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Official Obituary of

Catherine "Kate" A. Downie-Gombach

January 15, 1936 ~ March 11, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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Catherine "Kate" Downie-Gombach Obituary

Catherine Downie-Gombach

Lorain-Catherine Downie-Gombach, 88, passed away on Monday, March 11, 2024 at Ames Family Hospice in Westlake, OH.

Today we gather not in sorrow, but in celebration of the life of a most extraordinary servant of the Lord, Catherine Downie-Gombach, who walked this earthly realm with grace, compassion, and an unwavering faith. Born on January 15, 1936 in Lorain, Ohio, Catherine was a beacon of His divine light until her peaceful transition to eternal glory on Monday, March 11, 2024. in Westlake, Ohio.

Catherine embarked upon her educational journey with fervent zeal, St. Mary's and graduating from Notre Dame Academy in Cleveland, Ohio in 1953. She was a lifelong learner, a seeker of wisdom, who furthered her studies with a Masters of Education at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and a Masters in Theology at John Carroll University. Her thirst for knowledge was a testament to her commitment to serve the Lord and His children.

In 1957, Catherine answered her divine calling as a teacher for the catholic schools, nurturing young minds until 1985. She was a Certified Pastoral Minister, a Pastoral Ministry Associate from 1981 until 1983, and a devoted member of the Sisters of Notre Dame, entering the community at the tender age of seventeen in 1953. She professed her first vows in 1955 and her final vows in 1960. Her dedication to God's work was unwavering, yet in 1985, she heard a different call and left the community to continue her ministry in new capacities.

Catherine's journey of faith led her to become a Campus Minister at St. Joseph Academy in Rocky River from 1986 until 1991, and a Theology teacher at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio, from 1991 until her retirement in 1999. Her marriage to Anton L. Gombach on November 2, 1996, was a celebration of love and partnership in service to the Lord.

Her spirit was a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of devotion and joy. Catherine was an active member of St. Peter Parish in Lorain and St. Joseph Parish in Amherst, where she served as a volunteer lector and eucharistic minister. She extended her hands to those in need through the food pantry and St. Augustine dinners, embodying the very essence of Christ's teachings. Her love for crafts, music, and dance infused her ministry with a jubilant energy that resonated with all who were blessed to cross her path.

Let us rejoice, for Catherine lived a life rich in purpose and love, touching the hearts and souls of countless individuals. Her legacy is a mosaic of faith, education, and service—a life that mirrored the parables of our Savior, teaching us to sow seeds of kindness wherever we may go.

As we bid farewell to Catherine Downie-Gombach, let us carry forth her light within us. May her soul, now in the loving embrace of our Heavenly Father, continue to inspire us to walk in faith, serve with compassion, and love without boundaries. 

She was preceded in death by her loving parents, Hugh Joseph and Catherine Mary(nee Krautter) Downie, loving husband of 9 years, Anton “Tony” Gombach; brothers, Hugh F. (Eileen) Downie and Fred Downie; sister, Eileen Minnich; brother in law, Hal Minnich; sister in law, Patty Zarzycki and Cathy Gombach; and nephews, Mike Gombach and Joseph Downie.

Catherine is survived by her sisters, Marge (Bob) Leghart of Amherst, Laura (Frank) Leon of Lorain, and Rosemary (Tom) Hesmond of Avon; sister in law, Sharron Downie; step-daughters, Andrea Quinn and Michelle (Dave) Neisler; brother in law, Tom Gombach; and grandchildren, Adelaie Quinn, Liam Quinn, Evan Neisler, and Morgan (Michell) Lockwood; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105, Sisters of Notre Dame USA at 13000 Auburn Rd. Chardon, OH 44024, the Alzheimer’s Association at 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601, or a charity of the donors choice.

Catherine’s family will receive family and friends at St. Joseph Parish, 200 St Joseph Dr, Amherst, OH 44001 on Saturday, April 13, 2024 from 9:00 AM until the time of the Memorial Mass at 10:00 AM, Fr. Rev. Timothy J. O'connor, officiating. A private Christian Burial will take place at a later date at Calvary Cemetery in Lorain, OH. Online condolences and gifts of sympathy may be shared with the family by using

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April 13, 2024

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church
200 St. Joseph Drive
Amherst, OH 44001

Memorial Mass
April 13, 2024

10:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church
200 St. Joseph Drive
Amherst, OH 44001

Private Interment

Calvary Cemetery
555 N. Ridge Rd. W.
Lorain, OH 44053


Alzheimer's Association

Church of Donor's Choice

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856

Sisters of Notre Dame USA
13000 Auburn Rd., Chardon OH 44024


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