It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of Catherine Doris Houseman (nee Slemin) on Friday, December 31st, 2021 at the age of 94. Catherine was predeceased by her beloved husband and best friend, John Houseman, with whom she shared 62 years of married life. Catherine was the loving mother of Jon, Steve (Lisa), and Rick (Louise). She was the proud grandmother of Kathleen (David), Gordon, John (Ally), Jim, and Catherine, and great grandmother to Owen, Maude, and Emma. She was predeceased by her brother Bruce and his wife Louise.
The rarity of female BSC candidates in 1950 is seen in her McGill diploma which states Catherine graduated “after applying himself diligently during the period of his studies” with a BSc in Physical Education. She was an Elementary School Phys Ed teacher with the West Island School Board in Montreal and a tennis instructor in the summer. As her family grew she shifted to Ladies Keep Fit classes in the 60’s at the Point Claire YMCA where her class exercised to the rhythm of piano music played by a friend. Exercise was followed by a coffee break and guest speaker. When the family moved to Eastern Ontario in 1970 she continued to teach part time, hold keep fit classes at local retirement homes, and volunteered at the Alexandria hospital.
Her passion was her family; with her husband John, she raised her three boys that included a healthy mix of cross-country skiing, competitive swimming, and other sports. The outdoors and a cottage, first in the 1000 islands, then near Mont Tremblant, and finally on the Riviere Rouge, were an integral part of family life. A keen supporter of John’s barbershop singing, she also pursued her own interests in gardening, crafts, and acrylic painting. Whether enjoying cottage life, living in the suburbs of Montreal, living on a farm in Glengarry County, or as a resident of the small Town of Vankleek Hill and finally Ottawa, she lived life to the fullest.
At Catherine’s request there will be no funeral, instead a private gathering of the immediate family will be held with a celebration of her life to follow at a later date.
The family would like to thank the team at the Chartwell Rideau Place Retirement Residence for their tremendous care and support, and specifically for keeping Catherine safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. Appreciation is also extended to the Montfort Hospital for their responsive care this past fall. Donations, in lieu of flowers, to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, or to a charity of your choice, would be appreciated. Please visit www.hillcrestfuneralhome.ca for online condolences, donations, or share a memory of Catherine.
A Tree of Remembrance for Catherine will be planted in the McAlpine Forever Forest.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Hillcrest Funeral Home 151 Bond Street, Vankleek Hill, ON K0B 1R0 613 678-2002