In Memory

Cathy Bigelow

Catherine passed away November 17, 2014 after an 11-year battle with breast cancer. She was surrounded by her immediate family and fought to the end. She was an accomplished and gifted woman and we will miss her dearly.

She was born on July 22, 1960 in Seattle, WA and grew up in Yakima. It was apparent early on that she possessed a high degree of intelligence and was a voracious reader. Her early sports interest was in softball, but as time went on she migrated to tennis, where she and her father would rally for hours on end.

At Eisenhower High School she had a wide variety of interests and friends that were a testament to her dynamic personality. Tennis took her to the state finals and then to the University of Portland where she played all 4 years and concurrently pursued her Bachelors of Nursing. She found an outlet for her passions in nursing and loved the intellectual challenge of the courses in combination with the compassion of caring for others. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and began what became a successful and memorable career.

She met her husband Jeff on a blind date both of whom were reluctant to attend. Her classic beauty, wicked sense of humor, and endless patience were irresistible, and after a short engagement they were married. She continued her nursing career until the birth of their third child, at which time she began her most important calling: full-time Mom.

She was a gifted athlete, an accomplished pianist, a master knitter, and she loved to garden. Her biggest joy however was her family, and she was its hub. Raising four children was the greatest accomplishment of her life, and her legacy will continue to live on through each of them. For Catherine, her life was all about quality over quantity, and that is evident in the intense and endearing relationships she fostered throughout her life. While she may not have had the longest life, she lived so fully and so passionately that you would be hard-pressed to find someone who lived a more meaningful life. She was a loyal companion, a fierce friend, and always put loved ones first; her life was never about her.

When cancer entered her life, she took it on head first and with grace, as she did everything. She endured without ever complaining, and remained dedicated to her family until the very end. She viewed her cancer as an issue to deal with, and kept it from impacting her loved ones. She was the strongest person any of us have ever known.

She is survived by her husband Jeff; children Anna, Ben, Peter, and Conrad; new son-in-law Scott; parents Jim and Maureen; and sisters Susan and Anne. She also leaves behind numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, sisters-, brothers-, and parents-in-law. All of us are heartbroken, but forever grateful we had her in our lives.

The family will hold a private service at a future time, and in lieu of a public funeral service, we have set up a nursing scholarship in her name at the University of Portland: Catherine Marie Bigelow Gullickson Memorial Scholarship Fund, University of Portland, University Office of Development, MSC 176, School of Nursing, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, Oregon 97203.

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11/28/14 03:14 PM #1    

Melissa Miller (Egilson)

I am so sorry to hear of her passing. My heart goes out to her husband and children.

11/28/14 08:15 PM #2    

Susanna Ibrahim (Keefe)

Our sincer condolences to the Bigelow family!  Cathy was a great person and will be missed.  So sad, another Cadet gone too soon!


11/28/14 10:42 PM #3    

Tim Cook

My wonderful memories about Cathy, I was new to Yakima and Wilson, I had the experience of Cathy, Laura L. And Carla F in Mr, Pena's Spanish class at Wilson jr high 9th grade,  They were horribly mean to me, made Mr. Pena crazy, I'm sure Cathy had to go to office several times, I also remember her crush on Jeff Burke, I was best friends with Jeff, so Cathy liked me and wanted to be friends to get closer to Jeff, I loved the attention of Cathy, Laura and Carla,  Even if they all were too mean, I don't remember what year it was, I was visiting my parents on Snow Mountain rd  and saw Cathy walking by, I went out and Cathy and I had a long talk. She was a nurse rn and I was a hotel manager in Monterey Ca, we hugged n had a great laugh about Mr. Pena's Spanish class, Thank you Cathy for wonderful 9th grade memories, and high school, god bless and I'm sure we will meet again.

Tim Cook





11/29/14 02:38 PM #4    

Paul Alan Wilson

Cathy Bigelow  she was a good friend I will miss her lovely smile and she was very special cheerelander on the football team squad.

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