The International Churchill Society (ICS) is deeply saddened to report that Catherine, the wife of ICS President Randolph Churchill, died last month at the family home in Kent. She was a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. She shone brightly all through her life and supported Randolph tirelessly with ICS events in the UK, the US, and Canada as well as working to record and catalog the history of Winston Churchill the artist.
Born in the Bahamas and educated in Nassau, Trinidad, and later in London, Catherine was fortunate to have an exhilarating youth. She met Randolph, her first love, at the early age of seventeen at a dance at the Hyde Park Hotel in London. They were married when she was just twenty-three on 21 March 1992 at St Mary’s Church, Westerham with a reception at Chartwell. They later settled nearby and became the parents of four beloved children.
Catherine adored Art history and studied at the British Institute in Florence before working in the Victorian painting department of Sotheby’s. Later, she ran the Director’s Office in the National Art Collections Fund.
Although never a smoker, Catherine was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2020. Throughout her illness, she showed immense courage, grace, and—most of all—honesty, while drawing strength and hope from her family and friends. She battled stoically through months of intense treatment and passed away peacefully after a day spending time with her family and drawing in her beloved, “miraculous garden.” Her childhood spent in the Caribbean inspired her love of nature and vibrant colours.
In his eulogy for his wife, Randolph said: “Catherine was and always will be my rock. She was my safe harbour and best friend. She was the constant sunshine in my life. She was the zest and happiness of each day. I always called her “Bears,” and she gave me the constant warmth and hugs of a loving bear. She gave me the most wonderful happy family. For me, Catherine will live on in [our children] Serena, Zöe, Alice, and John. They all share her happy and engaging disposition, love of life, and care of others. Catherine was the one and only love of my life. I will always look to the stars and see her on a distant tropical island, with a hibiscus in her hair, a bird of paradise in her hand, and a smile on her face. She will always be in my heart.”
Catherine Zoë Spencer Churchill, born 16 August 1968, died 10 June 2022
It is with heavy hearts that we regret to report that Ann and Gerry both passed away at Alive Hospice, sharing a room, on Sunday, August 13, 2017. They are together in love.
Dr John Mather MD FACPE (1943-2020)
John was educated at The John Lyon School, Harrow-on-the-Hill, England where he was Head Boy, Regimental Sergeant Major of the Combined Cadet Force and Captain of Athletics and Cross Country.
He was awarded the Oliver Hanscombe Cup for the most outstanding cadet for his last three years at the School. John then trained at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London and graduated in Medicine in 1967, after which he undertook a six month residency at the Middlesex Hospital.
During his training, John met an exchange medical student from the University of Maryland, Susan, in 1964, and they fell in love. In the Summer of 1966, John undertook a return summer student exchange at the University of Maryland, which was when he and Susan became engaged. They married in 1967 and lived in England for the first year of their marriage, moving to the US in 1968. They lived in Baltimore, Maryland, for five years while John completed his training in ENT surgery and Susan completed hers in Pulmonary Diseases. They then moved to Bowie MD outside Washington DC with their two children, Stephen aged 3 and Alexandra, 6 months old.
In Bowie, John was an Ordained Elder in Christian Community Presbyterian Church and served as Clerk of Session for three years. He was also Chairman of the Sanctuary Building Committee. He was active in the Bowie Soccer Association, as a coach and referee. John's military service was deferred until he had finished his training and he served as a Major at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 1972 until 1974. John became a naturalized citizen in 1975. The couple divorced in 2010 after 43 years of marriage. They shared one beautiful granddaughter, Maggie Sue Bourne, who is now 9 years old.
John served subsequently as a Commander, US Public Health Service, and was involved in health manpower policy development in the National Institutes of Health Bureau of Health Manpower. He graduated from the Federal Executive Institute and was in the first Veterans Administration Leadership Class. John then held various positions as a physician executive in the Veterans Administration Central Office (VACO), including Director, Affiliated Education Programs; Associate Chief Medical Officer, Geriatrics and Long Term Care; Chief Medical Director of the Social Security Administration; Assistant Inspector General for Inspections, Veterans Administration and Chief Officer, Office of Research Compliance and Assurance. He retired after 30 years Federal Service in 2004.
