Her life was a blessing, her memory a treasure, she was loved beyond words and will be missed beyond measure.
  • 66 years old
  • Born on August 6, 1951 in Hong Kong.
  • Passed away on August 16, 2017 in North Carolina, United States.

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Catherine Mair-Nikiforow, 66, born on August 6, 1951, and passed away on August 16, 2017. Please add your memories and photos to share with us. We will remember her forever.

A Message from Catherine’s Sister:

Catherine is the kind of person that lit up a room when she walked into it.

She was my older sister, by 11 months, so for one month every year, we were the same age. We were very close when we were growing up....at least until she turned 13....for a few years I was much more of an annoyance to her in our teenage hood!

Her life was, for the most part very glamorous. At 18 she became a successful model and was even Miss Australia at one point. She worked hard at the things she loved doing and allowed others to do the things she didn't care to do. She was a Lady after all. She was eloquent, still retaining her unmistakable English accent after more than 20 years in the U.S.

Many will know her for her unequivocal devotion to her beloved English Cocker Spaniels. She was well known on the showing circuit and had bred some outstanding dogs, even visiting Crufts in 2000. I will leave the finer details of this segment of her life to those that know best.

Catherine's personal life was very complex and at times heartbreaking. The old saying comes to mind "Men (or women) of force are men (or women) of faults". Life is complicated at the best of times and it's difficult to understand why we make the decisions we do. Why we hurt those that we love......we all do it. In hindsight, we are here on this planet to learn certain lessons, how we do that, is a topic all on its own. Catherine wanted more time, she wanted time to right the wrongs. Make amends, heal old wounds. Her time ran out before she was able to do that. I just pray that anyone who needs to can find the "The peace that passes understanding".

Although we became incredibly close in the last 20 years, there is a lot of her life that I don't know about. This is due to the fact that we both traveled immensely for the previous 20 or so years......before the days of mobile phones, Internet, WhatsApp, and Facebook. Busy with life and basically just 'checking in' as the years slipped by. I'm hoping there will be those of you who would like to contribute and 'fill in the gaps, so to speak'.

One thing I do know is that Catherine amassed a great deal of friends wherever she was. This was apparent when the news of her passing was announced on Facebook. Really, the only way to reach everyone who cared about her.

We were not able to have a funeral service for Catherine in Nth. Carolina. I have instead brought her ashes home to England as this was her wish. For now, we would like this memorial page to be a place where you can leave your comments, stories, photos etc. to be a part of acknowledging this very special person who meant so much to so many. 

Would really love to see some photos of Catherine with her beloved ENGLISH COCKER SPANIELS if there are those of you who can contribute I would love to see some pictures and stories from you. Her dogs are a big part of her Legacy. Thank you. 

