November 23, 1937
~ December 11, 2008
In the early hours of December 11th in Kimberly, BC, Katherine slipped peacefully away from the grip of MS. Katherine is survived by her husband and best friend, Rick of Oliver, daughter Kathryn (Ken) of Comox, son Michael (Olivia) of Courtenay, beloved aunt of Shannon Parnall of Kimberley, Kenneth Warner of Kimberley, Cindy (Bill) Boyd of Surrey. She was predeceased by her parents Florence and Dr. Braham Griffith. In January 2008, her twin sister Florence Mattern passed away.
Katherine was born in Seattle and moved to Vancouver where she grew up. Prior to graduation, she was a BC Lions cheerleader. After graduation, she set off on her journey through life. She moved to Winnipeg where she worked for the Lieutenant Governor. This is where she met Rick. After a brief engagement they were married in June 1959 and had 2 children. Katherine was diagnosed with MS in March 1963. The family moved back to Vancouver and finally settled in Comox, BC. Her health steadily declined, confining her to a wheelchair; one she would never leave. Her eyesight also worsened until she was legally blind. Despite this progression, Katherine was a vibrant person who taught Sunday School, mentored young adults who dropped by after school for tea, was a member of the Comox Legion Ladies Auxiliary and a friend to many people. She moved to Kimberley in 1992 where she lived with her sister for several years before moving to the Kimberley Special Care Home in 2006. She was a cherished resident who always looked on the bright side and had a kind word and willing ear for all who spent time with her.
As with anyone who has a long term illness, there are so many people to thank – the CNIB, the MS Society, the many hospitals, doctors, nurses and staffs. Special thanks go to the homecare workers in both Kimberley and the Comox Valley for their selfless, dedicated and caring years of service. The family appreciates the many people who enriched Katherine’s life. To the ladies who wrote the letters for our mom, we thank you. The letters always found our homes and filled them with her presence. Her letters will be missed. We would also like to thank in particular Judy, Diane, Agnes and Doug who treated her with respect, went above and beyond to make her life comfortable. To all whose lives touched Katherine, we say thank you for giving a part of yourself to her, you were her dearest friends. Though MS may have stolen her health, it never dampened not defeated her spirit. Our mother is now at peace to walk and run with those who have gone before her.
A memorial tea was held at the Kimberley United Church on December 16, 2008. A private family interment will follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to your charity of choice.
Do not mourn for me, I am not really gone
I live on in your memories
In my red dress and dancing shoes
I am waiting in a better place
To share a dance.