Catherine Doherty

VIT_DohertyCatherine “Kay” Doherty of Forest Lake died peacefully on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at her home.

Kay was born in Keewatin, the daughter of Anthony and Amelia Chopp. At a young age, Kay lost her mother and lived with her aunt and uncle on their farm in Faribault until her early teen years, when she returned to live with her father.

She was united in marriage to Al DePonti and to that union one son (Danny) was born. Together they made their home in St. Paul’s east side. In the early 1950s, Al passed away, leaving Kay and Danny to find new direction in life.

Kay worked as a coat check at the Parker House, and a bartender at Southview Country Club, where the customers enjoyed her quick wit and charm, including Tom (Thomas) Doherty. The romance continued, and in 1957 they married.

Kay became a bookkeeper at JC Penney’s at Phalen Lake Center, and family time was spent at Lake Elmo Airport where Tom taught Kay and Danny to fly.

In 1967 they bought the Forest Lake Airport.  During that time Kay was a staple of the airport, from bookkeeping to caring for the grounds. Her quick wit and charm kept the customers flying in, too.

When not tending to the airport, she was caring for all the animals.  Geese, ducks, dogs, and cats, the more the merrier! For several years she even tended to dairy cows from the Taylor farm.

Kay will be remembered as a caring, giving, generous member of our community. She was a generous supporter of the Forest Lake police and fire departments, various animal shelters, and looking out for those in need.  The children and critters especially warmed Kay’s heart.

When the airport and adjacent lands were sold, the community received Kay’s biggest gift, allowing hundreds of acres for recreational and open space uses. The airport, library, sports arena, Fenway fields, and endless open space would not have been possible without Kay’s spirit of giving.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Al DePonti and Thomas Doherty; son, Daniel DePonti; siblings, Edward and William Chopp; sister, Marie Chopp.

She is survived by her sisters, Margaret Greene, Elizabeth Bardon; many nieces, nephews, dear friends and her beloved cat, Spot.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 1 at the Church of Saint Peter, 1250 South Shore Dr., Forest Lake. Visitation was 9-10 a.m. Wednesday at Mattson Funeral Home, 343 North Shore Dr., Forest Lake. Interment was at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis.

Memorials are preferred to Animal Ark of Hastings or the Church of Saint Peter.