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Obituary: Catherine Jean Quinlan

Used with permission.

Catherine Jean Quinlan

July 21, 1959 — January 13, 2022 (age 62)

Catherine Jean Quinlan was born July 21, 1959 and passed Jan. 13, 2022, a day spent with the people she held closest.

Raised by two loving, devoted Casper teachers, education was in Cathy’s blood. Always supporting others, she grew up as an extra member of her father’s wrestling squad, eventually becoming a Natrona County High School cheerleader and graduating in 1977. Her big sister was her perennial role model, and Cathy leaned on her throughout her life. Following in her mom and lifelong best friend’s footsteps, she studied elementary education at Casper College and the University of Wyoming. In a career spanning more than 30 years at three schools, Cathy taught hundreds of students life’s most critical skill: reading.

Outside her classroom, Cathy’s three daughters consumed the rest of her life. Thanks to her sacrifices, her girls pursued any and every activity, had the most elaborate projects in every class, and used “well” as an adverb, all with flawlessly curled hair. Much to the envy of other moms, her oversized pink purses were stuffed with supplies only she had the foresight to know would be essential. She used every holiday as an excuse to treat her daughters (and often their classmates), crafting intricate, imaginative notes from Santa, the Easter Bunny, St. Patrick’s Day leprechauns, and Valentines from their mommy, their forever Valentine. Rather than preach values to her kids, she taught thoughtfulness, toughness and independence by example, all principles her daughters proudly live today.

In 2013, Cathy married her long-time partner Pat Scissons in her dream conditions of Las Vegas’ July heat. Throughout their years together, Cathy was his cheerleader on the sidelines of all the sports he coached, and he was hers as they navigated retirement, medical treatments, and chocolate cake at restaurants. Their commitment went far beyond sickness or health.

Endlessly curious, politely clever and sweetly silly, Cathy loved learning as much as she loved to teach. As a young girl, she excelled in math, and later dreamed of becoming a flight attendant to see the world. Though her travels were limited in her too-short life, her reach as a teacher and mother extend immeasurable distances. Her laugh was distinctive and joyful, like her signature curly blonde hair. She believed in the power of education, hard work, true love, unqualified forgiveness and the perfect outfit, of which she had many. Cathy loved gardening, hot weather, cocker spaniels, Mini-Mart French Vanilla cappuccinos, the Beach Boys, giving gifts, dancing with her husband to 80s music, Squirrel Dude, and most of all, her daughters.

Cathy is survived by her husband Pat Scissons; daughters Elizabeth Corry, Rachel Bouzis and Annie Bouzis; mother Marcia Reinhart; father Jerry Quinlan; stepmother Cheryl Quinlan; siblings Ann Hudson, Ryan Olsen, Annicka Stevens, and Callie Quinlan; stepdaughters Natalie Betcher and Nichole Scissons-Lowrey; grandchildren Bradley, Sophia, Katherine, Lucas, Eli and Walker; and a large extended family of many cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved dearly. In her final years, her family grew to include the Casper Mountain Care Center team, especially the dedicated, compassionate members of the memory care unit. She was preceded in death by her nephew Christopher Hudson, her maternal and paternal grandparents, and her cherished aunts, uncles and cousins.

Mass and a reception celebrating Cathy’s life will be held Thursday, Jan. 20 at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima in Casper, Wyoming. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Wyoming Dementia Care or reading your favorite children’s book aloud.