Catherine Rhett Dooley of Fairhaven, Maryland passed away peacefully on January 25, 2019 after a long battle with cancer. She was 76. During the last two years, Cathy was cared for by a host of loving family members, close friends and dedicated caregivers.
Born on January 14, 1943, Cathy grew up on Long Island and in Stamford, Connecticut with her two sisters. Cathy was an excellent student at Low Heywood School and Boston University, and later graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in childhood education. She worked for 20 years as a teacher at Calvert Elementary School where she was part of a strong team of fourth and fifth grade teachers who worked tirelessly to provide quality education to all of their students. Upon retirement, Cathy enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren whom she adored. When she couldn’t visit them, she sent packages and notes catered to each child’s interests and passions, often with Oreo Cookies. Cathy enjoyed gardening, sitting on the beach, playing tennis, holding babies and petting her grand dogs. She was a voracious reader and made weekly pilgrimages to her local library. Her deep-in-the-belly laugh was contagious. Her smart aleck wit popped up at the right moments. Cathy was actively involved in local politics and often wrote letters to congressmen and presidents to express her opinions on the matters of the day. She advocated for women’s rights, racial equality, and the environment, especially along her home on the Chesapeake Bay. She inspired people to “march to the beat of a different drummer.”
Cathy was preceded in death by her parents Edward and Elizabeth Rhett and a sister Patricia Keating. She is survived by her sister Susan Rhett Mills, and by her children from her former marriage to Edward Dooley: daughters Kimberly McCaig (Mark), Nancy Dooley (Reid Treadaway), and son Michael Dooley (Emily). Very dear to her were her grandchildren: Maggie, Colleen, Elijah, Finnegan, William, Sawyer, Saxon and Lincoln; her nieces and nephews: Brooke Mills, Benjamin Mills, Sam Keating and Sarah Keating; and caregivers, especially Helena Alexander; and all of her Fairhaven family and friends.