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Catherine Ann McCarley Suarez
  • In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:
  • World Witness
    918 Pleasantburg Drive
    Suite 218
    Greenville, SC 29607

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Message from the Family

The family invites all of Ann's many friends and beloved family members to gather together virtually to view a worship service in her memory on Saturday, July 4, 2020 at 3 p.m. EST. Details will be posted to Ann's Facebook page.

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“She was such a deep and spiritual gift to our BSF discussions. I shall miss her smile, optimism and spirituality. Blessings to all you as you...Read More »
1 of 16 | Posted by: Kester Heaton - north charleston, SC

“I will really miss seeing Ann at BSF. She was truly an example of the calm and peace God can give, even through constant struggle. I never heard a...Read More »
2 of 16 | Posted by: Heidi Peterson - Friend

“Ann was one of my closest friends and former colleagues. Through the four decades that I was privileged to know her, she exemplified the life of a...Read More »
3 of 16 | Posted by: Joyce Thompson - Starr, SC

“I was privileged to know Ann via Delta Kappa Gamma. She was the sweetest & most sincerely Christian I've ever known. The world will miss her but know...Read More »
4 of 16 | Posted by: Ruth Thorpe - Daniel Island, SC

“My deepest condolences to the family. Ann was such a sweetheart. My prayers are with the family. ”
5 of 16 | Posted by: Sharon Williams - Summerville, SC

“Ann was a woman of God. We will miss her in Bible Study Fellowship.Sincerely,Judy Epps ”
6 of 16 | Posted by: Judy Epps - North Charleston, SC

“Ms. Catherine was such a lovely, sweet, kind, soft spoken and gracious lady! She often attended women's Bible study at East Cooper Baptist and will...Read More »
7 of 16 | Posted by: Rose F Anderson Anderson - SC

“Arturo and family, I believe no one was sweeter than Ann. She was certainly the finest of people and I am so proud to have know such a role model....Read More »
8 of 16 | Posted by: Barbara Warren

“Our deepest sympathies go out to Ann's family. She was a wonderful neighbor and friend. An angel has returned to heaven. ”
9 of 16 | Posted by: Sandra Burley - Friend

“Ann was a friend, mentor and mother figure(even though we were close in age) to me. I always felt uplifted after spending time with her. She was the...Read More »
10 of 16 | Posted by: Caroline Curtis - Mt Pleasant, SC

“To Catherine Ann's family I send my condolences. She was such a beautiful lady in every way. She truly brightened a dreary day with her presence. We...Read More »
11 of 16 | Posted by: Stacy Sprovero - Ravenel, SC

“Oh Catherine, the joy you will receive at the foot of your Savior! You never had a harsh word and always left one feeling better as you said goodbye...Read More »
12 of 16 | Posted by: Stacy Sprovero - Ravenel, SC

“De parte de toda la familia Altamirano Suarez les damos nuestro más sentido pésame deseando pronta recuperación por el dolor de esta...Read More »
13 of 16 | Posted by: ALFREDO ALTAMIRANO SUAREZ

“What a blessing Catherine was to the world her entire life. She will be missed by so many from so many places. Well done, good and faithful servant....Read More »
14 of 16 | Posted by: Monty Wooley - Friend

“Ann has been a blessing to all who meet her. Truly a child of the King. I've been so blessed to have her closer in my life these last two years as we...Read More »
15 of 16 | Posted by: Dorothy Bailey - Mount Pleasant, SC

“Love to all the family. I will miss Ann and am happy that I could visit with her over the year. She will be missed by many. ”
16 of 16 | Posted by: Naomi Palmer - SUMMERVILLE, SC


Catherine Ann McCarley Suárez entered peacefully into her eternal rest at home and surrounded by her family on June 24, 2020. She was 64 years old. She was known throughout her life by many names. She called herself a "daughter of Eve," but her Hope was ever in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and his claim on her heart and Spirit was evident to her last breath.

The eldest of four children, "Cathy Ann," was born in Anderson, South Carolina, on December 13, 1955, to her late parents, Buford Emery McCarley and Gladys Ruth McCarley. She grew up in Iva, S.C., and, ultimately, received a scholarship to attend Erskine College in Due West, S.C., where she met the love of her life, Arturo Suárez. The two were married Nov. 5, 1977, and upon graduating, settled in her hometown of Iva.

