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Catherine Elizabeth Perry Stakel

Date of Death: October 14, 2015

Date of Birth: May 11, 1941


  Catherine Elizabeth Perry Stakel died October 14th.  Hers was a life filled with LOVE, travel, adventure and a multitude of activities which were exciting to her and her husband CDR Robert (Bob) Stakel, USN ret. Born on Mother's Day, May 11, 1941 in St. Petersburg, Fla. the only child of her sweet mom Audrienne G. Perry. They moved to Miami and boarded with a loving couple who included  them as part of their extended family.  Cathy was pre-schooled at the local YMHA (Young Men’s Hebrew Association), followed by Shenandoah Elementary for 3 yrs, Citrus Grove Elementary and Jr. High through 9th grade, and Miami Senior High , graduating in 1959. Throughout her school years, Cathy and her mother attended Central Presbyterian Church, where she began development of a deeply spiritual life.  By 16 she was teaching Sunday School, a choir member, and a member of the Christian Ed, evening program.


   After working in the High School health clinic under the caring direction of Laura Conner, RN, (later- Kershaw), who served as an inspiration to her, she went on to Jackson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, and became a nursing instructor after moving north to Buffalo NY. to continue schooling.


    While she had started runway and photographic modeling, her real love was teaching.  Days were devoted to the nursing school and evenings to teaching posture, posing, and runway walking.


       In the late 60's, Lt. Bob Stakel suddenly sailed into her life, and after several dates, enduring his year in Viet Nam, they married within 4 months of his return.  Their first assignment was Washington, D.C. where their first son, John Nobles Stakel, was born.  From there they transferred to the beautiful sea side town of Newport, R.I., had other port assignments, experienced the birth of second son David Christopher, and spent an amazing 3 years in Gaeta, Italy.  A final tour in Virginia Beach, and with Bob at the 20 year point, he retired from the Navy to become a stock broker, moving the family to Maine.  As their sons grew, Cathy found much to do in the richness of life in Portland.  With a number of friends she took the 4 year course of Education for Ministry, as well as a year course in CPE--the chaplaincy program at Maine Medical Center; 13 years at the Bowdoin College Jung Seminar with Prof. William Geoghegan, her idol. One of the most special of studies was a 2 year program, A Course in Miracles, with dearest friend Lu Clark.  Ongoing education had her auditing 18 hours at Bangor Theological Seminary which brought her to the conclusion that the Priesthood was NOT her direction.  At this point she was introduced to the art program at Vermont College.  In what seemed a magical moment she touched clay and WAS CAPTURED.  For 20 years the lure, feel, and art of clay kept her for hours in her huge barn studio. When home, Husband and Sons became frequent subjects. Others sat for a bust that was theirs to take home.


      Life was sweet!  Some years earlier she had had a 4 month period of breast cancer, and in the summer of 2012 it was back. Taking a seeming gentle path over the next 2 and 1/2 years, and THEN……


A statement from Cathy:  Not everyone is as lucky or happy as I!  I've loved my life, my family. They are ALL so beautiful to me.  My Husband Robert Wallace Stakel, our sons John Nobles Stakel, his wife whom I love as if she were my child - Susan Andrews Stakel, their children Ruby Anna Stakel (6) and Lyla Drew Stakel (4); David Christopher Stakel- his wife Danielle- whom I love as if she were my child Corinne Elizabeth Stakel (5), Nora Grace Stakel (3), Cole Robert Stakel 1 yr.  Our God Daughter Jenifer Dean, her daughter Penny Catherine Hartman (7).   This is a wonderful and loving Family.  


A memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Falmouth at 3 PM Oct 24, 2015.


In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Catherine’s favorite cause:

 The Bacha School

Scholarship Fund

c/o Sr. Miriam Perlowitz

Maryknoll Sisters

P.O. Box 317
Maryknoll, NY 10545


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