Cover photo for Catherine T. Gillen's Obituary
1932 Catherine 2024

Catherine T. Gillen

January 26, 1932 — February 19, 2024

Littleton, CO

It's hard to capture the essence of Catherine T. Gillen, my mom, in mere words. She was a force of nature, a whirlwind of creativity, love, and an unending zest for life, all wrapped up in a package that always, without fail, included bright red lipstick and a pair of earrings.

Mom had a remarkable career as a G5 13 for FHA, where she brought passion and dedication. But her talents didn't stop there. Not only was she a master carpenter, creating pieces that brought warmth and character to our home, but she was also a professional seamstress. Her hands, equally skilled with a hammer or a needle, crafted garments and furniture alike with love and precision.

Raised in a bustling household with six brothers and three sisters, Catherine's early life was filled with the laughter and chaos that comes from a large family. This vibrant household backdrop was where she honed her remarkable resilience and sense of unity, traits that she carried throughout her life. 

Her culinary skills, while less frequently mentioned, were nonetheless a testament. Her cooking, much like her personality, was full of flavor, warmth, and a touch of unexpected spice. However, it was her lifelong passion for dance that truly set her soul alight. Catherine and her beloved husband, John, whom she met at an Officers' Club dance, were known for their grace on the dance floor. Together, they won numerous awards for their dancing, a passion that remained with Catherine even in her later years at the nursing home, where she continued to dance and bring joy to those around her.

Her love for her family was boundless. She was the most brilliant woman, not just for her creative talents or her professional achievements, but for her wisdom, her wit, and her unparalleled ability to make everything feel okay. Her advice always sage, and her presence a comfort to us all.

Mom was preceded in death by her beloved husband, John Gillen, a love story that set incredibly high standards. She leaves behind a legacy of love, craftsmanship, and the joy of dance in her daughter, Laura Gillen Williamee; her son, James Gillen; her adoring grandson, Justyn Gillen and his wife, Nicole Gillen; and her granddaughter, Jewel Williamee.

To say she will be missed is an understatement. But in true Catherine fashion, she'd likely tell us to "put on some lipstick, a pair of earrings, go dancing, and make the world a brighter place." So, as we remember her, let's celebrate the incredible life she lived and the permanent mark she left on our hearts. Here's to Catherine, whose legacy of creativity, love, and the indelible joy of dance will continue to inspire and uplift us all. Cheers, Mom. Your craftsmanship in life, in every sense, was truly unparalleled.

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


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