Catherine Gadsby(1923 - 2012)

My life's been full, I savored much; Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch. Perhaps my time seems all to brief; Don't lengthen your pain with undue grief. Lift up your heart and peace to thee, God wanted me now-He set me free. (Author: Shannon Lee Moseley)

My loving mother, Catherine, passed in peace to our eternal God on September 30, 2012. I mourn her passing but know that she is in a better place.

Catherine was born April 8, 1923 in Mullica Hill (Gloucester County), New Jersey. Catherine's humble start in life was on a dairy farm with her parents and brother in New Jersey. After graduating from Business College, she lived and traveled throughout Europe with her first husband. Catherine retired from her professional career as the Business Administrator at the University of Pennsylvania, Political Science Department in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before moving to Melbourne, Florida, where she was a resident since 1990. Of all the awards and achievements that my mother, Catherine, had received during her lifetime, she cherished the prestigious nomination and acceptance in 1979 into "The Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Membership". This was in recognition of her service to all people regardless of race or faith.

Catherine had such an array of talents that ranged from her design and creation of her wardrobe, creating wonderful teddy bears from furs and wool coats, and original hand woven reed baskets. Catherine was also an Eastern Star life member, an active member of the Suntree United Methodist Church in Melbourne, Florida for over two decades, flourished and enjoyed all her wonderful friends and loved Sunday school at her church.

Catherine is survived by her son and wife, Carl and Cindy Dilks - Florida; her daughter and husband, Candy and Don Graves - Florida; her granddaughter, Deanna Moms - Connecticut; her two great grandsons, Jack - Connecticut and Ben - Massachusetts; her nephew, Kenneth Albright - New Jersey; and, extended Graves' family, Tammy, Kimberly and Nicholas Stellato - Massachusetts. Carl W. Dilks, her first husband and father to Carl and Candy, was a retired United States Air Force officer who was captured off Wake Island and spent 3 years 8 months as a POW-Fukuoka POW Camp #1-during WWII. He preceded her death. Catherine's brother, Harry Albright, preceded her in death. Thomas Gadsby, a retired engineer, Catherine's second husband of twenty five years, preceded her in death March 2006.

I recognize and give accolades to the intelligent, caring and dignified care of my mother, Catherine, at Autumn House with very special "thanks" to Robbin Adams, Minton and Cathy Cooper and the exceptional-caring staff. I would also like to thank Dr. Potomski and Dr. Peterson (VITAS) for end of life treatment. Special thanks to the outstanding VITAS Hospice team and especially Meg Anderson and Chaplain Leslie Burr. Plus a very special thanks to J. Rudi Trader, Mother's Trustee, and Martha Purdy, Brain Bank Program Specialist, Central Florida Brain Bank. Mother experienced a wonderful dream team to assist her in crossing over to a life of eternity.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alzheimer's & Dementia Resource Center, Central Florida Brain Bank Research Program, 1506 Lake Highland Drive, Orlando, FL 32803 (1-800-330-1910) or VITAS Hospice Charitable Fund, Foundation for End-of-Life Care, 4450 West Eau Gallie Blvd., Suite 280, Melbourne, FL 32934 (321-751-6671).

A celebration of life service will be held at the Suntree United Methodist Church, 7400 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL on October 11, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.

Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Oct. 7, 2012