Obituary of Catherine M. Douress
Catherine Moriarity Douress, 92, of Berlin NJ, passed away peacefully on Nov. 5, 2021, at the home of her eldest daughter, Cassie. She was the wife of the late Joseph F. Douress; they were married 61 years. Throughout her life, Catherine was a loving wife, a caring mother and an adoring grandmother and great-grandmother. She dedicated her life to God, her family, and her music.
The daughter of Irish immigrants, Catherine was born in Princeton NJ, on Sept. 28, 1929. She was a resident of Berlin NJ for 58 years before relocating to Hammonton in 2015. She started formal piano lessons while in the fourth grade and began playing in public at her eighth-grade graduation. Her four years at Princeton High School provided great opportunities to improve her musical skills. She played in the orchestra and accompanied the school choir at concerts. A local resident started a college scholarship in her behalf, and she enrolled at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, where she majored in organ and minored in voice and piano. While at Westminster, she became organist and director of the choir at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Trenton, NJ. It was there that she met and dated a choir member, Joseph Douress, who she married in 1954.
Early in their marriage, Catherine traveled across the U.S. with Joe, who was in the Navy. They both sang in the church choir in Sturgeon Bay, WI, and she played the organ for Masses in the Navy chapel in New Orleans, LA. They settled in Berlin in 1957 and raised seven children there. After the family became a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OLMC) parish, she began playing the organ and subsequently became Music Director. She was organist at OLMC for more than 50 years. She also played at the Methodist and Episcopal churches in Berlin. Catherine taught piano lessons in the Camden County area and she volunteered at the St. Vincent DePaul Society Thrift Store in Berlin.
Catherine had a great sense of humor and an encyclopedic knowledge of classical music. She greatly enjoyed and dearly loved her very large family. Surviving are seven children, 24 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Beloved mother of Kathleen (John) Iacovelli, Theresa (Bruce) Morris, Deborah (Robert, Sr.) Foster, Patricia (Anthony, Sr.) Murphy, Joseph (Maureen) Douress, Thomas (Nancy) Douress, Dennis (Caryn) Douress. A son, James Peter, predeceased her.
Dear grandmother of John, Joanna, Nicole (Meyers) Iacovelli; Sean, Christian, Shannon (Kleinwolterink), Chelsie, Carey Morris; Bobby, Kelly, Jared, Andrew Foster; Anthony, Jr., Katie (Lanzavecchia), Amber Murphy; Joseph, Megan (Gudknecht), Mandy, Sarah Douress; Dana Douress and Juliann (Sewell); Ryan, Shane, Brittney Douress. Loving great-grandmother of Isaac, Jake, Catherine, Ethan, Jordyn, Madison, Elijah, Remy, Luke, Lily, Sidney, Kaitlin, Michael, Sean, Brock, Casey, Madison, Aria, Kenzi, Dempsey, Summer and Brynn.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend her viewing on Tuesday November 9th, from 10:30AM to 12:00PM at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, St. Simon Stock Parish, 178 W. White Horse Pike, Berlin NJ 08009. Mass of Christian Burial 12:00PM. Interment Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Berlin NJ. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Sean M. Morris Benefit, c/o Joseph Douress, 1010 Cornwallis Dr., Easton, PA 18040, would be appreciated. Arrangements under the direction of the COSTANTINO-PRIMO FUNERAL HOME, BERLIN NJ. To leave lasting condolences or photos, please use the links on this page.