Cathy Jean (Dowling) Norton, 70, of Waltham, passed gently from this life on December 2, 2020.
Cathy was born in Rockville Centre, New York on March 25, 1950, the daughter of Robert and Betty (Brockway) Dowling. Affectionately nicknamed “Wordy” as a child, she honed her writing skills at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill and at Brandeis University. She was a voracious reader, as well as a skilled and talented writer, valuing the clarity and tone of written expression.
Cathy’s early embrace of social justice led to a lifetime of liberal political activism. Beyond the realm of electoral politics, and open minded, she lived her principles by reaching out instinctively and quietly to people in need, with empathy, compassion, and practical help. She was open minded and was particularly interested in living the core values of both Christianity and Judaism, as well as the mission and outreach of her home church, the United Parish of Auburndale.
Music was an integral part of Cathy’s life. She grew up in a musical family, and she participated in many choral and chamber groups. She began life as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, became a passionate Red Sox fan, and ended as a Dodgers fan again. She had an offbeat sense of humor, and delighted in the repartee of puns with her husband of thirty- two years, George Sherwood Norton.
Cathy’s passion for all else in life paled in comparison to her love for her family: they were the center of her world.
Cathy was predeceased by her parents and her brother, Robert Jeffrey Dowling. She is survived by her husband, formerly of Auburndale; her children, Michael Radford and wife Monica of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Andrew Radford and partner Diantha of Belfast, Maine, James Radford and wife Ariel of Haverhill, and Jennifer Tinúviel Greenleaf of Waltham; her daughter-in-law Krista Radford of Belfast, Maine; her grandchildren, Rex and Cooley Radford of Belfast, Maine, and Varda Radford of Haverhill; her sister-in-law, Marilyee Dowling of Wells, Maine; her nephews, Robert Dowling of Colombia and Adrian Dowling of South Portland, Maine; and many cherished friends near and far.
A gathering of Cathy’s family to remember and celebrate her life will be held at a time to