She was a fearless and fearsomely intelligent woman, a voracious reader, someone who understood the silliness and foolishness of her friends but who was a friend to them all nonetheless.
Last year she brought her terminally-ill former husband, Mark, to live with her so that she could care for him and after he died she plunged back into the work she volunteered to do training the Palm Springs Art Museum's new intake of docents, for the quality of which work she was not only appreciated but widely respected and admired.
That work was then interrupted by pneumonia, but only for long enough for Catherine to recover sufficiently to return to doing what she loved, embracing life through her work and friends, something she was determined illness would not prevent.
Two weeks ago she had a relapse, she was having difficulty breathing and she was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of the Desert Regional Hospital. She seemed to recover somewhat and I visited her there and we talked for what was to be the last time, although as one of her stupider friends I didn't realize that and so I talked about irrelevancies. She didn't. She knew that she might not have long and what she told me was in essence a reinforcement of what those who knew her knew about her: that she lived her life on her own terms and that fear of neither illness nor death would daunt that.
Catherine Tracy was, quite simply, one of the greatest human beings it has been my privilege to know, an incredibly sharp mind melded with an incredibly warm heart, someone who taught anyone with the wit to learn, about Life by the example of how she lived it.