Catharine Westlake


5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, May 2, 2024
Lawrence Funeral Home
2119 Boston Post Road
Darien , Connecticut, United States

Celebration of Life

10:00 am
Friday, May 3, 2024
St Lukes Episcopal Church
1864 Post Rd
Darien, Connecticut, United States

Obituary of Catharine Johnston Westlake

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Catharine Johnston Westlake passed away peacefully on April 26, 2024, at Stamford Hospital in CT, shortly after turning 88.  She was born Catharine Howard Johnston, on April 6, 1936, to Howard Andrews Johnston and Dorothy Perkins Johnston in Jamestown, NY, where she was raised and was valedictorian commencement speaker at Jamestown High School. She graduated from Smith College in the Class of 1958, majoring in Art, her lifelong passion.  She was predeceased by her first husband Harry Wayne Morgan, with whom she shared two children, and her second husband Peter Harry Westlake.   


In the early 1960’s, Catharine helped establish the World Press Institute in Saint Paul, MN.  In the 1970’s, she opened Westlake Gallery in White Plains, and raised her two boys in Chappaqua, NY.  From 1990 until recently, she lived in Deansboro, NY, near Hamilton College and the town of Clinton, and in Forestport, NY, in the beauty of the Adirondack Park.  In 2022, she moved to Darien, CT, to be near her sons and their families.  


Catharine was a professional artist, and her work was featured in hundreds of gallery shows and competitions, winning numerous awards.  She continued to paint until her final trip to the hospital.  Catharine was also active in print and broadcast journalism, working at WVIP Radio in Mt. Kisco, NY, and the Clinton Courier in Clinton, NY.  


After generations of family vacationing in Cape May, NJ, for the last forty-five years Catharine vacationed on Block Island, RI each summer with a growing family, and her ashes will be scattered there this summer.  She loved the bluffs, the dunes, the ocean, the tide-pools, the seabirds and combing the beach for seashells, especially orange jingle shells. 


She is survived by her immediate family, all of Darien, CT: her son Howard DeWitt Morgan, his wife Ginger Reed Morgan and their children Reed Johnston Morgan, Andrew DeWitt Morgan and Catharine “Catie” Carol Morgan; her son Christopher “Kip” Bryan Morgan, his wife Marie Resnansky Morgan and their children Kylie Margaret Morgan, William “Will” Harrison Morgan and Penelope “Pippa” Anna Morgan.  She was predeceased by her brother Darwin Perkins Johnston and survived by his wife Pat Johnston, nephew Greg and niece Catie.  


Catharine loved Christmas, bringing joy and endless gayly-wrapped gifts to generations and forging lasting family traditions, for Christmastime and many other seasons and occasions.  She was an avid reader and longtime member of the Monday Club in Clinton, NY, the oldest “reading club” in New York State, founded in 1892.  She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was helping complete documentation for the Mayflower Society, with ancestor John Howland.  


Catharine recently celebrated over half her 88 years of life in sobriety and fellowship with AA.  She also loved her many cats, numbering over a dozen, in her many years.  Her most recent cat passed only weeks ago. 


Catharine was a member of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien.  As was her long-time wish, she will be seen off in a bright orange casket.


Visitation will be on Thursday May 2nd from 5pm to 8pm, at the Lawrence Funeral Home, 2119 Boston Post Road, Darien, CT.


A celebration of Catharine’s life and funeral service will be held on Friday May 3rd at 10am, at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1864 Post Road, Darien, CT, with a reception to follow. The event will take place in the Anderson Youth and Community Center in the back of the property, where Catharine regularly attended the Sunday 5p CAYA (come as you are) services with her family.  Guests are encouraged to wear orange, pink and other bright colors.  The event will be live streamed. Contact the family for a direct link with or access via


In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Catharine may be sent to:


Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization 


Block Island Conservancy 


Kirkland Art Center

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