Graduating with a degree in primary education, "Ann" began her career as a teacher at Iva Elementary School. Throughout her 27 years of teaching children, she daily affirmed that each child was made for a purpose, that they were unique and beloved children of God -- daughters of Eve and sons of Adam, at times, but always children of God, worthy of respect and love. Her constant refrain was that we were, all of us, "fearfully and wonderfully made."

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2005, one of her first concerns was the effect that her chemo and radiation treatments would have on her students. So, she took her wig into the classroom prior to losing her hair, and showed the children what it looked like. She wanted to prepare them for the changes ahead, to ease their transition into her new normal. Throughout her battle with breast cancer, she would drive herself to radiation, take a day of rest at home, then head back to the classroom. She worked through the brutality of chemotherapy and radiation treatments with grace and dignity and a dash of humor.

Her passion for teaching, however, was not confined to the classroom. She taught Sunday school and home school, she tutored and was a mentor to countless surrogate daughters and sons, and, most importantly, she was a formidable teacher for her three children, Habakkuk "Barron," Virginia and Catherine. "Each child had their own recipe," she would say, and she was always up for the challenge of meeting us all where we were. Ann saw childhood as a precious and sacred gift, and by turning tough times into adventures, and adventures into journeys, she gave us an example of a framework for living that allowed for whimsy and hope in the midst of struggle and pain.

In whichever season of her life she was in, Ann saw her mission in life as something of a commission. She believed that "man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." To that end, she faithfully participated in Bible studies and prayer groups through the many Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) churches she was a member of over the years: Iva ARP, Greenwood ARP, Scots Kirk ARP, Providence ARP and Shem Creek (ARP). In particular, Ann derived much joy from the relationships she formed through those communities. She also saw her work as her mission, and she developed strong ties within her teaching community, through her involvement with Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Key Women Educators.

Just five years after being declared cancer-free, Ann faced another ominous health challenge, when she lost most of her vision, due to undiagnosed rheumatoid arthritis in her optic nerves. She drove herself to the hospital with a feeling that something was very wrong, and that was the last time she would drive. She had been caring for her aging parents, as well as continuing to teach, and life's transitions swept her up once again. During that time, she would often say that "losing her vision was far more troubling than not being able to see."

Being legally blind meant that she lost her vocation, she lost the ability to care for her aging parents, she lost her freedom and independence. Ultimately, she even lost her identity, as applying for disability required her to start going by the name on her birth certificate, "Catherine Ann." Even still, she fervently believed that God had a purpose for her pain. Watching her navigate this entirely new and permanent normal, was nothing short of inspirational. Anyone who met her, after she lost her vision, would probably not even categorize "being blind," as a defining characteristic of who she was.

In October of 2015, Catherine Ann was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer, and the prognosis was grim. With skilled and measured treatment by her incredible oncologist, Dr. Scott Jennings, she navigated yet another major life transition with grace and dignity. Surgeries and chemotherapy treatments and infusions and more surgeries filled her calendar, and she never stopped looking people in the eye and remembering their names. She never stopped making friends.

Ann spent her last four and a half years sharing life with her beloved husband, Arturo, traveling to see family and friends, and having them come to visit her, getting to celebrate birthdays and holidays with her children and grandchildren and getting to meet and spend time with her two youngest grandchildren, both born within hours of each other in November of 2016.

By whichever name a person knew her -- as Cathy Ann, Ann or Catherine Ann; Mama, Mum or Marmie; Grandma, Grandmother or Nana -- to know her, was to love her. Her legacy of Faith, Hope and Love will follow our family through generations. Her community will grieve our loss, but we will always remember the joy she gave, when we were blessed to have her with us.

Ann is survived by her beloved husband of 42 years, Arturo Suárez of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; her three children: Habakkuk "Barron" Suárez (Karen) of Apex, North Carolina, Virginia Street (Ben) of Charleston, South Carolina, and Catherine Moore (Jeff) of Meridian, Idaho. She is survived by her

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