Alice Catherine Cannon Barrett
1928 - 2020
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Alice Catherine Cannon Barrett

June 15, 1928 - July 7, 2020 - Alice Catherine Cannon Barrett (Cathie Barrett) passed away in Reno, NV. Cathie entered into eternal life and reunited with her beloved husband James A. Barrett Sr. (Jim Barrett). She was 92 years-old. Cathie was born on June 15, 1928 in Washington, D.C. She spent her childhood in a row house on the Southeast side of D.C., three blocks from the U.S. Capitol with her parents and four siblings. She graduated from Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Georgetown. Upon graduating high school, Cathie tested for the Civil Service Exam and accepted a position at the Federal Housing Administration.

On New Year's Eve, 1946, Cathie met Jim. They immediately started dating and married on September 11, 1948. Cathie & Jim were an incredible couple and valued the sacrament of marriage beyond measure. For 68 years they both found sweet, simple ways to express their love and gratitude each and every day. Together, they created a family of ten children, 26 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

Jim's career as a Special Agent for the United States Internal Revenue Service provided them the opportunity to work their way down the east coast living in Wilmington, North Carolina, Asheville, North Carolina and North Miami Beach, Florida.

In June 1972, Jim's career led the family west to Reno, NV. In addition to continuing to manage a busy household that reflected her love of interior design and holiday decorating, Cathie decided to explore the opportunity to work outside the home and share her talents with her community. In 1973, Cathie renewed an old concept of shopping with the opening of "Granny's General Store," in the Del Monte Shopping Center south of Reno on South Virginia Street. Her store carried a line of ready to finish furniture, notions, handmade coverings, provided the opportunity to mail a letter, pick up a bag of nails and even the excuse to enjoy a piece of homemade fudge or a nice long black licorice whip.

In 1976, it was through the encouragement of a dear friend that Cathie applied for a sales position with the newly opening Mervyn's Department Store (now Target Corporation). For 20-years, her talent was recognized with multiple promotions within store management. As years passed, Cathie's reputation and popularity grew throughout the store as well as into the community. It is with great certainty if a customer purchased a piece of fine jewelry in the 1980's and 1990's they benefited from Cathie's knowledge, her enthusiasm and friendship. Her years of service not only benefited the Target Corporation but provided additional financial support to assist their children to attend college and provide a life style where no one in the family ever went without the necessities of life, plus, a little bit more.

Throughout her retail career, Cathie also found great joy in hosting large family gatherings that included special surprises and gifts for her grandchildren. Every holiday included a wreath at the front door and decorations displayed throughout the home. Easter brought live ducklings that would stay on the family pond. Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day celebrations would include a barbeque. Halloween would feature jack-o-lanterns. Thanksgiving would require multiple tables to be strung together, decorated with care and loaded with a feast of family favorites. And, Christmas Eve was always to be celebrated so as to allow the grandchildren to remain in their own homes on Christmas Day. The season would include an Advent wreath, a nativity set, visits from Santa and his Elf, a traditional gift exchange, singing of Christmas carols accompanied by a grandchild playing a musical instrument and the requirement that all decorations remain up through the Epiphany.

After her retirement, Cathie & Jim enjoyed many years of travel. They made several trips to Europe with a focus on Ireland where Cathie traced her family heritage back to the County of Galway in the District of Oranmore. Cathie was very proud to have certified her dual citizenship based on the confirmation of her father's Irish birth. In 2000, they hosted a reunion in Washington D.C. where several grandchildren were able to attend and take part in tracing their grandparent's roots in the D.C. area. Everyone capped off this memorable trip by celebrating July 4th by watching fireworks at the National Mall. For years, Cathie & Jim would plan trips with the family to watch college football bowl games as well as attend NFL games featuring their favorite team the Miami Dolphins.

In 2003, Cathie & Jim decided to trade in their over-sized ranch house in Southwest Reno for retirement in Las Vegas, NV where they enjoyed a beautiful home and carefree life style. In June 2018, two years after the loss of Jim, Cathie returned to Reno, NV to live out the remainder of her life.

Despite her small stature, Cathie was feisty. She had the ability and strength to weather the storms of life's adversities. She was a woman of strong character, faith and love. She is survived by her children Jay (Laura), Marybeth King (Bill), Patrick (Rebecca), Eileen Kahler (Scott), Chris (Barbara Burgat), Martin (Kathie), Vince (Beth), Greg and, Catherine Gardella (Kyle), her 26 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Jim, parents Michael Paul Cannon & Alice Catherine Neitzey Cannon, her siblings Ellen, Judy, Michael, and Robert, son Michael and grandson Kevin.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada (500 E. Fourth Street, Reno, NV 89512) or the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C. (400 Michigan Ave. NE 20017).

And, in her own words, "Do not regret sharing a few tears with someone you love" in her honor.

In accordance with current state and local Covid-19 guidelines, the family will hold private services.

Please share a memory or condolence message in Alice's Book of Memories at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in the Reno Journal-Gazette and Mason Valley News from Jul. 13 to Jul. 15, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Walton's Funerals & Cremations - Sierra Chapel
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5 entries
July 14, 2020
So sorry for your loss Martin and family. May you find peace and comfort during this difficult time. God bless you!
Wendy (Dickson) Knorr
July 14, 2020
So sorry to hear of your Mom's passing.We had the great pleasure to have taught several of the Barrett children at the old Huffaker school. Your parents were always supportive and caring and a joy to work with and know. They will be missed..Lonnie and Anna Mae Shields
Lonnie Shields
July 14, 2020
We are so saddened to hear about the passing of Cathie . My sister Helen , and myself , Maria , both had the privilege of working with her at Mervyn's . Cathie was the kindest , most upbeat and positive person . She always had a smile on her face . Cathie set such a high mark on setting the example on how to treat others . It was always a good day when Cathie was on shift at Mervyn's . It saddens our hearts to lose such a dear and wonderful person . Please accept our deepest sympathy , the Adamis family .
maria adamis stavig
July 14, 2020
I worked with Cathie at Mervyn's for 8 years. She was and will always be known for love, patience and great guidance as well as a terrific teacher. She taught me alot about retail. I am a much better person for having had the opportunity to know her. To her family that she was so proud of and very often talked about with pride and great joy, I am sorry for your loss. She was an awesome woman. God bless you all.
Shelly Benson
July 14, 2020
We will always remember you with love and miss you dearly, you showed me how to love and forgive,your nephew. Sincerely Tim&Karen Barrett Springfield,il
Tim Barrett
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