Lonnie Cathey, Sr. passed away Wednesday, March 23, 2011. He passed away at home surrounded by family and has willed his body to science. Thank you to those in the Hobbs family that have and continue to hold the Cathey family in the light.
With the passing of Lonnie Cathey, Sr., an era related to Mary Hobbs Hall history ended as well. He was a quiet but staunch support of his wife, Mary Ellen Cathey who, for over 25 years, was the warm, welcoming figure in the Hobbs kitchen. There, she eased girls' homesickness, allowed then to vent about problems large and small, and taught all who came into her path about proper food service, compassion, and the non-issue of race when it came to caring about people.
When she went home to her family of two sons and a daughter, Lonnie was the husband who supported her in raising them and also served as host when Hobbs girls found their way to the Cathey's door, be it for a visit after graduating or to seek a quiet place away from the campus while they were still in school.
Both Lonnie and Mary Ellen loved to travel and they returned the visits to many Hobbs alums across the country as they toured the nation in retirement. Such visits were filled with joy and laughter and remembering by all.
After Mary Ellen's passing, Lonnie remained a part of the extended Mary Hobbs family and attended most of the awards ceremonies when the scholarship named for her was awarded each year to a student. His appearance at the Mary Hobbs reunion in April of 2009 was met with a standing ovation from the "girls" who had grown in so many ways by virtue of knowing this amazing couple.
He will be missed.
~Linda Mercer (Merce) '69
*(We welcome any pictures and/or memories you have of Mary Ellen and Lonnie. You can write your memories under comments to share with all who visit this site and send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post them as we receive them.)