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Cathy ~ A life well lived . . .

By Mark Dudley


Cathy Dudley always cared most about people.  She was a devoted mother, loving wife, passionate volunteer and engaged friend, as well as a successful financial professional.  She grew up as the oldest of three children in South Glastonbury, CT, a suburban community that prided itself on having more horses and cows than people.  She took horseback lessons as a teen, was a brownie and a girl scout, and went to sleep-away summer camp where she learned to sail, paddle a canoe, and shoot a bow and arrow.  In the summer, Cathy swam at the Grange pool and picked blueberries. In the winter she skated at Hopewell pond behind St. Augustine Catholic church, or barricaded herself into her room to finish a “Nancy Drew” mystery or listen to the latest David Cassidy single. 


In college, Cathy took a year abroad in the city of Salzburg, Austria (where “the Sound of Music” was filmed).  She traveled extensively with friends during this year, including Amsterdam, Germany, and Greece.  Later in life, she loved traveling with her family to Hawaii, the Galapagos, France, and Italy.  She loved good food (but not soy products!) and good wine, and visitors to her home were always treated to the best of both.  Returning to the University of Connecticut, Cathy majored in German and Economics, and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree.  She felt strongly that her educational opportunity at UCONN enabled her career path, and later returned to UCONN as a Trustee of The University of Connecticut Foundation, to promote educational opportunities for others. 


After college, Cathy landed a job at the Phoenix in Hartford, CT, where she met her husband, Anthony (Tony) Takazawa.   Cathy and Tony juggled their parallel careers over several years and through CT, NY and into MA, and finally both landed in Boston.   Along the way, they welcomed their son Jack and daughter Eve to the family.   Later as the kids entered public schools, Cathy joined the Foundation for Westwood Education to promote learning outside the classroom.  Cathy soon became Secretary, President-Elect, and then President. 


Cathy was an avid reader, skier, golfer, and hiker.  She loved a good story and had no patience for incompetence or poor manners.  Cathy loved a bargain, and was a regular coupon clipper.  She balanced her checkbook to the penny, but also donated frequently and generously to numerous charities.  In Late Spring 2014, Cathy announced her retirement from Wells Fargo Investment Management. A few months later, in July, 2014, Cathy started to feel symptoms of muscle weakness and imbalance, and shortly thereafter was formally diagnosed with ALS. 


On Thursday, March 12th, 2015 Cathy died at her home in Westwood.  She was 54.  She was surrounded by some of those whom she loved best: her husband, Tony; her son, Jack; her daughter, Eve; her parents, Frederick Dudley, and his wife Bebe, and Gretchen Stella and her dear friend and caregiver, Elizabeth Burke.  Cathy’s long history of service and generosity are in the memories of her many friends and colleagues. She and her family hope to keep her memory alive and serve the needs of those with ALS by providing a lasting memorial in Cathy’s honor.  Donations at Compassionate Care ALS are most appreciated. 

If you want to know more about Cathy, including some stories and pictures from those closest to her, check out the links below.

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