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Catherine Eleanor Pidgeon

1927 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Catherine Eleanor Pidgeon Obituary
Pidgeon, Catherine Eleanor

Catherine Eleanor Pidgeon, age 88, passed away on January 5, 2016 of complications from pulmonary hypertension. The thirteenth of fourteen children, Catherine was born on September 27, 1927, in Ehrenfeld, situated in the Allegheny mountains just north of Johnstown Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Walter Buchinsky, a coal miner who immigrated from Lithuania and Mary (nee Valinsky), a boarding house manager and court translator. Although she lived a hardscrabble life as a young girl with hand-me-down clothes, no indoor plumbing or heating, Catherine graduated from high school, relocated to Washington, DC and secured a job as a secretary/office administrator.

One of Catherine's "claims to fame" is the fact that one of her eight brothers was the internationally acclaimed actor, Charles Bronson of The Great Escape, Dirty Dozen and Death Wish notoriety.

In Washington, DC she met and married her future husband, Joseph W. Pidgeon, MD who attended George Washington Medical School. After Joseph's graduation in 1953, the couple moved to California, settling near the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach where Joseph worked as a general practitioner and completed a residency program in Dermatology. Most of Catherine's life during this period was devoted to raising her two children, Michele Pidgeon Mals and Kevin Pidgeon in the community of Palos Verdes Estates. Catherine enjoyed oil painting, gardening and cooking as well as volunteering for the Los Angeles Women's Medical Auxiliary.

After Joseph passed away in October 1992 Catherine moved to Palm Desert, California, to take advantage of recreational opportunities in the active adult community of Sun City. In 2010 because of health reasons, she moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to be near her daughter Michele, living in a single family house and then at the La Vida Llena Retirement Community.

She will be remembered for her keen sense of style, her dedication to baking perfected versions of povitica and fruitcake, her devotion to praying the rosary and her great love for dogs.

She is survived by her sister Julie Engert of Wildwood, Missouri; her children: Michele Mals (husband, Robert Mals, MD) of Albuquerque, NM, Kevin Pidgeon, MD (wife, Lisa Salazar Pidgeon, FNP-BC) of Woodland Hills, CA; and grandson, Ryan Alexander Mals, MD of Albuquerque, NM.

A private family memorial service will be held near the ocean in Palos Verdes California and memorial contributions may be made to: Animal Humane of New Mexico, 615 Virginia St SE, Albuquerque, NM 87109,


donate in Catherine Pidgeon's name.

The family of Catherine Pidgeon would like to acknowledge the caring and compassionate staff at Hospice of New Mexico and the Assisted Living staff of La Vida Llena.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Jan. 17, 2016
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