Catherine Michelle Downey, known to her family as Miêu, was born on January 11, 2007 in Templeton, California. Catherine is the eldest child of Randall Downey and Chau Hoang, and a nurturing sister to her younger brother, JJ. Catherine grew up among a large extended family of great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, with whom she shared countless memories. She loved and was loved by all who met her.
Catherine was the light of her parents’ lives from the day she was born. She and her father shared a love of the outdoors and sports. Together, they went kayaking, fishing, crabbing, ziplining, and even dabbled in archery. Catherine excelled in swimming, wall-ball and volleyball. From her mother, Catherine learned about her Vietnamese heritage and language, and how to avoid getting Asian F’s (aka B’s). She loved dressing up in áo dài to celebrate Tết and Tết Trung Thu. Catherine and her mother enjoyed cooking and baking together. Catherine maintained straight A’s at Moorland Middle School. On Saturdays, she diligently attended Vietnamese and catechism school at St. Lucy.
To JJ, Catherine was more than a sister. She was a fiercely protective second mother and encouraging friend. Catherine patiently guided JJ and watched over him. The two played, studied and did chores together everyday.
Catherine lived vibrantly. She loved music and dancing so much that her feet were never still for long. Together with her family, she visited Disneyland often, one of Catherine’s favorite places on earth. Her adventurous spirit called on Catherine to seek out and embrace new experiences.
Always ready with a brilliant smile and a helping hand, Catherine was a bright light in our family and community. She was generous with her love, welcoming towards new friends, and gave the warmest hugs. Catherine often encouraged her parents to sponsor children at orphanages. She even donated her hair to Locks of Love several times. Her unlimited kindness and compassion led her to befriend new students at school and sincerely care for her classmates and friends.
Catherine passed away on December 15, 2019, leaving a void in our lives and hearts. Catherine is deeply loved and will forever remain in our memories as a kind, talented, adventurous, and vivacious young lady with a smile that continues to shine.
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