Catherine Spires Malloy, who excelled as both a journalist and an accountant and was a 19-year resident of Fairbury, died on May 22 with her daughters at her hospital bedside. She was 64. The cause was respiratory failure after a brain hematoma. Born and raised in Athens, Ohio, Catherine was a keen stock-market investor, a skilled practitioner of Japanese calligraphy, a strong downhill skier and a fluent speaker of French, all before the age of 15. Fascinated by the Watergate scandal, she spent countless hours detailing, in a spiral notebook, the lies and contradictions of the Nixon White House (at least 100, by her count). Her parents were both university professors, which allowed her and her sisters to spend a year in Japan and a year in Switzerland while she was growing up. She graduated from high school in three years and earned a CPA from Ohio University in her hometown. She was a reporter at The Post, the student newspaper there, and, later, at the Huntington (West Virginia) Herald Dispatch. She lived in Ashland, Ky., where she married and had two daughters. She became a devout Catholic, a faith she would maintain for the rest of her life, and worked for a while as an accountant. Catherine moved to Fairbury in 2002 as she struggled with mental health issues. Sadly for her family, she cut off all contact. Even as she struggled with physical and mental health issues, we are told, she continued her intellectual life, seeking to learn all the original languages of the Bible so she could read it that way. Catherine is survived by her daughters, ChrisAnne Malloy and Patricia Catherine Merkel, grandson Parker Vance Merkel, sisters Anne Swardson Trueheart and Christine Swardson Olver, and her mother, Mary Anne Swardson. Her father, Harold Roland Swardson, died last December.
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