Mary Catherine Isdale

Mary Isdale

Mary Catherine “Cathy” Isdale, passed away Thursday, July 14, 2016 after a three year battle with sepsis.  Cathy is at peace now.  She donated her body to Baylor college of medicine.  She felt with all of her health issues including two craniotomies, that medical students might be able to learn from her final donation. 

She was born in Clearwater, FL on September 6, 1933 to Thomas Lane Anderson and Ann (Seyler) Anderson.  Her parents moved to Gainesville, TX when she was about 6 months old.  Cathy Anderson met Joe Isdale in 1959, married and had two children.  She loved Houston, even though she traveled to so many different countries.  However, she really missed living in Madrid, Spain. 

She graduated from Texas Woman’s University in Denton (class of ’55) with a major in Home Economics and a minor in Radio/TV.  Shortly after graduating she had a cooking show in Lubbock, TX on TV. She even had her sister Stella as a guest on air once.  In the last three years, she really enjoyed talking to her sister almost daily.

She came to Unity church after her mother passed away in 1970.  The whole family became members in 1974.  Cathy eventually became a sponsor of the Youth of Unity in 1985.  She enjoyed spending time with her YOU’ers.  A few have remained in contact with her for over 30 years.  She was also a Girl Scout leader and Merit badge counselor for Boy Scouts of America.

She was a lifetime member of Quilt guild of greater Houston and donated many beautiful acts of love and a great amount of time to numerous charities. Recently, Mona and Margie incorporated Mom’s beautiful red work into a quilt that was donated to Quilts of Valor on the 19th.  She completed the red work while recovering from surgeries, before her eye sight got worse.  Prior to 2013, she won awards for her beautiful quilts and a picture of her tribute to 9/11 was published in the book "America from the Heart - Quilters remember September 11, 2001".

She worked as a Bookkeeper for many years for many businesses, she enjoyed working for the March of Dimes.  She always made many friends.  She was an avid reader as well.  In fact, she would always have long discussions with Joe after they read the same articles to discuss their different perspectives.  One book she enjoyed was Thorn birds and then the TV movie with Richard Chamberlain.  She would spend hours reading and if the book was good, she would not put it down until it was done.  She passed on her love of reading to her children and grandchildren.

Cathy taught quilting, crochet and cooking privately and thru the Houston Community College.  She was a regular guest on the Marie Calendar show, showing off her many crochet clothes and recipes.  She had her own restaurant at 5555 West Loop South in the late 70’s named “Cathy’s Snack Bar”.  She had a different special every day of the week and every morning she would pick up fresh po-boy buns for her popular sandwiches.   She had a talent for reproducing recipes by taste, from her famous stuffed bell peppers for my Dad to her flaming bananas for my Grandmother (when we lived in Spain).

Cathy is survived by her son, Thomas Isdale; daughter, Ann Isdale; grandchildren, Anderson Isdale and Connor Kubes, her sister, Stella Fail and husband Charles Fail; her nephews, Greg & Keith Fail and her brother, Angus Anderson; and her cousin and close friend, Becky Edwards (who also shared a love of quilting).

A Memorial Service will be held 2:00 P.M., Friday July 29th at the Pyramid at Unity Church, 2929 Unity Drive, Houston, TX  77057. Pictures of Cathy's beautiful quilts & family can be viewed at  If you would like to have pictures added, please send to