Catherine Smith Bolinger, born in 1948 in Leesburg, Virginia, was the daughter of Thomas Joseph Smith and Mamie Elizabeth Fawley Smith. Cathy graduated from Loudoun Valley High School, received her Bachelor of Science at East Tennessee State University and her Master of Science at the University of Tennessee.
Cathy taught elementary school for 31 years retiring in 2003 after teaching in Johnson City, Tennessee, Athens, Tennessee and Stafford, Virginia. She loved teaching children to read and write in first grade. She was selected as a Master Teacher in Tennessee. Twice she was chosen as Teacher of the Year by her peers. In Virginia, she led an effort to have the employees of the County Government adopt her elementary school. The employees volunteered to provide mentoring for some of the at-risk students among many other services at the elementary school. She also served as an advisor to the University of Mary Washington for their Student Teacher program for budding educators.
Cathy was active in every community in which she lived. She was a member of the Optimist Club; served for several years as President of the After Five Business Group and belonged to various museum guilds and clubs. Cathy worked with Sister City programs in Athens in partnering with Isahaya, Japan, a program that partnered with schools in Athens and Isahaya as well as exchanged students and teachers. While in Virginia, she was a member of the Fredericksburg Sister City organization with its partner Frejus, France. Cathy hosted students from both countries and served as a chaperone of students on multiple occasions to both Japan and France. Following retirement and relocation to Delray Beach, Florida, Cathy served as a docent at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens where she provided tours to students from Palm Beach, Florida. Cathy became a member of P.E.O. and was elected as President of the CZ chapter of Delray from 2013-15. She was an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Delray Beach where she served as President of the Ladies Group. Cathy had a passion for helping other women with scholarships, particularly those who later in life found themselves starting over due to the loss of a spouse. Cathy was a member of two book clubs and loved to read, garden, travel and shop for her grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents and uncles and aunts. She is survived by her husband of 50 years Marvin Bolinger of Delray Beach, Florida; daughter Beth and husband Dr. Andrew Hochstetler and grandson Nathan and granddaughter Emilea of Ames, Iowa; son Jason and wife Jennifer and granddaughter Shields and grandson Jackson of Nashville, Tennessee; father-in-law William Shields Bolinger of LaFollette and her aunt Betty Fawley of Frederick, Maryland; several cousins and their families in Virginia and Maryland and Marvin’s brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and families.
The family would like to especially thank Jairo Toro for all his love and support, caregiver Dorreth Richardson, the doctors and staff of Delray Beach Medical Center and the staff of Trustbridge Hospice of Delray Beach. The family would also like to thank all the doctors and staff of the University of Miami Neurology Department as well as local neurologist Dr. Marc Feinberg and internist Dr. Ted Raptis for their loving care as she battled ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Graveside services will be held at Bakers Forge Cemetery in LaFollette, Tennessee on Saturday September 22 at 11 AM followed by a celebration luncheon at McCloud Mountain Restaurant.
Celebration of Life services will be announced in the near future.
Pallbearers will be nieces and nephews—Elizabeth Bolinger Powers, Adam Summers, Ricky Bolinger, Lindsey McDowell, Kristy Cherry, Darren Summers, and Brian Tiller.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the ALS Association, 1275 K Street NW, Suite 250, Washington, DC 20005 or on line at ALSA.org along with prayers that a cure can be discovered for this dreadful disease or a donation to your church of choice.
Martin Wilson Funeral Home “Where families matter most” of LaFollette is serving the Bolinger family.
Catherine’s guestbook may be viewed at www.martinwilsonfuneralhome.com