Cover photo for Mary Catherine Crecelius's Obituary
1954 Mary 2023

Mary Catherine Crecelius

August 4, 1954 — April 6, 2023

Paducah

Mary Catherine Crecelius came onto the world's stage Aug. 4, 1954, as told in an Atomic Theatre ticket facsimile birth announcement issued by her parents Rosella and Donald.

ACT ONE:

Cathy, as she preferred to be called, grew up in a wonderful neighborhood in Paducah's west end where she and friends played together outside, knew each other's parents and never encountered locked doors as they were welcome in every home.

Friends became classmates at Clark Elementary and stayed together through Brazelton Junior High School and eventually to Tilghman High School. Cathy was involved in Drama activities, played the violin in the orchestra and marched in the Drill Corp at Tilghman. She graduated in the class of 1972.

ACT TWO:

Cathy enrolled and excelled in college at Murray State. She graduated with a degree in Theater Arts and Communications. Following college, she took a job in radio. One of the first women to work in the field locally. After a period of working in radio she was hired at WPSD television in 1977. She worked her way to managing the Promotions and Public Affairs department. And after 44 years she retired December 2021. A few months later we went on our first "date" (not a date). On Fat Tuesday 1990 we met each other for Mardi Gras night at the Hotel Irvin Cobb. Seven years later in Nov. of 1996 we were married at Westminster Presbyterian Church. At the wedding Cathy delayed coming down the aisle because the ring she was to give me was misplaced and she insisted it be found. The pianist had to play Pachelbel's Cannon in D at least five times while the search continued. The ring found we said our vows and remained married for a little over 26 years.

ACT THREE:

Work was not her only passion. She fought fiercely for women's issues and set examples for later generations. She served as a delegate at the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. She was the first woman president of the Paducah Rotary club in 2000, was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship and was also a Jefferson Award winner. Perhaps her most cherished award came when she and her beloved dog Balto took first place in preferred agility at the Vizsla Nationals in 2011. Awards and accolades too numerous to count followed her throughout her lifetime.

Always positive and energetic, she served her community. Devoting money and time to many organizations, like the Market House Theatre and Paducah Kennel Club. She served on many boards throughout the area. Member of and eventual chairman for the Paducah Planning Commission, she helped oversee the development of Paducah. Even in retirement she continued to work with places like The National Quilt Museum. She always encouraged, provided guidance, and was seen as a role model for those trying to figure out their future place in the community.

Always a people person. She could go nowhere in Paducah and surrounding areas without being recognized and happily greeted.

She had a deep long standing faith in God. That faith contributed to her positivity and gave her great strength. She worshipped at Westminster Presbyterian until it closed and then continued at First Presbyterian.

FINAL CURTAIN:

Cathy was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in late Nov. 2022. She fought back with everything she had. Sadly, all the efforts of the doctors and nurses could not turn the tide in her favor. But still she was positive, polite, encouraging and giving to everyone. She passed away peacefully in the early morning of April 6, 2023. Her sister and I holding her hands as the curtain came down on an exemplary life. She will always be missed.

Surviving her are her husband, Steven Parrott of Paducah; sister, Margaret Williams of Tucker, Georgia and niece and nephew Susan and Scott Williams also from Tucker, Georgia.

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Paducah at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 22, 2023, followed by a potluck reception also at the church. An open mic will be provided at the reception for people to express their thoughts, stories and encounters with Cathy.

Instead of flowers, please send donations to Chase Away K9 Cancer, PO Box 65456, Ludlow WA 98365; or go to their website chaseawayk9cancer.org, Paducah Cooperative Ministry, 402 Legion Drive, Paducah, KY 42003; or Crecelius Nursing Scholarship at WKCTC, make checks payable to Paducah Junior College with a memo line of Crecelius scholarship. Web donations may be made at westkentucky.kctcs.edu. The giving link is at the top of the page and a dropdown menu will have a link to the Crecelius scholarship.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Catherine Crecelius, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church (Paducah, KY)

200 North 7th Street, Paducah, KY 42001

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