Catherine Houghton
Catherine Houghton Catherine (Kitty) Houghton, age 70, of Novato, California, passed away suddenly on January 28, 2013, in Littleton, NH. The cause of death was homicide.
A native of Reno, Nevada, she was the daughter of Samuel G. Houghton and Edda K. Morrison. Kitty was a graduate of Saint Mary's in the Mountains (now known as the White Mountain School) and a member of their Board of Trustees at the time of her passing. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her M. A. and Ph. D. in Linguistics from Stanford University. Kitty served the Peace Corps, in one of the very first groups to go to Nepal, from 1964-66. She worked as an international officer for Bank of America, and also for DuPont, before joining the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service in 1979, working at embassies all over the world during the course of her twenty-eight year career in public service. She spoke fourteen languages and was fluent in six of them, including Mandarin and Bengali. Following her retirement from the Foreign Service in 2007 she continued to lead a very active life. She sang first alto and served on the board of the Choral Singers of Marin. She served on the board of the Indian Valley Associates homeowners association. A member since 1996 of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, she was membership chairwoman for their Marin chapter. She was working on a film about the Nepali Chapter of the Ninety-Nines at the time of her death. Kitty was a volunteer pilot for Angelflight, which provides free air transport for people with medical needs, and Lighthawk, a non-profit organization providing flight transportation to conservation organizations. She was a life long member of the Church of Christ, Scientist, and recently served as First Reader at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Novato. An avid skier, hiker and musician throughout her life, she remained extraordinarily fit, and enjoyed classical music, world music and theater. Her friends around the world were very important to her and she made regular visits for the purpose of keeping up with them. Kitty left the world an amazing legacy, a standard of generosity, achievement and compassion to which all may aspire.
She is survived by two sisters, Linda Houghton Krantz and her husband Jim Krantz of Portola, CA, and Monica (Niki) Houghton of Washoe Valley, NV; a sister-in-law, Ruth Berry and her husband Graeme Berry, of Dunedin, New Zealand; a step-sister, Judy Nash and her husband Russell Nash of Reno, NV; and several nieces and nephews.
Kitty touched many lives, in many corners of the globe, and all who wish to memorialize her are encouraged to do so in a fashion and at the time appropriate to each.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to: The Catherine Houghton Arts Center, The White Mountain School, 371 West Farm Road Bethlehem, NH 03574 or an organization of your choice. Pillsbury-Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Littleton, NH, is assisting the family with arrangements. To view an online memorial or leave a message of condolence please go to
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 4 to Feb. 5, 2013.
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12 Entries
This legacy memorial comes at such an appropriate time. Just last week, Linda and Ed hosted a group of foreign commercial service retirees and the conversation turned to talk about Kitty Houghton. She was loved and is still remembered fondly.
Linda Archer
January 29, 2019
My heart is broken to hear of Kitty's death. She was my good friend for over 40 years. The last time I saw her was last October when she and some of her Peace Corps friends came to my home in Boulder, Colorado on their way to an adventure trip. She was one of the kindest, warmest people I ever knew. I will miss her easy smile and joyful presence.
Walt Young
July 1, 2013
How very tragic. Kitty, you were a wonderful friend and superb pilot. I will miss you. Ed Archer
June 9, 2013
Although I had not seen you for nearly 40 years, I had never forgotten you. There was a special air of selfless caring and spirituality about you that I found seductive from the very beginning. You left this world a better place. God bless. Bank of America colleague Paul Morgan
May 21, 2013
Kitty, your spirit, friendship and warm smile will never be forgotten! Each time we sing in harmony, I can feel you looking down at us with love in your heart. Nancy and Linda Seitas
February 11, 2013
The twinkle in her eye and easy laugh are what I remember most. Also her strange study habit of placing stacks of papers all over her bed and floor of the room we shared in college. I tried to keep up with her on the ski slopes, not to be!

A senseless act took her life - hard to put any reason in all of this.

In the bonds - Sheila Kinnear Davidson
February 7, 2013
As a pledge sister in college, you always had a kind word and a smile for all who crossed your path. You loved a good time but also were serious about your studies and were so well organized, things I admired so much about you. I am not surprised at all you accomplished in your too short life. I will always remember your charity, kindness and beautiful smile.
Susan (Goodwin) Chase
February 6, 2013
I met Kitty thru the Ninety-Nines and was inspired and amazed by her efforts and contributions that enriched our organization. It is my hope that the seeds she planted and the people she encouraged will continue to grow and flourish. Her legacy can live on and multiply when those she befriended follow her example and also reach out to help and encourage others.
Elizabeth Brock
February 6, 2013
Kitty we will miss you.
Marta Haustein
February 5, 2013
I always felt so peaceful in Kitty's presence. I will hold my memories of her gentle nature close to my heart. Additionally, I was deeply touched when Kitty gave a donation to Singers Marin honoring me back in 2011. All of the ladies she sang with at Singers Marin are deeply saddened by her sudden and senseless death. RIP Kitty ~ you humbly made a difference and touched so many. I know you are filling the halls of heaven with song! I send my deepest condolences to Kitty's family. - Maureen Sweeney, Greenbrae, California
Maureen Sweeney
February 5, 2013
We are so sorry to hear of the tragic loss of Kitty, but we are grateful for her service to our nation as one of the early Peace Corps Volunteers in Nepal.

Our Deepest Condolences,
The National Peace Corps Association
February 5, 2013
Kitty was a very special person I met her at the Int'l conference for the 99s in Oak City, she was generous to a fault, trusting, and always helping others a women after my own kind. May you find peace in the fact that she did so much here on earth and is now doing the same with the angels in heaven. OUr prayers go out to the family, this earth has lost a very special person.
Barbara Harris-Para
February 5, 2013
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