Catherine Ann Shirk

Catherine Ann Shirk

Catherine Ann Shirk, 75, of East Earl, died peacefully with her family by her side at LGH after a short illness. She had many health challenges and surgeries over the years. Born in Williamsport, she was the daughter of the late Paul and Bessie (Gauntner) Holmberg.

Surviving is her husband of 54 years, William J. Shirk, sons, James Shirk, wife Stephanie, East Earl and John Shirk, wife Molly, Redmond, Washington, grandchildren- Samantha Shirk, Sarah Shirk, Pvt. Luke Shirk, a sister, Jeanne Fry, Dale (deceased), Montoursville, and two sisters-in law, Marie Walton, Dane (deceased), her companion Frank Myers, Lititz, and Philena Holmberg, (wife of brother Russell), Greensburg along with many beloved nieces and nephews and their children.

She was preceded in death by her brothers, Russell Holmberg and Raymond Holmberg and his wife Joan.

Cathy graduated as Valedictorian from Greater Gallitzin Joint High School in 1965 and then worked for Penn State Extension in Hollidaysburg. She retired after working as a secretary at the Caernarvon Elementary school for 29 years.

She was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in New Holland. She was very active with her church where she served as a eucharistic minister and enjoyed her book club and bible study groups.

Cathy loved watching her grandchildren grow into adults. She supported them in their many activities in and out of school. She especially liked watching them play in many sports and did not miss many home games for any of them and made it to a lot of away games. She enjoyed an annual trip in the fall to the Outer Banks with family and friends for many years. She also enjoyed spending time at Chatterbox camp in Potter County.

One of her family's most treasured memories is Cathy's warmth, and she was always eager to welcome friends, family, and neighbors into her kitchen where she always had home cooked meals that would entice everyone to huddle around the island and talk. And just outside her kitchen was always a handful of a few farm cats, that she fed every day and enjoyed sitting with them on her porch. Cathy loved hosting all her sister Jeanne's family for their annual Hersheypark reunion weekend.

Cathy was mom to everyone, to the friends of Jim and John, Samantha, Sarah and Luke without exception she treated everyone like family. There are countless stories of her kids, grandkids and their friends coming in from school activities, football, and volleyball practice, and finding a fridge full of snacks.

Since spending time with loved ones was one of Cathy's favorite things to do, in her honor, please share a meal with your loved ones, take a moment to express love & gratitude, and send a positive thought to Cathy in heaven.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Church, 150 Water St., New Holland. The family will receive friends at Groff-High Funeral Home, 145 W. Main St., New Holland on Friday from 6:30-8 p.m. and at the church on Saturday from 9:30 11 a.m. Interment will be at the convenience of the family. Online condolences may be posted at

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Groff-High Funeral Home

145 West Main Street
New Holland, PA 17557