Catherine "Cathy" Ann Pinch passed away on Saturday, October 24, 2020 from stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 78. She was born to Stephen Albert Smith and Eleanor Ida Smith (nee Wilson) in Oshawa on October 6, 1942. She was preceded in death by her ex-husband, Jack Lewis Pinch, her son, John "Jack" Richard Pinch, and her sisters Pamela Smith and Marian Fata. She is survived by her daughters, Susan and Lori Pinch and Lori's partner, Joe Guerrieri, as well as honorary son, Dwayne Williams. She left behind her grandchildren, Jonathan, Jacqueline and Liam, Rebecca and Richard, Jorden and Christina as well as her great-grandchildren, Emily and Nathan. She is also survived by her siblings, Gord Smith, Penny DeSousa, and Len Pinder as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and other family members.
Even as a child, Cathy was already famous for her love of driving, her risk-taking personality, and her stubborn streak, qualities which she shared with her younger brother, Gord. When playing games of chicken together on their bicycles, it was not uncommon for such games to end in painful head-on collisions. Little did Cathy know then, she was already preparing herself for the career that lay ahead of her, sans collisions, of course.
Cathy lived most of her life in Bowmanville and worked as a bus-driver who drove school-runs, charters, and, later on, for Whitby Transit. She made many friends through her work and was known for picking up "strays'' who had no money for bus fare, even taking some riders to destinations off-route when they needed the help. Cathy often volunteered her bus-driving services to her childrens' schools, even convincing her boss to lend the use of one of his busses to lessen the cost of field trips so that all of the school children could afford to attend them. As her children grew older, the field trips became even more fun and legendary. One of the most memorable charters she ran was for a bus filled with family and friends to see Iron Maiden in Toronto. Cathy was the honorary, cool Mom to a great many young people and could headbang with the best of them. She loved driving bus and it was always a point of pride for her. In later years when she was speed-bombing down the highway in her car, she would often reassure nervous passengers by saying, "Relax, I'm a professional driver!" Even in her last days, her most fervent wish was for a fast car and a long stretch of road.
When Cathy retired, her days were devoted to spoiling her beloved grandchildren and her many pets. During this period of her life, she became affectionately known simply as "Granny" by one and all, a moniker that stuck with her throughout the rest of her life. Granny especially enjoyed making the holidays special for her loved ones, always doing so in grand style, but then, she was never one to do things by half-measures, if Granny was going to do something, she went all in! No one came away from a Christmas Day at her house without a bulging belly and too many gifts to carry. She was like Santa Claus x 100, with hair just as white and a heart just as big, only much younger, better looking and with a chicer fashion sense (she'd want you to know that last part, most especially).
In her last few years, Cathy lived a quiet life in Port Hope with her daughter, Susan, their cat, Cassius, and their German Shepherd, Hoss. She enjoyed bragging about her grandchildren, reading medical books, watching detective shows, going on shopping trips, and watching the bunnies play in the yard. She shared a special connection to Hoss, who preceded her in death. During Cathy's last days, Hoss showed himself to her once again; perhaps, he was there to guide her to her final destination. We certainly like to believe so.
A great debt of gratitude is owed to Carole, the staff at 2B, Dr. Becker, Dr. Elmallah, Dr. Young, Dr. Mulé, Karen, Tara, Ashley, Colin, and the entire palliative care team at Northumberland Hills Hospital for treating Cathy with much tenderness and respect in their kind and competent care of her. An extra-special thank you to Cathy's brother, Gord, who has always been so good to his big sister rain or shine and who has been a source of strength and an invaluable help to Cathy's two daughters during this very difficult time. It was Cathy's wish that no funeral services be held, preferring instead that each of her loved ones celebrate her life in their own way. In lieu of flowers, her loved ones ask that you perform a random act of kindness for someone, in a loving expression of Cathy's own lifelong credo.