Catherine A. Hastings, 68, passed away on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at Hospice & Community Care after being diagnosed with ALS in May 2019. Born in Frankfort, Germany, she was the daughter of the late Edgar A. and Myra Swinford Hastings and the wife of Robert E. Useller of East Petersburg, PA.
Cathy graduated from Florida State University, College of Social Sciences, where she received her BA degree summa cum laude, and from Purdue University, where she earned both her Master of Science (MS) and PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. She was an Assistant Professor for the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. While there, she served as Treasurer for the Kansas Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and for 2 years as a consultant with an organization designing creative problem-solving approaches for Fortune 500 companies. Cathy was coordinator of the Family Therapy, Child & Adolescent Unit at York Hospital, York, PA from 1986-1991. She worked at F&M College as Associate Director and Counselor for the Student Counseling Services from 1991-1996. She served as a Clinical Therapist of couples and marriage therapy for the Samaritan Counseling Center. Most recently, she maintained an independent couples, individual and family therapy practice in Lancaster from 2007 to 2019 when she retired.
Throughout her career, Cathy was a champion for her chosen profession. She served on the national board of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), where she was a clinical supervisor and instructor. She also served on the state board of the Pennsylvania Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (PAMFT) and helped to secure legislation for licensure of marriage and family therapists in the commonwealth.
A published author in her field, Cathy extended her reach beyond those colleagues who already knew of her insight, intelligence and compassion. A true advocate for professional growth and self-care, she was always willing to offer encouragement, provide support, and share resources with her peers.
For over 30 years, Cathy demonstrated a genuine interest in helping individuals, couples and families grow and heal in her therapy practices. Regardless of their presenting problem, scores of grateful clients benefitted from her safe and trusting style, her empathic and positive approach, her gentle and thoughtful questions, and her caring and hopeful direction. The counseling community, one and all, both admired Cathy for her wisdom and loved her for her kindness.
Outside of work, Cathy was equally committed to helping others, simply because she believed it was the right thing to do. With apparent ease, she uplifted those she met, spreading love and joy along her path. She began each day with Bob on a morning run and carried that energy throughout her days. When diagnosed with ALS, she confronted it with the same determination and perseverance that allowed her to complete several marathons, including the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC, twice.
Though ultimately Cathy lost her battle to the disease, she took her last breath with Bob by her side and peace in her heart.
Her family and friends, and indeed everyone whose lives she touched, will always remember her grace and beautiful spirit.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her brother, Gregory Hastings (Beth), Franklin, TN and many cousins and nieces and nephews.
A private Celebration of Life Service will be held at The Groffs Family Funeral Home. The family wishes to make available a live webcast of the service starting on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. that can be found at https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/92285405
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Catherine's name may be made to ALS Research at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Checks should be made payable to Penn State University – ALS Center, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, (RESEARCH), Department of Neurology, EC 037, 30 Hope Drive, Hershey, PA 17033 or Samaritan Counseling Center, 1803 Oregon Pike Lancaster, PA 17601 or Hospice & Community Care, 685 Good Drive, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125.
Please visit Cathy's Memorial Page at: