Catherine F. Bing, of Everson, WA, an outstanding mother, music teacher, partner and friend, died Jan. 16, 2013, just a few days past her 63nd birthday. Cathy taught for 39 years, including 25 years in the Mount Vernon School District, retiring in December of 2012 as Director of Fine & Performing Arts and elementary music teacher. In the last weeks of her life, Cathy's family and many friends shared space with steady streams of school teachers, who came to play music, hold her hand and talk about what it meant to have a loving mentor of her caliber. Former students also visited, coming solo or by the half dozen, expressing gratitude for the joy, excitement and affection that they felt in "Ms. Bing's" classroom, whether they were talented musicians or simply loved to have fun. Cathy leaves behind her partner, Abby, and two beautiful daughters, Leah, 14, and Mika, 12. She also is survived by her sister, Barbara Edgington (George Stanfield) of Tacoma, close nephews, nieces and cousins, and numerous friends, who all enjoyed life more because of her spark. She was born on Jan. 12, 1950 in Tacoma to the late Winifred and Leo ("Lee") Bing. After graduating from Franklin Pierce High School, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education with a music specialty and her Master of Arts in Music (choir conducting) from Western Washington University. Her life will be celebrated Jan. 26 at Squalicum Boathouse in Zuanich Point Park in Bellingham, starting at 6:30 p.m. To honor Cathy in a long-lasting way, please contribute to the Catherine F. Bing Music Scholarship. Details on how to contribute will be posted soon on the website for Madison Elementary School in Mount Vernon, http://madison.mountvernonschools.org/. Her family thanks all for their support, but especially the gentle caregivers at Whatcom Hospice House.
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Published in Bellingham Herald on Jan. 24, 2013