Ethelwyn (“Tommy”) Maud Catalano (nee Crossley) was born on JAN.19th,1928 and passed away in Trail on Mar. 2nd, 2017.
Ethelwyn, better known by most as, “Tommy,” was born in Nelson, BC, to Cecil and Agnes (nee Leece) Crossley. Her parents emigrated from Great Britain in the very early 1900’s and met in Nelson. They married soon after and raised their nine children in Nelson at the top end of Josephine St. Tommy had many wonderful memories growing up there with her parents & siblings. She told many stories of her father’s love of gardening as well as his involvement in the mining and assaying business. Though short in stature, she was a competitive and tenacious basketball player. She played high school basketball throughout the Kootenays.
Tommy met Sev (Serafino) Catalano on one of his many car trips to Nelson with his six Trail buddies, several of whom also married young ladies from Nelson. These seven couples remained lifelong friends.
Tommy & Sev both attended Victoria Normal School (teaching college) and married in 1950. Her first year of teaching was in a one room school east of Nelson near Six Mile, followed by a similar stint in Beaver Falls. Even though there were a number of hardships teaching in these rural settings, her fond memories of these teaching experiences were far more numerous. One of her students was still her go-to repairman 50 years after having taught him! Tommy left teaching to raise their family. Their five boys & family members are: Kim & Monica (Jenny Shannon [great grandsons Andrew, Owen], Kim Jr., Anthony/Adrienne); Joe & Linda (Lizzie, Josh); Rocco & Janet (Cam/Teresa, Carly/Sam, Jacquie, Evan); Matt & Mary (Megan/Joe); Sev Jr. (Nathan, Colton).
After staying at home for about 13 years raising her boys, Tommy gained full-time employment with the “Kootenay Society for Handicapped Children” at the “Trail Maple School.” Ethelwyn strived to remain on the cutting edge with new advancement regarding the best methods of furthering the needs of the special needs’ students. Early on she taught these children at the “Scouts Hall,” positioned at the back of the present day Trail Arena parking lot. Later, the Maple School shifted to upper Glenmerry. Finally, when the BC Government actually began to fund the special needs’ students in the mid-70’s, they were included in the regular school system at Sunningdale Elem. This was to be her calling in the employment part of her life. It was obvious in her everyday efforts that Mrs. Catalano’s teaching focussed on the child.
Ethelwyn was predeceased by her husband Sev Catalano; brothers Atkie (Leigh) & Alfred Crossley; sisters Cecilia (Elwood) Clum; Isabel (Dave) Johnson; Sue (Ray) Talbot; in-laws Joe & Nora Catalano; survived by sisters Lillian (Bud) Quin; Mosie (Vince) Mandoli; and Teddy (Henry) Griko and in-laws Rose & Ray Civitarese. Her numerous other relatives included 40 nephews & nieces as well as their children and cousins. Extended family activities were her main social outings. Tommy enjoyed playing cards, especially with Carol Barker, Willie Chapman and grandchildren, as well as handled many crossword puzzles in the time of a morning coffee or two. She was known for her kindness as well as her helpful, calming demeanour. Later in life, Tom was a surprising master of the quick quip, for any son or grandchild who thought they could pull one over on her.
Sev Jr. took on the role of caregiver for our Mother so she was able to remain at home for the last five months of her life as she wished. This was a huge responsibility with which he was assisted at different times by his sons, Colton and Nathan as well as niece Gwen Bollerup and friend Vicki Halme. On behalf of Ethelwyn, family members would like to thank Dr. J. Fisher, Dr. A. Baxter, Dr. D. Cook, Dr. Morency, Nurses Bethany O’Rourke & Kaylin Larson as well as the many kind home support workers who assisted our mother. We appreciated all the assistance from the local Red Cross, IR Services, and Palliative Care Services. Thanks to Al and Jordan from Alternative Funeral Services, where you may email the family at: email@example.com. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a local charity of your choice.
There will be a “Celebration of Life” on August 7th from 1 PM at the Warfield Community Hall, (900 Schofield Hwy, Warfield).