Catherine Rinearson Gabrielson was born on December 31, 1937 in Portland, OR and died on September 15, 2023 in Ocean Park, WA. Catherine is survived by her daughter Jill M. Johnson, grandson Sean P. O'Keefe, granddaughters, Nicole M. Johnson, Stephanie C. Johnson and Caitlin B. Dettloff. In addition, she has 5 great granddaughters, 1 great grandson and 1 on the way. Catherine is predeceased by her husband, Ronald C. Gabrielson, sons, Patrick C. Gabrielson and Roger D. Gabrielson
Catherine graduated from Oregon City High School, Oregon City, OR. After graduating she attended Oregon State College in Corvallis, OR. Her major was education. No surprise there as she came from a long line of teachers and administrators both before and after her.
During Catherine's time at Oregon State her sorority and future husband, Ronald's fraternity had a dinner/ dance get together. They met and fast became an item and fell in love. Ronald graduated and set off to Baltimore, Maryland to fulfill his draft obligation to the U.S. army, which had been deferred until he graduated college. The 2 wrote letters for the next few years and made plans to get married. On May 2, 1959 the couple tied the knot in Milwaukie, OR. Catherine returned to Maryland with her husband, Ronald Gabrielson. There Catherine quickly found work as a first grade teacher. She very much loved teaching and trying to make the young people enjoy school and learning. Though she loved teaching she gave it up when she became pregnant. There she transitioned into a busy mom and wife.
Ronald Gabrielson worked at Chevron and the company gave it's employees an aptitude test for math, and he was picked to go to the San Francisco Bay Area to join the newly forming computer department. The young family headed to the Bay Area to start a new chapter in their lives.
Catherine (whose nickname was Chatty Cathy) made friend's easily and through the years made several friends with people she was neighbors with or through the many activities that her children participated in. She was a tireless volunteer at schools, campfire girls, boy scouts, little league, softball etc...If there was something that needed a volunteer her hand was always up. I'm not sure how mom found spare time, but she also enjoyed quilting, sewing, crocheting, knitting, needle point puzzles of all types, cards and bowling.
Catherine made sure the holidays were always special at her house. Everyone had hand knitted Christmas stockings and an over abundance of carefully thought out gifts. The same could be said about our yearly family summer vacations. Those summer vacations always consisted of camping at a state and/or national park all over the west coast. Trips to Oregon and Washington to visit family and friends were part of those vacations. Mom silently saved money from her grocery budget to make sure those holiday and family vacations happened. Those memories will last a lifetime.
At our home dinner was always on the table at 5:30 sharp. It was a long standing joke amongst us kids about all of those rules, but it worked and everyone knew the rules. Dad always had the final say though, but he very seldom disagreed with her.
The next phase was grandchildren. Catherine loved
being a grandma. She was so helpful and involved in being the extra set of helping hands to make sure her grandchildren never went without because a parent can only be in one place at a time.
As the family grew older, Mom and Dad joined the Elk's Lodge and Catherine again became a dependable volunteer for the Elk's Lodge.
Catherine and Ronald retired to the Long Beach peninsula in 1994. They both grew up in the Portland, OR area and had vacationed here with their respective families as children. They built their dream retirement home with guest bedrooms to accommodate the adult children and the grandchildren, also the many friends they had made while living in California. Their retirement included at least 2 trips a year or more. Lots of cruises and other wonderful trips followed. The family is so glad they enjoyed had those special trips.
The family would like to say a special thanks to Catherine's best friend of 50+ years, Wendy Porter, for being here not once, but twice when mom got sick. You put your whole life on hold and came running. Anyone can be a friend when you are well, it takes a very special friend to be a friend when you are sick. Many thanks.
Services will be held at Willamette National Cemetery, Friday Oct. 6. 2023 at 10:30am, 11800 SE Mt. Scott Blvd, Happy Valley, OR 97086. We will meet at the entrance where a staff member will escort the group to the destination spot for the services.
After the services there will be a celebration of Catherine's life to be held at the house that she grew up in that is now owned by her niece. The address to that location is 19665 SE Jay Street, Milwaukie, OR 97267.
There will be a link on Penttila's Chapel by the Sea's website where friend's and family that are unable to attend can click on the link and be directed to a website to view the services. Penttila's website also has a guest link to leave thoughts and favorite memories the family would really enjoy reading.