Obituary: Catherine Vuolo Erskine

Catherine Erskine

Catherine Vuolo Erskine, a longtime resident of La Cañada Flintridge, died Friday, Nov. 30, after a long and valiant battle against cancer. She was 59.
Catherine Erskine was active as a parent volunteer in a range of organizations around the community, where she raised four children. In particular, she was a member of the site council at Palm Crest Elementary, responsible for student safety and emergency preparations. Teachers there remember her for her humor, people skills and sly “Mona Lisa smile.”
At La Cañada Presbyterian Church, she was the board chair for the popular Parent Ed program in 2006-07, a transitional year between directors. She also served on the search committee that hired the program’s current director, Anne Bierling.
Catherine was born Dec. 12, 1958, in Brooklyn, New York, to Mike and Charlotte Vuolo. Her father, a pharmacist, moved the family to Hollywood, Florida, near Miami, just as she started school.
As a young journalist, she served as deputy editor of the Hollywood Sun-Tattler food section. She later worked as a mortgage banker and, more recently, as the health clerk at Verdugo Woodlands Elementary in Glendale. At the time of her death, she worked in the human resources department at the South Pasadena Unified School District.
Since 1994, she has been a resident of La Cañada Flintridge, where she also volunteered for Scouts and National Charity League. A devoted mother and an avid cook, she was known for her Italian dishes, as well as the Cajun cuisine she learned when living in New Orleans during her 20s.
She was diagnosed with Stage 4 endometrial cancer in January 2017 and courageously endured a nonstop series of treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy. Her brave journey, chronicled in the Middle Ages column of the Los Angeles Times, was followed by thousands of readers across Southern California.
She is survived by her husband, Chris, and three of her children, Jessica, Emily and Jack, as well as her sisters Carolyn, Stephanie and Nikki. Her oldest son, Christopher, died in a traffic accident in March.
A public memorial will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, 626 Foothill Blvd., with a private reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations go to the Parent Ed Program at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, 626 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011. For information, email Linda@lacanadapc.org or call (818) 790-6708, ext. 230.
Donations may also be made to USC Norris Cancer Center (Please put “Dr. Lynda Roman’s research fund” on the memo line). The address: USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1441 Eastlake Ave., Suite 8302, Los Angeles, CA 90089.

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