In Memory

Catherine Crowe

Catherine Crowe

Dr. Catherine Anne Vera, age 75, died on Friday, December 14th, 2018 at her daughter’s home in Lawrence, Kansas due to complications of a stroke in November. Catherine was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 31st, 1942 to Lieutenant William Henry Crowe and his wife, Dorothy. She grew up in North Kansas City, was the first student from North Kansas City High to be selected by AFS to study in Argentina, and she graduated from NKH in 1961. She entered Vassar College as the first girl to go directly from North Kansas City High to one of the Seven Sister Schools in the east. She was a bright and energetic student who fell in love with the study of languages, cultures and music, particularly the violin. While studying her junior year abroad with Smith College in Spain, she met Antonio Vera, a native Spaniard, while attending a protestant church in Madrid where he also preached. Catherine and Antonio met in May of 1964, and in September they eloped and were married in Gibraltar. In the mid-1960’s Catherine and Antonio relocated to the United States, where she finished her college degree at UMKC. She received her doctorate in Latin American literature from the University of Missouri at Columbia. In 1974, she began teaching Spanish at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. Anyone taking Spanish at William Jewell College from the mid-seventies to the late 1990’s probably had Catherine--or her husband, Antonio--for Spanish. Many of her former students still fondly remember her energetic teaching style. The Drs. Vera enjoyed having offices next to each other on the ground floor of historic Jewell Hall, and they had amazing memories of taking hundreds of Jewell students on summer study trips to Spain for over two decades. Catherine also enjoyed quilting, cooking, exploring other foreign languages, gardening, and had a knack for finding and enjoying the friendship of Hispanics in the communities in which she lived. Her greatest passion was the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. She is preceded in death by her “everything,” her husband, Antonio, who died in 2006. Catherine is survived by her daughter, Vanessa Vera Eicher; husband, Eric; and grandchildren, Sabrina and Lear, of Lawrence, Kansas. She is also survived by her daughter, Angela Catherine Holthouse; husband, Travis; and grandchildren, Isabel, Atticus, Ántonia, and Dietrich, of Liberty, Missouri. Catherine did not want a funeral; her ashes will be scattered by the sea in a private family ceremony on what would have been her 76th birthday this New Year’s Eve. The family suggests that those wishing to honor her memory consider donating to Bishop Seabury Academy in Lawrence, Kansas, or specifically the Fund for Overseas Scholarship at Bishop Seabury Academy. Catherine absolutely loved her grandchildren’s school, and she wanted to increase opportunities for students to study foreign language and culture abroad. 

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01/01/19 09:44 PM #1    

Gary Ross

I only remember having had one class with her.  6th hour Physics with Mr. Craig.  When he asked for someone to do the Van De Graff generator experiment, kids suggested me with my dry hair.  Cowardly I declined.  She volunteered.  Our yearbook shows she was a class officer. 


01/04/19 09:09 AM #2    

Harold (Hal) Swindell

I knew Catherine through the Methodist Youth Fellowship at the Methodist church in Northtown. The group consisted of Leroy Arnet, John Erickson, Virginia Kindler among others.  She was a very nice person and always friendly. 

01/04/19 01:40 PM #3    

Pat Abbott (Shaw)

I am sorry to say I didn't personally know Catherine but do remember seeing her and she was so pretty. Sorry to hear of her passing but in reading the obit it looks like she had a full and wonderful life and she will be missed by her family.

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