Kenneth Cathey | January 28, 1931 – June 27, 2020 | A Good Guy

Ken Cathy referred to himself as “Bishop Boy.” He loved this town…and he always seemed to be smiling or laughing when around others. Sierra Wave wishes his family the best. He was a great guy.

Kenneth Cathey
January 28, 1931 – June 27, 2020

On June 27, 2020, our precious brother, Kenneth Gene Cathey, age 89, passed away at the Bishop Care Center in Bishop, Calif., after a short illness.

Ken is survived by his son, Kenneth Gene Coray (Cathey) of West St. Paul, Minnesota, three sisters, Betty Millsap of  Tulsa, OK, Rita Ceritelli of Corinth, TX, Margaret Louise Cathey of Hayward, CA, and one brother, David Cathey of Lewisburg, KY, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Ken was born in rural McAlester, OK January 28, 1931 to Carl and Allcie Smith Cathey. They moved to Arizona in 1940 and then on to CA in 1943. In addition to CA, Ken has lived in several states; Minnesota, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada until he settled in Bishop, Calif. in 1998. Ken found his real home in Bishop. He loved living there and said (many times) that he never wanted to leave.

His last wishes were to be cremated and his remains be sent to his sister, Rita Ceritelli so a memorial could be held in Indianola at Indianola Cemetery, Indianola, Ok, where his Mother, Father, Sister, brother and many other relatives are interred.  These wishes will
be carried out as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic problems will allow.

Thank you to all of his wonderful friends for making his time in Bishop so happy.
A special thank you to Ken’s special friends, the Johnson family, who have been invaluable for our family for taking care of all the final arrangements with his belongings

5 Responses to Kenneth Cathey | January 28, 1931 – June 27, 2020 | A Good Guy

  1. Dee October 5, 2020 at 6:59 pm #

    As Charles said, Ken was a good guy.
    He once told me the story of his family namesake small town in HWY 140 between Mariposa and Merced, Cathey’s Valley. It’s true!!… he really was always smiling, a very sincere and very friendly person. He captured many photos of me and always gave me prints. Most of them I hadn’t realized he had his camera with him, but then after many years I realized he almost always had a camera. I went on some fun adventures with Ken, and I cherish the time I spent with him very much.
    I’m shedding some tears, what a sweet man.

    • Charles James October 5, 2020 at 11:11 pm #

      Dee, thank you for sharing. He was constantly having me look at his half-dozen or so cameras when he had problems with them. I couldn’t always fix them, but he appreciated the effort. I finally gave him a couple of extra digital cameras that I had because he just hated not having a working camera! He loved taking photographs of, well, everything, but especially his friends, his family, and all the people in his life.

      • paula cathey July 20, 2021 at 1:48 pm #

        Hello can someone who knew Kenneth well please email me I have a few important questions. My email is [email protected] I greatly appreciate anyone who can email me.

        • Charles James July 20, 2021 at 3:42 pm #

          Paula, I have sent you an email. Ken was a great guy and I truly miss his company and sense of humor. Maybe your post will prompt others in the community to reach out to you as well. He was regular at the VFW. Best wishes, and my condolences.–Charles

  2. Charles James October 3, 2020 at 10:09 pm #

    Most of us that are fortunate to live here often comment on how different it is living in small communities where you actually get to know your neighbors and often run into people that you come to know outside of your neighborhood as well. In the jobs I have worked over the past 25 years, I have come to know quite a few people in the Eastern Sierra, especially as a journalist, a coworker or as a friend. I was extremely fortunate to come to know and become friends with Ken Cathey. He was a truly a great guy.

    I met Ken several years ago while providing computer training to seniors at the Bishop Senior Center. He had a computer problem at home, so I went over and fixed it. We hit it off, and somehow, I became his regular computer “go-to” guy, his technology “guru,” and a regular guest and visitor to his home. Whenever he had a computer, software, printer, or camera issue, which he seemed to have often, he’d call me. I’d go over for what usually turned out to be couple of hours at least. Well, that was the case until this coronavirus pandemic began, and social distancing turned all our worlds upside down, keeping us away from many of our usual friends out of concern for their health and safety.

    The next time I heard about Ken was a call from a friend to tell me that he had died at the Care Center. My heart sank. The problem with this COVID-thing is that you cannot even properly grieve someone’s loss. It’s awful; it’s not natural. So, this is the best I can do. Put some of my memories and thoughts of Ken’s loss into words.

    Ken loved taking photos and sharing them with others. Whenever he’d have a camera problem, he’d call me. When he needed a replacement desktop computer, he called me. When he bought a large new HDTV and decided he wanted to move it to another part of his living room, he called me. After continuing to have numerous issues with his telephone and internet service provider, I worked with him to get another one that was not simply better, but significantly less expensive.

    He often spoke proudly and lovingly of his son, brother, and sisters. He was a lovely man.

    On my visits, we’d talk about journalism, what was happening in and around Bishop, a town that Ken loved and cared about. How much did he love it? His online ID was “Bishop Boy.” He would save articles on the town and we’d discuss them. He even cut out articles that I wrote in the local newspapers and we’d talk about them. He’d offer his thoughts and ideas here and there on something that he felt I should investigate and write about. He loved talking about local issues.

    He also loved to take photos and would often send them in to The Inyo Register where they would be used. He was always proud when that happened. He adored Darcy Ellis, the former editor at the Register. He was heartbroken when she left the newspaper.

    Ken loved the VFW and his friends there. He loved his garden outside. It seemed he was always sending me home with something from his garden or a fruit tree. He was a regular kind of guy, just a good guy. I miss him. Rest in Peace, my good friend.


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