Catherine Spivey was born on July 12, 1927 to (the late) Curlia Douglas Hawkins and Sampson Hawkins. Her three sisters had been born before her in Virginia, but Catherine, whom they nicknamed “Cat” or “Kitty”, was born after the move to Brooklyn, New York. The family settled in Williamsburg and had one more daughter, Elizabeth, bringing the total number to five girls. They all attended elementary school there, and Catherine and Anna Doris (“Dot”), her sister just before her, went to Eastern District High School in Brooklyn, from which Catherine graduated.
The story goes that while Doris and Cathy were skating outside one day as little girls, they met Lonnie Spivey to whom they walked over to meet their older sister, Cora. The two got to know each other well enough for Lonnie to introduce his brother, Pete (Elijah, Jr.) to their next sister, Mary. After a time, the two couples married and when Doris and Cathy were 12 and 9 years old respectively, two more Spivey brothers, Calvin and Marlow, came up to New York from Georgia. Interestingly, they were the same ages. Marlow, upon seeing Catherine, remarked that "She was the prettiest girl he had ever seen"! Calvin and Doris were married in 1943, and Marlow and Catherine were wed in 1948. Their 49-year marriage produced two sons: Marlow, Jr. and David.
The young couple first settled in Brownsville. They had converted to Catholicism at about that time, and attended Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant. They had a great love for Jesus and the Catholic Church, and wanted their sons to know all about the church and its history and teachings.
They permanently settled on Lincoln Place in Brooklyn, and became members of St. Gregory the Great Family. They both worked for the NYC Transit Authority for 20 plus years, and retired together in 1982. After retirement, they gave much service to the church. Catherine was a Trustee for more than 20 years, including under long-term pastors: Fr. Patrick Kilcoyne and Fr. Gary Rogers (deceased). She and Marlow helped plan weekend retreats to Oyster Bay which many church members attended every year for many years, and to other locations after that. They started The Breakfast Club where they fed the parishioners good healthy meals on designated Sundays after mass. She was an active member of the Rosary Society, and served as President for multiple terms. She was an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist and Lector for more than 30 years. She attended the Senior Bible Study faithfully every week, was a Calvary Minister, was a member of the Arise Prayer Group, and was on the Collection Committee.
Catherine loved to take vacations at home and around the world. She visited Europe to see the Vatican City in Rome. She went to the Holy Land in Israel with a group from St. Gregory led by Fr. Paul which she talked about and remembered for a very long time. She took cruises to various Caribbean Islands, and also visited Hawaii. She enjoyed going to concerts, plays, and the Broadway Theater. She loved to cook for her family, and have them around her. She adored her numerous nieces, nephews, grand and great-grandchildren and they too adored her. Catherine Spivey will be remembered by all as a beautiful woman who always carried herself elegantly and with love.
Though predeceased by her husband Marlow, and son Marlow, Jr., Catherine leaves to mourn and cherish her memory, her sister Elizabeth; her son David, Sr. (and his wife Diane); her daughter-in-law Brenda; her adopted son Deacon Roy George (and his wife Catherine); six grandchildren: Kandra, Troy, Keysha (and her husband Corey), David, Jr., Tasha and Tiffany; eight great-grandchildren: Shauna, Colin, Zoe, Keyana, Darius, Treyanna, Issaiah, and Aleecia; five nieces: Brenda, Catherine, Doris, Imani and Sumaiya; five nephews: Calvin, Maurice (“Binky”), Maurice, Jr., Justin and Miles; and a host of other nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, church members and many friends who loved her.