Catherine McNabb

July 16, 1953 - October 8, 2021


Catherine McNabb, aged 68, passed away from lung cancer on the morning of Friday, Oct. 8th, 2021. She was surrounded with love through her passing. Catherine was diagnosed three years ago. The meds afforded her a reprieve to take bucket list trips, to spend meaningful time with family and friends, and of course, to milk the cancer card for all it was worth. She faced her illness as she did her life - with humor, courage, and gratitude. She acknowledged that it was a shame the diagnosis came right before she was to retire, but she allowed no self-pity and believed she had been very fortunate to live the life she had. She sat in a place of gratitude and that led to a state of grace.

Catherine was born July 16, 1953 in Bellflower, California to Lee and Eleanor Crosland. She had one older brother, Steve Crosland. She would tell you that she was the good one. She graduated high school in the top of her class and went on to attend UC/Riverside. She married in 1974 and had a daughter, Jennifer, in 1978. She lived in So Cal until 1989. During these years she actively pursued her passion of theater and choir. She made the jump to Port Townsend, Washington in 1989, following her brother and his family, Miko and Kenji, to the area for a fresh start.

She met her husband, Frank McNabb, on Halloween, shortly after moving to PT. After confirming that his lounge lizard suit (complete with chest hair and chains) was indeed a costume, they hit it off. She was drawn to his sense of humor and they were married the following spring on May 25, 1990. The laughter never stopped and they shared more than 31 years of teasing, jokes, music, life, and love. He also brought three children to the marriage — Annie, Scott, and David — and Catherine was thrilled to have more children added into her life.

She was so “all in” when it came to life that it’s impossible to list all that she did. She worked for the city of Port Townsend in purchasing. As with everything, she excelled in her professional life. She was also instrumental in the success of the Sister City program with Ichikawa, Japan. She hosted their many visits and journeyed to be welcomed there in return. Always a performer, she sang, read literature on the radio, was active in PT Shorts, and was heavily involved in theater (Key City Players and Paradise). She spent time traveling, reading, cooking, volunteering, sewing, and with loved ones and her animals. She was the kind of person who was always on hyper-drive, always planning, always doing, and she did not waste her time. She was confident, capable, and with a powerful energy, matched by the gentlest and most empathetic heart. 

The holidays were her thing, with Christmas as her favorite (Birthday Month being a close second). She earned the title as The Queen of Christmas, and boy did she live up to that role. She made everything special, and we celebrated with love, laughter, and huge piles of food on the table. She always said “nothing succeeds like excess” and we were all spoiled by her. But it wasn’t just the holidays, it was dinners, parties, whole family getaways, and gatherings of all kinds. Her talent was bringing everyone together. She worked so hard to give us all that gift, and we’re so grateful. She was so committed to her family, her friends, animals, and the world at large. She expressly stated that she did not want us to mourn for her but she’s SOL on that one. Our matriarch will be sorely missed. She leaves behind her husband, children, grandchildren, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and her dog and cat.

Services will be held online at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23 through Quimper UU, where she was a dedicated member for many years. Go to and click on the red button that says video at 3. A Celebration of Life party will be held as soon as we can safely gather to give her the send off she deserves. Announcements for this portion will be made later. In lieu of purchased flowers, she asks that garden or wildflowers only be used, or to please use that time and money in aid of a charity.