Catherine Dolores Smiley-Scott obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Catherine Dolores Smiley-Scott

April 25, 1917 - June 15, 2017

Obituary


Catherine Dolores Smiley-Scott was born on April 25th of 1917 to John and Louise Bates Degnan in New York. She was the only girl of four children. Catherine and her three brothers became orphans at an early age. Her grandmother, Julia Bates who they affectionately called Nana took in all four of them and raised them herself throughout the Depression in New Jersey.

Catherine was called Kay, Kitty or Kate at home and during her school year days. When she was a young child she took dance lessons from the famous James Cagney...

Catherine Dolores Smiley-Scott was born on April 25th of 1917 to John and Louise Bates Degnan in New York. She was the only girl of four children. Catherine and her three brothers became orphans at an early age. Her grandmother, Julia Bates who they affectionately called Nana took in all four of them and raised them herself throughout the Depression in New Jersey.

Catherine was called Kay, Kitty or Kate at home and during her school year days. When she was a young child she took dance lessons from the famous James Cagney and his wife when they lived in Westfield, New Jersey. Young Catherine was baptized on May 20th of 1917 in the Catholic Church of St. Monica in New York City. She attended the Catholic Trinity School from first grade until she graduated from high school in 1935. She was an excellent student and was on the honor roll. Kay was on the school's basketball team and was a marvelous actress and took part in many of her high school plays.

After high school she went to work for AT&T in her birthplace of New York. When the Second World War started and the men went off to war, Kay was promoted to one of the first female officers for AT&T. She wore a hat and gloves when she went to work. During this time she met and married her first love, Earnest Smiley. They were married on the 19th of April in 1941. She gave birth to her only child, a son, James "Jim" Smiley on March 15th of 1942. When Earnest and Catherine were first married she went to work in her husband's restaurant and bar called Smiley's. After they sold Smiley's they bought a hardware store called Smiley Hardware. Catherine did all the bookkeeping for her husband's businesses. She became a widow at the age of fifty-six on March 17th of 1973. She then went to work in a bank as teller.

She was close to her three brothers during their lifetimes but they have long since passed away. She was particular proud of her brother Joseph Degnan who was deployed to the Pacific to fight the Japanese and then sent to Italy during WW2 and was killed in a B17 bomber over Italy, he was a tail gunner. His is buried in Florence, Italy and has been awarded many medals, including the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Four Oak Leaf Clusters.

Catherine met her second husband, Harold Scott on a cruise ship. They were married on 4th of April in 1981 and shared many happy times together. When Harold retired from the Federal Reserve Bank, they went to live in a retirement community in Virginia. She became a widow for the second time on June 10th of 1995. She had two very happy and much loved marriages during her time here on this Earth.

When Catherine turned ninety-three, she moved to Plano, Texas to live with her son Jim and daughter-in-law Mina Smiley. She lived a healthy and happy life with Jim and Mina and their dog Gracie. She always said she had the best room in the house as it had the best view of the neighborhood and she always knew what was going on around her, Jim and Mina got daily reports.

Catherine passed away on June 15th, 2017, at the age of 100 after being sick for only three days.