Local woman Catherine William turned 103 years old this month, on Nov. 17. She had a wonderful day surrounded by family and friends, but sadly passed away a few days later, on Nov. 19.
Catherine was born on Nov. 17, 1915. She had four brothers and three sisters, born to parents Eugenie Prince and Alphonse Mattice. She is the only living child of the Mattice family.
She was baptized when she was seven years old, in 1922. Religion was a big part of her life. She always had a good word for people, and would pray for every person, no matter their circumstance.
She is a survivor of Lejac Residential School. She often talked about ‘the play room’, and this was in reference to her times in Lejac.
She was a home care worker for welfare, and she took care of children who were taken from broken homes. She also was the first one in line to volunteer to help search for missing people in any way she could.
She was married for 50 years to Francis William, and together they had six children.
She was a very resourceful woman. She taught herself many skills, from crocheting gloves for her children, to making fishing nets. She loved being a housewife, and was an amazing cook. She loved to go travelling through the back roads. One of her fellow residents at Stuart Lake Hospital in Fort St. James, Sam, said he remembers walking the back roads with Catherine and her husband to go hunting and fishing. His mother Matilda was Catherine’s sister. At the time there were not many vehicles around. Another resident, Aggie, remembers driving her around the back roads in her later years. Catherine loved nature.
Contributed by Northern Health staff.