Posted by Meredith Slawe on 2nd May 2018
Met her because we adopted one of her beautiful and loving English cocker spaniels after she fell ill. Catherine was so caring about her dogs -- it was plainly obvious to me. She was warm and kind and I truly enjoyed getting to know her over a two-day period in 2016. May her memory be a blessing to all.
Posted by Elaine Lynda Mair on 28th October 2017
The little time that I spent with Catherine was very lovely I think that she was really inspiring and quite crazy but in a great way!! Milana Thijssen
Posted by Elaine Lynda Mair on 28th October 2017
Catherthine was so full of life and always keen to say what was on her mind! You are missed, rest in peace. Arielle Thijssen <3
Posted by Julia Takahashi on 20th September 2017
I didn't know Catherine personally but just wanted to share some encouraging words with you. From what I read it seems like she had a very full life surrounded by many friends. When you mentioned peace that surpasses understanding it reminded me of a scripture in Philippians 4:6,7 there it shows that God can give us this type of peace. Take comfort in knowing she is now at rest and we look forward to the time when Revelation 21:3,4 will come true. Until then deepest sympathy- Julia
Posted by Munene Njeru on 10th September 2017
God rest soul in eternal peace
Posted by Marie Ledoux on 4th September 2017
I first met Catherine while she was living in Texas. We would see each other at the dog shows and shared a room a few times both then and in later years when we both traveled to the same place due to our shared love of dogs. I was aware of her challenges and am a breast cancer survivor myself. I am so saddened that she was taken too soon. She will be missed.
Posted by Annette Stover on 3rd September 2017
I had a beautiful butterfly land on my outdoor table yesterday and it just sat there looking at me, i walked over and laid my finger down by it and it crawled onto my finger. This made me smile and I spoke to it as if it were you. I just kept saying I know it's you and thank you for coming by for a visit. Oh sweet Catherine I miss you so so much there isn't a day that goes by I don't think about you. Please stop by again I will take whatever I can get from you. I love you my friend
Posted by Michael Thijssen on 3rd September 2017
I would like add a piece in tribute to my extraordinary Aunt who taught me an important life lesson and . And was a positive roll model of how to be a Genuine human being ..tho she often spoke her mind and many either loathed or respected her.. there isn't much dispute of what she stood for! And i very much believe... she had the "super power" of materialising what ever she envisioned.. and the lesson I will remember most is do and be your true to self don't ever worry bout what others think of you :) I salute you for your brilliant mind and you will always be loved remembered thank you for impacting my life RIP aunt Cathy
Posted by Ellen Goldman on 2nd September 2017
I knew Catherine through our mutual love of English Cocker Spaniels. Catherine and I were together at Crufts, 2000. We both loved the solid red and the solid black English Cockers of the "English type", and as we sat ringside at Crufts, and the English Cockers began to enter the ring, we were both brought to tears by their beauty. This, only another English Cocker lover will be able to understand. Catherine was fun-loving as well, and we had many laughs over afternoon teas and pub dinners while we were in Birmingham and London. I will always remember my time with Catherine on that trip. She left us too soon, and we will all miss her....
Posted by Mary Rutterford on 2nd September 2017
Thank you Antonia for your kind words for my sister. Catherine always spoke so highly of the nurses who cared for her . You all must be awesome angles. Thank you for your care from myself and our family , we miss her very much
Posted by Elaine Lynda Mair on 1st September 2017
A Robin came to my garden this morning......and I smiled, I'd been waiting.....! I picked up a couple bird feeders and some energy balls on my way home and now they're hanging up and waiting for the birds to return. My tribute for you Catherine, the one for today anyway. Everyday I think of you and the things we were able to do together, and the things we didn't get around to doing.
Posted by Antonia Cormier on 1st September 2017
Remembering your smile,the gratitude and kindness you shared with those around you. It touched my heart how you greeted everyone by name,knowing it made them feel special to be singled out for your generous appreciation. You made a point of complimenting each nurse who took care of you. Every person met you with smiles and returned the warmth and friendship that you cultivated wherever you were. I will always remember the shining example you set in the face of adversity. You will be missed and remembered fondly.
Posted by Shawn DeLorey on 31st August 2017
Catharine de Lacy and I are among those who knew Catherine thru her devotion to English Cockers - two of them, our beloved Duncan and Cassidy, enriched our lives for 17 and 15 years respectively. When we first approached Catherine about acquiring one of her cockers we knew from the start it would be a lasting friendship and bond. You're right - she lit up a room (what a great description of her!), was fiercely protective of her animals and made sure they would have great homes, and boy was she a lot of fun to hang around with. We visited her occasionally in NH, but sadly had not seen her since she moved to NC, although we kept in touch via email & facebook. We have been praying for her regularly since we learned of her diagnosis - like most people, our families too have suffered thru the tragedy of having loved ones succumb to cancer - its such a horrid disease. We moved to Charlotte NC just 3 weeks ago and had promised each other we would see if we could visit her sometime in September - sadly we will never get that chance and we regret that very much. However we take great comfort in knowing that our Duncan & Cassidy as well as so many other of her dogs were there to greet her in the meadow by the Rainbow Bridge when she arrived - we hope all of you will be comforted by that as well. We'll keep Catherine and all of you in our thoughts & prayers. God Bless. Shawn & Catherine
Posted by Annette Stover on 31st August 2017
Oh where to begin? You were my best friend for the few years that we had together. I will be forever grateful to our mutual friend Tam for bringing us together. Our real estate life was the best anyone could ever ask for. We made a great team and I am sure I will never find another like you, You made me a better person for sure! Thank you Catherine for all the fun times, you were the most honest friend I've ever had, thank you for always being you. I will treasure all our conversations, laugh and crazy talks. I will miss you so so much and you my friend will live forever in my heart. Anyone that knows you understands what I'm saying about you and feels the same. You never met a stranger and all that met you fell in love with you.. I have so many wonderful memories of you and I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of your life right to the very end. Rest easy my friend and fly high and proudly you deserve it! I could go on and on about what I love about you but, I won't. Thank you for introducing me to your beautiful sister Lynda and your son Matthew. I believe they will be in my life for a life time. Love you forever and a day my friend Love Annette Stover
Posted by Mary Rutterford on 30th August 2017
Wish I had more time with you my love , missing our chats so very much . No more pain for you now your in the hands of God . Love alway my beautiful sister
Posted by Elaine Lynda Mair on 30th August 2017
Thinking of you always, miss you like crazy. I'm so thankful you are no longer in pain now finally at Peace. Will love you forever and always. Lynda

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