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In Loving Memory of Cathy Spoto 1945-2011

On Friday October 21st, Catherine Spoto passed away. On that day The Compassionate Friends of Rochester lost a very dear friend and mentor. Those of you who knew Cathy know that she was the heart and soul of our organization. Many of us have known her for a very long time and some of us barely had a chance to get to know her. In every instance, everyone recognized the special gifts that she brought to our group.

What you may not know is how Cathy began her journey with us. Cathy was not unacquainted with grief. She too had lost a child; her son, Michael died shortly after his birth. One might think that her loss was the impetus for Cathy to form this group; however, it was after she presented a seven week workshop on the loss of a child, attended by Mark and Phyllis Simon, that the idea of forming a new Rochester chapter of TCF was born. There were, previously, two local chapters that had folded due to lack of leadership. Cathy, the teacher, taught Mark and Phyl so much about leadership that they eventually went for regional leadership training. If it hadn't been for Cathy, the group would not have become what it is today.

Cathy was the rock. She is irreplaceable, a remarkable woman. She has been the central core that has helped us to grieve and grow. Losing Cathy is a tremendous loss. She has always been supportive, caring and compassionate. Cathy was so giving, always available and ready to help. With Cathy everyone else came first. Many of us know first-hand her quiet and gentle way of reaching into our heads and hearts so that we could express our sorrow and share our pain.

Cathy will be greatly missed by all who knew her. It is a known fact that Cathy had a special gift for remembering our children. We want to believe that our sons and daughters were there to meet her when she arrived home and that she will share her gifts and embrace all of our children.





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