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Catherine Isobel (Murchison) Pettijohn

Born: Tue., Dec. 4, 2018
Died: Sun., Mar. 4, 2018


Graveside Service

10:00 AM Mon., Mar. 26, 2018
Location: Ft. Huachuca Post Cemetery


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Catherine Isobel Pettijohn (Cathy), a longtime resident of Sierra Vista, Arizona, passed away peacefully on March 4, 2018, after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Cathy was born on December 4, 1929, in Miles City, Montana, the daughter of Murdo and Catherine (MacRae) Murchison, both Scottish immigrants.

Her father Murdo, a carpenter and builder, died when Cathy was 10 years old, requiring Cathy's mother to obtain work as a housekeeper to support the family. Although the Murchisons were considered poor, they were rich in many ways, and Cathy often spoke of her wonderful life in Miles City with love and fond memories. She lived in Miles City throughout her childhood, and many of her close friends still kept in touch decades later.

After graduating from Miles City's Custer County High School in 1947, Cathy attended Kinman Business University in Spokane, Washington and obtained work as a legal secretary. At the request of her employer, she attended a Dale Carnegie public speaking class, where she met her future husband, Robert, a recent Veteran of World War II. Thus began an exciting life for the small town girl. After Robert's re-enlistment in the Army, the Pettijohn family, which eventually consisted of Cathy and three children, were stationed at various military bases in the USA and around the world, including Japan, Germany and South Korea. During an early tour at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in the late 50's, Robert and Cathy fell in love with the area and decided to return someday and retire. After Robert finished a tour in Vietnam in 1968, he requested and received orders for Fort Huachuca, so the family moved back to the area and settled in Sierra Vista.

Cathy used her previous secretarial skills to obtain a position at Fort Huachuca, where she worked for 20 years.

Throughout her life, Cathy was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother. She was devoted to her husband and three children, and did everything possible to improve their lives and support them in any way she could. She took pride in keeping her house and yard immaculate, cooking nutritious meals and always staying involved in the school events and lives of her children. She was a super-mom who enjoyed doing yard work, making clothes on her sewing machine and even sewing wardrobes of doll clothes for her girls when they were young.

One of her favorite hobbies was shopping for bargains at the local thrift stores, a hobby she shared with wonderful local friends. Cathy is predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Robert, and survived by her sister, Rina (Coughlin) of Plover, Wisconsin, three children, Pamela, Patricia and David, six grandchildren, Adrienne, Thomas, Cassandra, MaryAnn, Robert and David, and five great grandchildren, Archer, Amelia, Scotland, Anders, and Chiara.

The family would like to thank those who helped make it possible for Cathy to stay in the home she loved during her final years, in particular, the wonderful staff at Valor Hospice, whose assistance has been invaluable.

A gravesite service will be held on March 26, 2018, 10 a.m., at the old Post Cemetery on Fort Huachuca.

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