Nature 14

Cathy P. Aten

February 6, 1955 ~ January 30, 2020 (age 64)


Cathy P. Aten died peacefully from complications of Primary Progressive MS at home in the early hours of January 30, 2020, with her beloved dog Emma by her side. 

Cathy was born in Birmingham, MI, attended Kingswood School (now Cranbrook) and graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. After several years as an artist and fashion designer in Boston, she moved to her chosen home of Santa Fe, NM, which she dearly loved. Cathy had a long career as a textile and visual artist followed by a surprise second career as an inspirational blogger and poet that began when she lost the use of her hands to create visual art. She lived her life with courage and grit, pulling herself together day after day despite her pain in her quest to head out to find all that was interesting in life. As her sphere narrowed from country to state to city and eventually to the one-mile radius she could reach in her power wheelchair, she never ceased to be curious and engaged. 

Cathy touched many lives and no one will forget her fabulous hats nor her ever-present lipstick. Beauty was everything to her. Cathy deeply appreciated all the love and support she received over the years from friends, family, classmates, baristas, hatmakers, and blog readers. Her tribe was vast.

Cathy is survived by her siblings Jennifer Aten Kass of Portland OR, Scott Aten of Larkspur CO, and Peter Aten of Portland ME, and several nieces and nephews whom she dearly loved. She was predeceased by her parents Beverly Whiting Aten and Roger Wilson Aten. Cathy received and greatly appreciated tremendous support throughout her life, but for anyone who wants to remember her, she requested that donations be made to the Esperanza Shelter in Santa Fe, NM.

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