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Katherine (Katie) Ann Maus McDonough, PhD, age 89, went to be with her Creator on September 15, 2023. Katie was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph (Joe) in 2012, son James Donald (Jim) in 2001, her parents Adelaide (Linnemann) Maus and Joseph Richard Maus and her brothers Donald (in the Korean Conflict), Joseph and Cyrin Maus. Katie is survived by a brother Jim Maus and by three of her four children: Katie Joe McDonough (Mike Blaskowski) of Pine, CO, Francie Allen (Mike) of Buena Vista, CO, and Joe McDonough III (Lori) of San Antonio, TX, and daughter-in-law Greta McDonough (Jim), deceased) of Woodstock, GA.
Katie and Joe’s Legacy of Love and Learning shines on in their 14 grandchildren: Peter (Deborah), Clare, Stephen (Adrian), Joe IV (Amber), Timothy (Heidi) DJ, Liam (Katie), Jacob (Maggie), Sean, Helen, Evan, Neil (Shayla), Meg and Mary. Great-grandma Katie also bragged on her 11 great-grandchildren: Joseph V., Jonah, Juliet, Eliza, Patrick, Levi, David, Andrew, Cyprian, Susanna and William.
Katie was born on October 25, 1933 in Erlanger, Kentucky, where she grew up as the only daughter of five children. Katie spent her childhood in rural Kentucky living in town (where her father was a postman) and also on a farm where the family grew tobacco and LOTS of kale and potatoes. These crops held up well to the heat of Kentucky summers and the hogs loved them. Katie recalls peeling pounds and pounds of potatoes daily to feed her farm-laborer brothers—and never cared much for kale, potatoes or pork.
Katie’s adventurous spirit emerged early—one day riding the bus home from work (her first job after high school was for an insurance company, which she was already finding boring and dead-end), she saw an ad for a nursing school. Katie got off the bus at the next stop and walked into the school for an interview, where she was accepted on the spot. She earned her nursing degree at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating (where she learned she was the highest scoring graduate) Katie began her life’s mission of caring for the underprivileged by working as an ob-gyn nurse in some of the poorest counties in Appalachia . Her best friend and nursing school buddy, Mary McDonough, convinced Katie to go on a blind date with Mary’s brother Joe. It was a fortuitous event for both. Katie and Joe married on August 10, 1957 and moved to Bryan, Texas for Joe to attend graduate school at Texas A&M. After graduation Katie and Joe followed Joe’s career, moving several times around Texas before settling with their four children in Amarillo. On the ‘Amarillo farm’ the family grew lots of vegetables (except kale) and an oddball collection of horses, pigs, cows, goats, chickens, pheasants, and peacocks. Katie began her long career in social work by first volunteering to fold clothing donations at Catholic Family Service, Inc. in Amarillo, eventually becoming Director. She worked 27 years with the CFS and while raising the family, also found time to serve on school boards, run for City Commissioner and serve as the Diocese’s first woman vicar of social ministries (a position traditionally held by priests).
Katie and Joe continually sought adventure by teaching their young family to sail on Lake Meredith (ahem, prevailing winds blow-down lake…), hike in Palo Doro Canyon, and backpack and climb mountains every summer in Colorado. Katie then followed her heart and went back to college, earning a PhD in Social Work Administration from UT-Arlington. Katie and Joe moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1991 for Katie to take a teaching position in the
School of Social Work at NM Highlands University. Katie taught Social Work courses in Research, Policy, and Administration for over 15 years,where she, where (as the many awards and letters accumulated in dusty corners of her office attest) she was a dedicated, beloved teacher and researcher. Katie retired from NMHU in 2006 as Joe’s health declined. Katie and Joe celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2007 with friends and family at the Pendaries Chapel.
Katie tirelessly endeavored to show everyone she met the same unconditional love that Jesus gives to all of us. During and after retirement from NMHU, Katie continued her life’s work helping the impoverished, hungry, and unrepresented through Samaritan House, Inc. and she and Joe advocated for neglected and abused children/youth through CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Ultimately Katie served on the Board of these two organizations and oversaw many roles. With regret, Katie resigned from these Boards just a few months before she died, but continued to pray for them until her passing.
Katie’s family is especially grateful to Rose Gallegos, Cathy Bustamante, Amanda Looper, Dennis Griego and Cat Padilla, who lovingly cared for Katie through the end of her life and will bear her urn into the church as one more symbol of their tender care. We also thank Emma, Shirley, and the rest of the Ambercare hospice team for their knowledge and compassion.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 11, 2023 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church beginning with a eulogy at 9:20 am and the Mass at 10:00.am The Mass will be livestreamed at https://oloslasvegas.org/ beginning at 9:55 am. Cremation has taken place and inurnment will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery following the Mass on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Katie’s favorite non-profits: 1) Samaritan House, Inc., (www.lvsamaritan.org, 501 7th Street, Las Vegas, NM 87701, Attention: George Lyon, (505)454-1390., 2) CASA (CASA 4th Judicial District, P. O. Box 1495, Las Vegas, NM 87701) 3) NMHU Foundation, Box 9000, Ls Vegas, NM 87701 (https://nmhufoundation.org/give)
Please add “In Memory of Dr. Katie McDonough” to check memo or comments if giving online.