SPOKANE, Washington — Holy Names Sister Katherine Blanche Gray, 93, died Jan. 29 at Hospice House South here. There will be a funeral Mass at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 1517 E 33rd Ave, Spokane.
Sister Katherine, one of nine children, was born to Lucian A. Gray and Mary Katherine Morrissey Gray on July 16, 1922 in Nespelem, Washington.
She attended Holy Names College in Spokane, entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names in July 1944 at Marylhurst, and professed her vows in August 1946. Sister Katherine received her bachelor’s degree in education from Holy Names College in Spokane and her masters of education with an emphasis in administration from the University of Oregon. That degree included an administrative internship at Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan.
Sister Katherine's gentle manner, extraordinary mind and gifts as teacher, administrator, and mentor continued to form and shape her remarkable and noteworthy ministerial career for many years. She served as a teacher and principal in several elementary schools staffed by the Holy Names Sisters, in St. Paul, Salem, Portland, and Astoria, and Spokane, Washington. She continued to influence the lives of her students as she moved to the high school level teaching at St. Francis in Eugene, and North Catholic High in Portland. In 1965, Sister Katherine began her years of service at Fort Wright College in Spokane as their academic dean. She would also work in Hawaii and Iowa.
In 1980 Sister Katherine accepted a position at St. Martin's University in Lacey, Washington, first as an assistant vice president and then as vice president for academic affairs. In 1985, she accepted the position of executive director for the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation, which required her to move to St. Louis until 1990, when she returned to the Pacific Northwest. In 1993, she retired from active ministry to settle in Olympia, Washinton, where she devoted her time to a large extended family, and serving others in a variety of volunteer works. Of note, were the more than 20 years she and her sister Dorothy served the poor with the St. Vincent de Paul outreach program at St. Michael Catholic Church.
Sister Katherine is survived by her Holy Names Sisters, one sister, Dorothy Hillier of Olympia, and a large, loving and devoted family of nephews and nieces.
Sister Katherine was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Paul Gray, Joseph Gray, Mary Elizabeth Gray, Margaret Waggoner, infant Katherine, Hazel Gates, and Lucian Gray Jr.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names Retirement Fund, 2911 West Fort Wright Drive, Spokane, 99224.