Dr. Catherine May Harris, born October 22, 1928, in Kansas City, Missouri to Josephine (Duncan) and Charles Neighbor passed into the light on Friday, August 26th at the age of 93. She was at home in Placitas, New Mexico in the loving arms of her daughters, Catherine Anne Harris, and Norah Elizabeth Harris.
Catherine May grew up in Iola, Kansas and attended nurse training at the University of Kansas School of Nursing. After working as a hospital nurse in Chicago and San Francisco, Catherine joined the Air Force in 1953 and served as an active-duty nurse for 3 years in Chateauroux, France. She continued to serve her country in the USAF Reserves for 12 years. She was discharged a captain and was proud of the country she served. After discharge, she spent a year studying music in Boston at the New England Conservatory of Music and then moved to San Francisco where she worked as a public health nurse while earning her baccalaureate and master’s degrees at University of California School of Nursing. She later moved to New Mexico and became a professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico School of Nursing, eventually earning her PhD in Nursing Education. Catherine was dedicated to to the field of geriatric mental health and pioneered education to support professionals and families in providing dignified care for patients of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Catherine loved the natural world, music, and family. She was generous with her time, words, and loving support. Her smile could light up the sky. She is preceded in death by her two big brothers, Charles Henry Neighbor and Howard Duncan Neighbor. She is survived by her two daughters, Catherine Anne Harris and Norah Elizabeth Harris, her stepsons, Peter Gerald Harris and David Lee Harris, her two step-grandsons, Samuel David Harris and Lee Spencer Harris, and her beloved dog, Blue.
Services will be held at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church on September 17, 2022 at 11am. It will be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Friends of Bosque del Apache, the Alzheimer’s Association (NM Chapter), and the Santa Fe Opera.