Catherine Ann Pritchard, 82, formerly of Pomfret, died at Westview Health Care Center on March 18, 2015. She was born in Putnam on June 6, 1932 to William and Margaret (Weekes) Barribeault.
Cathy attended local schools, graduating from Putnam High School in 1950 and from Annhurst College, Woodstock, CT. She received a Master’s degree from the University of Connecticut. She was an excellent student and excelled in her studies, majoring in Latin and Spanish.
After completing her undergraduate work, Cathy began a career in teaching, her life’s mission. She began teaching at Putnam Catholic Academy and was later hired by Putnam High School. She was loved and respected by students, fellow teachers and parents. Cathy enjoyed working with teenagers and while she set high academic standards, she also knew how to encourage and advise young people. She happily served as the class advisor to several classes, was often the chaperone at dances and events, and with other teachers organized a number of educational trips to Europe for her students.
Cathy retired from teaching and later returned to the classroom at Woodstock Academy, where she was a Spanish instructor until 2013.
Cathy was very active in her community. She volunteered for the Pomfret Lions’ Balls and the Cotillion Club and loved nothing better than an evening of gliding across the dance floor. She was an enthusiastic member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary organization of women educators. Through ADK, she made many deep and lasting friendships. She served on the board of the Putnam Alumni Association for decades.
A natural leader, Cathy served as chair of the board of Day Kimball Hospital Homemakers and on the board of Performing Arts, where she assisted with ticket sales. She was devoted to Most Holy Trinity Church in Pomfret where she served as a Eucharistic Minister.
In planning her memorial, Cathy insisted that she wanted to be remembered for the joy she felt in her many friendships. She remained in touch with friends from her girlhood throughout her entire life including the staff at Westview where she was treated with real affection. She formed deep bonds with former students, attending their weddings and family events. David Breault was a special friend.
Cathy formed strong bonds with other teachers. She loved entertaining her ADK sisters, and encouraged and supported other teachers. Kerry King and Denise Hopkins, among others, drove Cathy to cancer treatments. Dr. Joseph Botta and Liz Hagen embraced her and made a difficult journey less onerous. Amy Beth St. Martin was a constant comfort to Cathy. Jim Gagnon made her laugh even in the last, difficult days.
Cathy spent many happy times with friends Ellie Adams and Jean Laskey.
She cherished the time that she got to spend with her forever friend Sandy Protze.
She was grateful for the love and friendship of the Hull family, with whom she shared holidays, trips, and life’s milestones, including the last days, when Sharlet Hull was at her side.
Cathy is survived by her sister-in-law, Nancy Pritchard Weiss of Pomfret, her sister, Paula Williams of Chaplin, and three nieces.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass of Christian Burial which will be held on April 25, 2015 at Most Holy Trinity Church in Pomfret at 11:30. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT.Donations in memory of Catherine Pritchard may be sent to Most Holy Trinity Church, P.O. Box 235, Pomfret, CT 06258 or Regional Community YMCA in Putnam, P.O. Box 188, Putnam, CT. 06260. For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.