Cathrine Sue Schmidt Lowndes of Norfolk, MA, died peacefully on August 21 at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston after an 18-month struggle with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). She faced this challenge with amazing grace and good spirits, and amazing determination, strength, and courage.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Cathy was married to Robert P. Lowndes. She was the daughter of Robert and Mary Schmidt of Wichita, Kansas. She is survived by her parents, by her husband Bob and their son Jared, by her three siblings and their spouses, Robert Jr. and Theresa Schmidt of Omaha, Nebraska, Karen and Russell LaForce of Seattle, Washington, and John and Donna Schmidt of Haysville, Kansas, and by her niece and nephews, Chris and Jason Schmidt, Dwayne and Geoffrey LaForce, and Sarah and Tyler Schmidt. She was also particularly close with her husband’s Lowndes family in the U.K.
She graduated from Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After working at Northeastern University and the Harvard University School of Public Health, she began a new career in education working for the Good Shepherd Nursery School, Medway Village Church, Medway, for 20 years, serving as the Director of the School for 10 years. Her tremendous love and support for young children, and her many initiatives to engage them is remembered fondly by both students and parents.
Cathy’s primary passion was music and she was an accomplished violinist who had played for the Wichita Youth Orchestra and the Northeastern University Orchestra. She was also an accomplished pianist frequently playing at home to the rapt attention of Bob and Jared, and also their Irish Setters over the years of Tacha, Meghan, Magic, Jasmin, Darby, and Jemma. She very much enjoyed reading, cooking, carpentry, gardening, bird watching, and maintaining a discus tropical fish tank. She was an excellent quilter and beader.
As a Mayflower descendant she was an avid expert in genealogy.
She was an adventurous traveller who had visited all 7 continents, including visits to such remote places as the North Pole, Greenland, Tibet, driving across the Gobi desert in Mongolia, and sailing around Cape Horn. In Rwanda she came face to face with Guhonda, the largest silverback mountain gorilla in the world; and she came very close in the Galapagos to Lonesome George, a male Pinta Island tortoise and the last known individual of the species; before his death in 2012 he was known as the rarest creature in the world.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate Cathy’s life at a Memorial Service to be held at 11:30am at the Medway Village Church, Medway, on Saturday, September 14, followed by a reception at the Church. In lieu of flowers, remembrances, if desired, may be made to the Medway Village Church for the Good Shepherd Nursery School, 170 Village Street, Medway, MA 02053.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of the Ginley-Crowley Funeral Home, Medway (www.ginleyfuneralhomes.com).