Catherine ‘Kitty’ Houghton Obituary

“Kitty left the world an amazing legacy, a standard of generosity, achievement and compassion to which all may aspire.”
Kitty’s family recently issued her obituary, which ran in The San Francisco Chronicle on February 5, 2013.  It will appear in the Boston Globe and a number of other New England papers as well.

The San Francisco Chronicle, February 5th 2013

Catherine Houghton Catherine (Kitty) Houghton, age 70, of Novato, California, passed away suddenly on January 28, 2013, in Littleton, NH. The cause of death was homicide.

A native of Reno, Nevada, she was the daughter of Samuel G. Houghton and Edda K. Morrison. Kitty was a graduate of Saint Mary’s in the Mountains (now known as the White Mountain School) and a member of their Board of Trustees at the time of her passing. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her M. A. and Ph. D. in Linguistics from Stanford University. Kitty served in the Peace Corps, in one of the very first groups to go to Nepal, from 1964-66. She worked as an international officer for Bank of America, and also for DuPont, before joining the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service in 1979, working at embassies all over the world during the course of her twenty-eight year career in public service. She spoke fourteen languages and was fluent in six of them, including Mandarin and Bengali. Following her retirement from the Foreign Service in 2007 she continued to lead a very active life. She sang first alto and served on the board of the Choral Singers of Marin. She served on the board of the Indian Valley Associates homeowners association. A member since 1996 of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, she was membership chairwoman for their Marin chapter. She was working on a film about the Nepali Chapter of the Ninety-Nines at the time of her death. Kitty was a volunteer pilot for Angelflight, which provides free air transport for people with medical needs, and Lighthawk, a non-profit organization providing flight transportation to conservation organizations. She was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ, Scientist, and recently served as First Reader at the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Novato. An avid skier, hiker and musician throughout her life, she remained extraordinarily fit, and enjoyed classical music, world music and theater. Her friends around the world were very important to her and she made regular visits for the purpose of keeping up with them. Kitty left the world an amazing legacy, a standard of generosity, achievement and compassion to which all may aspire.

She is survived by two sisters, Linda Houghton Krantz and her husband Jim Krantz of Portola, CA, and Monica (Niki) Houghton of Washoe Valley, NV; a sister-in-law, Ruth Berry and her husband Graeme Berry, of Dunedin, New Zealand; a step-sister, Judy Nash and her husband Russell Nash of Reno, NV; and several nieces and nephews.
Kitty touched many lives, in many corners of the globe, and all who wish to memorialize her are encouraged to do so in a fashion and at the time appropriate to each.

In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to: The Catherine Houghton Arts Center, The White Mountain School, 371 West Farm Road Bethlehem, NH 03574 or an organization of your choice. Pillsbury-Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Littleton, NH, is assisting the family with arrangements. To view an online memorial or leave a message of condolence please go to

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