Catherine P. Iorii, 83, of Rehoboth Beach, formerly of Dover, passed away Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, at Beebe Healthcare, Lewes. She was born in New York City, N.Y. Jan. 5, 1930, daughter of the late Thomas and Margaret (Rafferty) Paxton.
After graduating with an associate’s degree in business from City College of New York, Catherine embarked on a career in retail sales with Saks Fifth Avenue, where she developed her fashion forward mind set. Not only did she hone her "outgoing customer skills" at Saks, but soon met Michael, whom she later wed. Together she and Michael settled in Wilmington, where they began their married life. In 1961 she lost her husband and entered the world of single parenting. Her strong will and commitment to family anchored her in this new role.
Catherine enjoyed a lifelong career with the Veterans Administration Hospital in Elsmere, as a healthcare administrator. She retired in 1986 relocating to Dover, to become caretaker for her granddaughter, a role she cherished most. For six years she was an active volunteer at Holy Cross School in Dover, assisting children with their reading skills. Catherine was an active member of the League of Women Voters where she facilitated the election debates for 15 years.
Catherine loved knitting, shopping with "the girls," her weekly visits to the hairdresser and taking in an occasional Broadway show. She was a 28-year season ticket holder at the DuPont Theatre in Wilmington. Catherine loved sports, especially football, cheering on her Super Bowl winning Baltimore Ravens. She will leave behind a legacy of placing love for family above all else, in addition to being a devoted and loving mother, grandmother and friend.
In addition to her parents, Catherine was preceded in death by her husband, Michael Iorii. She is survived by her two daughters: Margaret A. Iorii of Rehoboth Beach and Michiele Iorii and her husband James Lima of Fremont, Calif.; two granddaughters, Catherine L. Iorii and Margaret M. Lima; her grand dog, Tripper and her feline companion, Khloe.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, Dec. 14, at 11 a.m., at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, 152 Tulip Drive, Lewes, where friends may visit beginning at 10 a.m.
Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Lewes. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 110 S. Bedford St., Georgetown, DE 19947.