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Catherine Jo Witmer

September 15, 1951 October 21, 2018
Catherine Jo Witmer
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Obituary for Catherine Jo Witmer

Catherine Jo Witmer (née Woodhead) passed away on October 21 in Nashville. She was “Cathy” to most, “Mom” to a lucky few, but “Grammy” was her favorite name. Cathy was born on September 15, 1951 in Lansing, MI to Royal Spencer Woodhead Jr. of Brant Lake, NY and Margaret Kathryn Woodhead (née Erb) of Saltsburg, PA.

Cathy moved to Sevierville, TN with her family when she was 18 and became a Southerner. She married Robert “Jerry” Bryan in 1976, and in 1985 they moved to Bergen, Norway for two years, where she learned Norwegian and carted their three children on adventures around Europe. She lived almost a decade in Morgantown, WV before moving back home to East Tennessee.

Cathy earned a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies in 1999 and a Master of Social Work in 2002 (the same year her youngest graduated high school), both from UT Knoxville. She had a passion for working with children and teens and spent many years at Youth Villages helping children and families in crisis. She became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in July 2011. She remarried in January 2005 to her best friend Dale, and they found great joy in their dog children Max, Ender, Ziggy, and Macon.

Cathy met the world with empathy, laughter, and occasionally outrage. She always had a hand to rub a dog’s belly, arms to hold a grandbaby, a good book or TV recommendation, and solid design advice. She believed there should be more whipped cream than pie, that the furniture should be rearranged at least twice a year, and that coffee should be drunk to the last drop. She cried when we cried and laughed when we laughed. She fought until the end but left this world on her terms: surrounded by her loving family.

Cathy is survived by her loving husband of fifteen years, Dale T. Witmer; her children Ann (Sam) Carter, Peter (Natasha Scheuerman) Bryan, and Jesse (Nicholas) Morris; treasured grandchildren Charles, Joseph, Caroline, Benjamin, Henry, Liria, and Finley; brother Robert Leroy Woodhead, his wife Wanda, and niece Meredith Woodhead; mother-in-law Beth Witmer; sister-in-law Eileen (Ben) Rapier and their daughters Natalie and Olivia.

A memorial service will be held at Click Funeral Home in Farragut on on Saturday, October 27 at 1:00, and friends will be received at Dale and Cathy’s home from 3:00-5:00. Memorial donations in memory of Cathy may be made to the Vanderbilt Lung Transplant Patient Assistance Fund. For details, please email

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Previous Events

Celebration of Life




1:00 PM 10/27/2018 1:00:00 PM
Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel

11915 Kingston Pike
Farragut, TN 37934

Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel
11915 Kingston Pike Farragut 37934 TN
United States

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