Catherine L. (Kearney) Squires

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April 9, 1941 – August 3, 2021

Catherine L. Squires passed away on August 3rd at home in Winters with her family. Born in Sacramento, she was the fourth child of Lawrence C. Kearney and Helen A. Bieganowski Kearney. Catherine grew up in Citrus Heights, attending Sylvan Elementary School and San Juan High School. Important to her early education were extended visits to the dairy ranch of her Aunt and Uncle, Minerva and Charles Kearney, in the Yolo Bypass south of Davis, and to her grandfather’s chicken ranch in Truckee. Playing and working with cousins on the ranch, as well as everyday life in semi-rural Citrus Heights gave her a lifelong appreciation of nature and agriculture that strongly influenced the path she subsequently followed. In an autobiographical article entitled “It Came from Chicken Water” she described how as a school project she took water samples from her father’s chicken coop to school to show and tell. Microscopic examination of the samples set her on a life-long quest, first to microbiology and then to a 40-year study of how living cells make their proteins. Cathy attended UC Davis, earning a B.A. in Bacteriology (1963) and a M.A. in Microbiology (1967). She met and married her husband Craig at UC Davis, and they went on to UC Santa Barbara where she continued her studies and received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (1972). Cathy and Craig then went to Stanford University, where she was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1972-1974). She was Assistant Professor of Biology and Biochemistry at Dartmouth (1974-1977), moving to Columbia University in 1977 becoming Professor of Biology there (1987-1994). In 1994 she was appointed Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Molecular Biology & Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine serving until her retirement from Tufts in 2007. She completed her teaching and research career as Visiting Professor at Stanford University (2007-2009). She was in addition a guest or visiting Professor at several institutions: University of Copenhagen (1981, 1984 & 1990), City University of New York (1989), UCSF Medical Center (1993), and Stanford University (2003). Cathy was a member of the Scientific Research Honor Society, Sigma Xi; American Association for the advancement of Science; American Society for Microbiology; worked on site visits and grant reviews for National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation; served on the editorial boards of Journal of Bacteriology (1985-2002) and Microbiological Reviews (1986-1992) becoming Editor (1992-1995) and Editor in Chief (1995-2000) of the latter publication. She was widely published as author of numerous research publications and reviews. Cathy retired to Winters in 2009 and often remarked she was reliving her childhood, among her many relatives, friends, animals and fruit trees. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Craig, brother Thomas E. Kearney, sons and their spouses, Sean and Dorene, Ciaron and Juri, and her grandchildren Caitlin and Aidan. No services are planned at this time.

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