His Federal career as a physician executive was interrupted for two years when John was appointed as the Associate Executive Director, Medical and Research Programs, Paralyzed Veterans of America. After retirement from the Veterans Administration, John became the first Director of Human Subjects Research Compliance, at the University of Michigan before establishing his own medical consultancy firm, UNI-CORN LLC.
Following his divorce, John moved to Franklin, Tennessee and in 2016 he married Dr Karen Rhea, a physician who practices general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and pediatrics; they were divorced in 2020. John was an active member of American Legion John E. Stephens Post 156, Brentwood TN and WA Post 1014; he was Chirurgeon for both. He also had a keen interest in identifying WW II veterans and ensuring that their stories were captured for purposes of historical record. He became an Independent Medical Examiner and conducted medical evaluations of veterans applying for disability benefits at the Nashville VA Medical Center, as well as completing the review of applicants for Social Security disability benefits in Tennessee. John spearheaded the development of a resource brochure for those with actual or nascent PTSD in Williamson County, TN, for both veterans and non-veterans and their families. He was a designated/certified Mentor of the Veterans Treatment Court of Williamson County TN. He was a Life Coach holding the Certificate of the Coaching Alliance and was a Certified Federal Mediator and Mentor and completed the Stephens Ministry training.
John was elected to Fellowship in several medical organizations including the Academy of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, the American Geriatrics Society, and the Gerontological Society of America.
John was active in the International Churchill Society for many years and served as its Secretary for a decade for which he received its prestigious Blenheim Award. He was the second President of the Churchill Society of Tennessee, a Chapter of the International Churchill Society, which he helped to found. At the time of his death, he was the Chapter's Past-President. John was a pathographer, that is a medical biographer who studies the effects of illness on leaders and how this affects their vocation and avocations. He was an acknowledged expert on the medical issues that affected Sir Winston Churchill.
John was inducted as a Knight Commander of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem and was the Grand Chirurgeon for the Grand Priory of the USA. He was an elected member of the International Bow Tie Society and the designated Town Crier in Franklin TN for the Heritage Society of Williamson County, the Bard of Franklin and a toastmaster for special events. John was Regent for the International Douglas Clan in Tennessee and latterly attended St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Franklin, TN.
John suffered his first heart attack in 2003 and was admitted to hospital on three occasions in 2020, most recently to Williamson Medical Center on 5 December; he died the following day.
John is survived by his first wife, Susan, a pulmonologist and public health physician, their son, Stephen R Mather of Bowie MD, and their daughter, Alexandra Mather Bourne. Alexandra is married to Thomas and with their daughter, Margaret Susan "Maggie Sue" Bourne, they reside in Rehoboth Beach, DE. John is also survived by his second wife, Dr Karen Rhea. He has a brother Martin, who is a medical practitioner who lives in North Devon, England and by his sisters Helen, a retired Specialist Nurse who lives in Texas, and Margaret, a retired Child Care specialist who resides in North Devon.
If you wish to have your remembrance of John posted here please sent it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Those wishing to send cards and letters may post them to:
The Churchill Society of Tennessee
PO BOX 150993
Everyone who knew the amazing John Mather will have a special memory; mine is a particular debt to him as he introduced me to the Churchill Society. With his characteristic enthusiasm, he urged me to come to a dinner. I had known him from the Scottish Society of Middle Tennessee and from the English Speaking Union, as he was a member of both groups, but I knew little of the Churchill Society. John included me, made me feel welcome with his cheerful and inclusive attitude. I owe him a huge debt for introducing me to a group that has given me such wonderful experiences of new friends and great learning. I honor his memory with gratitude and know, as we all do, that his enthusiasm will be missed over and over whenever, wherever Churchillians gather!
Churchill Society of Tennessee
I would like to simply say that knowing John Mather has been one of the highlights of my life. I so enjoyed our many discussions regarding Churchill, British and American history, and other historical subjects. It is rare that I have ever met a person who was so well-versed in "history" in general and European and American history in particular, all subjects that are dear to my heart. His hosting of the Deplorables group was a fun, educational, and entertaining event where people of like interests socialized and enjoyed each other's camaraderie to the fullest. Rest in peace my friend and thank you for your friendship.
James A. Crutchfield
Churchill Society of Tennessee
International Churchill Society
Arrangement are yet to be announced. Please check back here for updates.