 and raised five children in Spokane.

Catherine stayed at home with the kids while Vince worked for the railroad.

They made sure all their children attended Catholic school and had the opportunity to pursue college educations.

The family had a cabin on Newman Lake and they spent every summer water skiing, swimming, fishing, and building campfires there.

Catherine and Vince even hunted together.

Wherever the two went, they always took all five kids along, no babysitters required.

And Catherine was organic long before the label “organic.”

She cultivated an enormous vegetable garden and had her five kids bury fish from the lake in the soil for fertilizer.

Every winter she preserved extra produce, and the family rarely ate beef, it was usually hunted venison.

She also made all their jams and jellies and was a self taught seamstress, making most of the children’s clothes.

Catherine loved to read, listen to opera, and eventually became a master of puzzles, crosswords, and Sudoku.

Her kids would bring her only the most difficult to solve, and she finished them every time.

Catherine was also a huge sports fan, especially football, baseball and tennis.

She was very excited about the Seahawks this year, but always said you had to be a fan, win or lose.

Catherine was a member of Saint Anne’s parish where her brother was the pastor, and then later became a member of Sacred Heart Parish.

She was a devout Catholic and her strong faith and positive outlook on life was a wonderful example for her family and generations to come.

Catherine is survived by her children Katie McKay, Tony Donahoe, Bridget Bliss, Patsy Headley, and Maureen Irey; her grandchildren Terry Joe Donahoe, Patrick McKay, Bridget McKay, Katie Tisdall, Monica Jordan, Bobby Headley, Charlie Headley, Andrea Irey, Ben Bliss, Theresa Donahoe, Shawn Wettineau, and Sara Donahoe; and her great-grandchildren Robert Donahoe, Shelby Donahoe, Cody Donahoe, Hunter Donahoe, Kian Jordan, Sean Tisdall, April Tisdall, Avery McKay, Madeleine McKay, Riley Donahoe, and Josie Donahoe.

A prayer service will be held for Catherine at Hennessey-Smith Funeral Home at 7pm on Monday, January 20th.

There will also be a funeral mass at Sacred Heart Church at 10am on Tuesday, January 21st, immediately followed by a burial at Holy Cross.

You are not required to bring fish to fertilize the flowers.


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