Catheryn M. Bailey

by Lynn McMillen
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Catheryn M. Bailey died peacefully, surrounded by her children, on July 14th at Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville, AL.

Catheryn was born in 1935 in Patchogue, NY to William and Ottilie Macaulay, the last of seven children. After graduating from Bellport High School in 1953, Catheryn attended Northeastern University as one of only a few female students in the chemical engineering department. She left school in 1955 but returned to complete her bachelor’s degree in 1981 in accounting.

While at Northeastern Catheryn met her husband of 55 years, Alan D. Bailey (deceased September 2010). They married in September 1955 and had three children, Ian, Susan, and Douglas. Catheryn started working outside of the home at the Edinboro Flower Shop to save for her and her children’s education. She later worked at the United Way of Assabet Valley, eventually becoming Executive Director. In Las Cruces, she worked at H&R Block preparing tax forms for three months of the year. She said that these were the months she most wanted to be in New Mexico, and she earned enough money to travel later in the year.

In 1991 Catheryn and Alan retired to Las Cruces, NM. They enjoyed the dry heat of New Mexico and the outdoor living the weather allowed. They developed many close friendships through the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Las Cruces. Catheryn was excited to “return” to the Congregation via Zoom during the COVID lockdown.

In 2006 Catheryn and Alan moved to Huntsville, AL to be nearer to family. Catheryn enjoyed volunteering in the office at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. To keep her mind active, she volunteered with and attended classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. She enjoyed choosing curiosities from each semester’s catalogue.

Throughout her life Catheryn enjoyed entertaining family and friends, traveling to visit them, and her quiet Sundays doing crossword puzzles.

She leaves behind her three children, Ian (Revee) of Albuquerque, NM, Susan of Falls Church, VA, and Douglas (Suzanne) of Huntsville, AL; her four granddaughters, Danielle Montaño (Emilio), Alyssa Bailey, Maura McDonald (Tim) and Alaina Bailey (Andrew Simpson); many much-loved nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, other family, and friends.

A service will be held in southern New Mexico in early October.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Huntsville Botanical Garden ( or the MD Anderson Cancer Center ( in Houston TX.

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