Obituary Listings

Catherine D. DeKrey

February 17, 1951 March 2, 2018
Catherine D. DeKrey
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Obituary for Catherine D. DeKrey

Catherine Doherty DeKrey, of Burnsville passed away at home on March 2, 2018. After a 4 ½ year battle with lymphoma, she had recently concluded treatment, celebrated her 67th birthday, and initiated hospice care.

Catherine (Cathy) DeKrey was born on February 17, 1951 to William T. Doherty and Dorothy Huff Doherty in Columbia, Missouri, where her father was a graduate student. She was the middle child of five. She grew up in several southern states, as her father relocated to different universities. She attended high school in Morgantown, WV, leaving in her senior year to attend Trinity College, Washington D.C. She continued her education at Bryn Mawr College, from which she graduated in 1972. She studied classics and obtained her first M.A. at Princeton, where she met her husband Gary. They married at Princeton on May 28, 1979.
Cathy taught classics at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY in 1978-81. She also taught in private and public schools, including in Hamilton, NY, where Gary taught at Colgate University. Their son William (Will) was born in 1985. During these years, Cathy actively participated in Episcopal Church affairs.

Cathy moved with her family to Northfield, MN in 1988, when Gary accepted a position at St. Olaf College. After teaching classical languages at St. Olaf for a year, Cathy embarked on a mid-life career change. She obtained her MSW from the University of St. Thomas/College of St. Catherine in St. Paul in 1996. She focused her thesis on HIV/AIDS treatment for women in rural Minnesota and subsequently acted as a case manager for HIV/AIDS patients at HCMC. From 1998 through 2014, she was a senior social worker for Hennepin County. She specialized in child protection, especially serving Native American families and acquiring an interest in Native culture. She took great pleasure in seeing fostered and adopted children flourish in new families. During her Northfield residence, Cathy also co-chaired a pastoral call committee at Bethel Lutheran Church while overcoming breast cancer.

Cathy and Gary moved to Burnsville in 2004 in order for Cathy to be closer to her work. They became members of St. James Lutheran Church, where Cathy found a spiritual home. She helped found the BeFrienders ministry program at St. James, served on the pastoral care committee, and led book groups focused on spiritual questions. She became an oblate of St. Paul’s Monastery in St. Paul, where she established a continuing relationship with the Benedictine Center. Through her volunteer work, Cathy also became interested in prison ministry and in the services of 360 Communities. In Burnsville, Cathy and Gary took full advantage of the arts and music of the Twin Cities, while also pursuing their love for antiquing, MN state parks, the North Shore, and the rural Upper Midwest.

Cathy embarked on another career change before retiring from Hennepin County: she earned certification as a spiritual director from the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI in 2015. She hoped to practice as a spiritual companion; and although cancer prevented her from fully realizing her plans, she shared her spiritual counsel through writing poetry and supporting others in need. She retained her love for classical languages throughout her career, supported her pastors with her knowledge of New Testament Greek, and saved her family and friends from many passive voice constructions. As long as she could, she remained physically active, continuing to enjoy nature, yoga, hiking, and swimming.

Catherine DeKrey is survived by her husband Gary and her son Will and son-in-law Sean Garren (Boston, MA), as well as by her siblings: Victor Doherty (Mathis, TX), Ashley Doherty (Washington, DC), Julia Doherty (Reston, VA), William Doherty (Annapolis, MD). She was preceded in death by her parents.

She preferred that memorials be given to St. James Lutheran Church, Burnsville; the Benedictine Center, St. Paul; and 360 Communities, Burnsville.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

9

Mar

1:30 PM 3/9/2018 1:30:00 PM - 3:00 PM 3/9/2018 3:00:00 PM
St. James Lutheran Church

3650 Williams Dr.
Burnsville, MN 55337

St. James Lutheran Church
3650 Williams Dr. Burnsville 55337 MN
United States

Service

Friday

9

Mar

3:00 PM 3/9/2018 3:00:00 PM
St. James Lutheran Church

3650 Williams Dr.
Burnsville, MN 55337

Officiating is Pastor Walt Lichtenberg.

St. James Lutheran Church
3650 Williams Dr. Burnsville 55337 MN
United States

Memorial Contribution

Benedictine Center of St. Paul

2675 Benet Rd
St. Paul, Minnesota 55109

360 Communities

501 State Hwy 13
#102
Burnsville, Minnesota 55337

St. James Lutheran Church

3650 Williams Dr.
Burnsville, MN 55337
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