Catherine Marcella McCauley, 90, died peacefully at her home in New Haven, Vt., Oct. 18, 2012. She was born March 26, 1922, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the daughter of James Thomas Gibbons and Margaret Mary (Loes) Gibbons.
Born in a small house without electricity or running water, her family survived the Depression in no small part due to her mother, Margaret's tenacity, frugality and creativity, and her father James' hard work. Her father, who was an artist, photographer and small business owner, was diagnosed with bone cancer when she was very young. He died when she was 12, leaving her, her older brother and her mother to fend for themselves, which they did by tending a large garden and working odd jobs.
Marcella was always a hard worker. As a child she picked berries, worked in her family garden, baby-sat and did basically what ever needed doing. She skipped two years in grade school and graduated from high school at 16. She then attended Mount Mercy College where she studied business and stenography.
Catherine Marcella McCauley
She met the love of her life, Charles Stewart McCauley, on a blind date while he was in training for the U.S. Air Corps. Charles returned from World War II and they were married Sept. 6, 1946, at St. Patrick's Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A few years later, they opened their optometric practice in Perry, Iowa, where they lived and worked until their son, James, took over in the early 1980s.
They retired to Cape Coral and lived there for 20 years before retiring a second time in 2001 to Addison County, Vt., to live with their daughter, Michelle. Marcella loved to entertain, was an avid bridge player and especially enjoyed interacting with her grandchildren.
She is survived by her children, James McCauley of Perry, Iowa, and Michelle McCauley, of New Haven, Vt.; and by her grandchildren, Katherine Therese (McCauley) Flippin of Richmond, Vt., Charles Stewart McCauley of Des Moines, Iowa, Alexander Stewart Kite of New Haven, Vt., and Asher McCauley Kite of New Haven, Vt.; and her great-grand son, Ayden James Flippin of Richmond, Vt.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Charles Stewart McCauley, who passed away Oct. 3, 2001, at his home in Middlebury, Vt.; her brother, Francis Joseph Gibbons; her parents, James Thomas Gibbons and Margaret Mary (Loes) Gibbons; and her beloved aunt, Catherine A. McMahon, for whom she was named.
A service will be held in Middlebury at St. Mary's Catholic Church at 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. He remains will be laid to rest next to those of her beloved husband, Charles, at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Va.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Addison County Home Health and Hospice, P.O. Box 754, Rt. 7, Middlebury, VT 05753, or Elderly Services, 112 Exchange Street, Middlebury, VT 05753