Catherine “Cathy” M. Boss nee Baran 69, of Barnegat, passed away on March 3, 2019 surrounded by her family at home. Born and raised in Elizabeth, NJ, Cathy graduated Baton High School and was a member of the marching band where she played clarinet. She then attended West Virginia Wesleyan for her Bachelor’s and went on to graduate with high honors from Drexel University with a Masters in Library Science. Cathy worked as the Library Director at Elizabeth General Medical Center for 25 years. To be closer to home, Cathy then left for Jersey Shore Medical Center and took the position as Coordinator of Library Services where she worked for the next 21 years before retiring this past October. With both libraries, Cathy oversaw multiple renovations and moves as well as the expansion of programs and services that her libraries offered to hospital staff and the public.
Cathy was a founding member of the Health Science Librarian Association of New Jersey (HSLANJ) and remained an active member. Cathy was very involved in other organizations: Medical Library Association (MLA), Hospital Library Section in MLA, Nursing and Allied Health Resource Section in MLA, Consumer and Patient Health Information Section in MLA, New York/New Jersey Chapter of MLA, Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative (now LibraryLinkNJ). Cathy achieved numerous accolades including New Jersey Health Sciences Librarian of the Year and Hospital Library Section of MLA Publications Award. She was a mentor for many medical librarians and an advocate for the Medical Library Profession and Hospital Librarians.
Cathy met her husband Roger in 1970 and they were soon married on September 4, 1971. The newlyweds bought a house and moved to Barnegat in December 1974 where they raised their 3 daughters (Keydi, Corinne, and Kristen) and still currently reside in that home. As they raised their girls, Cathy became a very active member at St. Mary’s Church. Over the years, she taught CCD, was a lector, extraordinary minister, parish council member, and contributor to the bulletin where she loved writing about different parts of our church community. By far, her most favorite volunteer position was as Publicity Chair for the carnival core committee of St Mary’s Carnival for over 25 years. Cathy cherished the friendships and camaraderie developed with this group.
Cathy was a dedicated and loving mother to her girls. She saw this as her most important job in life and always made sure to chaperone their class trips and was active in their school lives. She was an active Marching band parent for 11 years, could be found on the sidelines of all softball and soccer games, and attended every choral and band concert they were ever in. She always was her girls’ biggest supporter and cherished every moment from graduations to weddings. As a 30+ year breast cancer survivor, Cathy felt blessed to help plan and to be a part of each girl’s wedding and, with Roger, had the pleasure of walking each girl down the aisle.
Cathy had a love for life and was never one to sit at home. She and Roger planned yearly vacations with the girls as they grew up, driving up and down the east coast. Family trips to Mt. Washington, Busch Gardens, Disney, upstate NY, multiple ski trips, and more were planned and organized by Cathy. She also traveled yearly for Medical Library conferences around the country and in later years was joined by her daughter, Keydi who followed in her footsteps.
After the girls were older, Cathy would never turn down an opportunity to take a trip anywhere. Family trips/cruises to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska, Hershey, NY, and most recently the Bahamas were cherished memories. One highlight for her was a 2-week trip to Ireland with Roger and a church group. This trip heightened her love of travel, as well as of chardonnay and hot tea.
As much as she loved being a mother, being a grandmother was her greatest achievement. Elizabeth and Aaron were the center of her life. She took every opportunity to be with them. Cathy loved spending summers swimming in the pool, having sleepovers, taking trips, going to the park, baking, and most of all, just being “Grandma”.
There has always been a place in Cathy’s heart for her beloved animals and would often refer to herself as a “cat person”. There has never been a time were there wasn’t a cat to sit in her lap as she relaxed after work in her chair watching Jeopardy and drinking a cup of hot tea.
Cathy is survived by her loving husband of 47 years to Roger Boss. She is survived by her daughters, Keydi O'Hagan and her husband Gearóid of Elmwood Park, NJ; Corinne Topoleski and her husband Tom of Barnegat, NJ; and Kristen Kerly and her husband Joe of Barnegat, NJ; her mother, Emily Baran of Brick, NJ; her sister, Emily Demitchik and her husband Bob of Jackson, NJ; her grandchildren, Elizabeth and Aaron Topoleski; her beloved nieces and nephews; and many cousins throughout the US. Cathy was predeceased by her father, Frank Baran of Elizabeth, NJ.
Friends and family can pay their respects on Friday March 8 from 2-4 and 6-9pm at Barnegat Funeral Home. On Saturday, March 9 there will be a short viewing at 9:30 followed by a mass at St. Mary’s of the Pines Church in Manahawkin at 11am. Those who wish may donate in Cathy’s name to the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter.