Catherine Raab

Oct 8, 1922 – Dec 27, 2016

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Catherine Raab, wife, mother and friend to all died peacefully December 27th having lived a full and robust 94 years. Catherine (Kay) was born October 8, 1922 in St. Paul Minnesota, which she still regarded as the center of the known universe despite the fact she moved to Seattle in 1941. Having just graduated from Saint Catherine’s College in Saint Paul with degrees in Psychology, Spanish and Business, Catherine moved with her family to Seattle where her father supported the war effort working as the Chief Engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad. After the war Kay worked many years at Washington Mutual Bank in Seattle. She met her love, Joseph Raab, the General Manager of Sullivan’s Florist, on a blind date and the two were married January 8, 1955.

After marriage, Kay worked as a Social Sciences Project Manager on several landmark projects at the University of Washington where she met many of her lifelong friends. Kay and Joe created a home where all were welcome. There was always too much food, laughter, great conversation and lots of love. Hearts, Poker, Gin Rummy or other games of skill were frequently played and Kay could shoot the moon before you knew what happened. Later in life she enjoyed playing Rummikub with her many friends at the Saint Joseph Parish center.

If you lived in the Montlake neighborhood you most likely saw Kay on her many walks almost always with a dog at her side. She loved stopping and talking with neighbors and she stayed an active walker and member of the Montlake neighborhood up until her death. Kay would tell stories as only someone with Irish heritage could. 

A lifelong member of Saint Joseph’s Parish, Kay is survived by her daughter Judy Raab, son-in-law Rob Branson and grandson Joe. Her large and loving family includes sister-in-law Pat Derrig, her nieces and nephews Joe and Beth Derrig, Jim and Kelley Derrig, Sarah and Dan Bradley, Molly Derrig, Therese and Marcus von der Hofen, and Matthew, Mark and Suzanne Derrig. Kay’s two brothers, Joe and Jim Derrig predeceased Kay as did her loving husband Joe Raab.

Despite all the new friends, late in life Kay would say she was better acquainted with those in heaven than on earth. Kay is now with her husband, family, old friends, many dogs and our Lord.

There will be a Rosary service in her honor on Thursday, January 19th at 6:30 PM at Bonney-Watson, 1732 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122, and a Memorial Mass on Friday, January 20th, at 11:00 AM at St. Joseph Parish, 732 18th Avenue E., Seattle, WA 98112.  Private inurnment will take place next to her husband, Joe, at Holyrood Cemetery, Shoreline, WA.


Glen Pehling
Marysville , Wa
Feb 25, 2017

I'm sorry for your loss. My sympathy to Joe, Beth and all of the Derrig family.

Jan 9, 2017

I am deeply sorry to hear about the loss of your dear loved one. Please take comfort in the promise from Jehovah at Revelation 21:3-5. It speaks about a time in the near future when all forms of suffering will be no more.

Patty Warme Freeburg
Snohomish, Wa
Jan 8, 2017

Judy, Rob and beloved grandson, Joe,

I've been trying to keep tabs on your mom. Just yesterday, my brother, John said he had seen her not too long ago.

Your mom was such a sweet person. My husband, Tom and I always enjoyed our visits. Kay loved talking about you and especially about Joe. Though I didn't get to see her after she moved, I have such wonderful memories. A few years ago, she gave Tom some starts from a grape plant in her yard. He babies the plants, and maybe someday they will bear enough fruit for a bottle of wine!

Yes, she outlived so many of those she loved. I know that along with your dad, and grandparents, my mom would have been so happy to see Kay again. They must be busy playing Bridge and Rummykub in Heaven. Blessings.

Suzanne Donohue
Cary, NC
Jan 8, 2017

Jay Donohue
Cary, NC
Jan 8, 2017

Auntie Kay was a very special person. I always felt so welcome in her home. Our conversations were always interesting and often full of laughter. Even though I have not had the pleasure of her company for several years, I would often think of her and smile. I will miss her.

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.