‘Mother Catherine’ celebrates 100th birthday with family and friends

Published 12:21 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Using “Diamond Birthday” as a theme, the family of Mary Catherine Titus Thomas of Natchez came from near and far to help her celebrate her 100th birthday on Saturday.

Dozens of family and friends gathered with Mother Catherine, as she is affectionately known, at New Beginnings PCH, including loved ones from Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Several members of Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church attended, along with their pastor and First Lady.

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The event was catered by Southern Style Restaurant and Catering.

Honored guest was Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson, who spoke kind words about Mother Catherine and issued a proclamation declaring Sept. 17 as Catherine Thomas Day.

Others attending were her son, Alvin Thomas and his wife, Patricia, of Baton Rouge; Granddaughter, TaRhonda Thomas, who is a reporter for ABC News in Philadelphia; Granddaughter Tressa Landry, who is a copywriter at Workhorse Marketing, and her husband, Tory Landry, and children, Beau Landry, 8, ad Thomas Landry, 3, all of Houston; and great-granddaughter, T’Ana Thomas, of Stockton, California.

In addition to family, several of her former students attended the celebration.

She was born Sept. 17, 1923, to Elmira and Wilson Titus. The Tituses had two sons and six daughters. Mary Catherine was the oldest daughter.

Her early education was as Brumfield High School. She attended college at Natchez College and earned a bachelor’s degree from Alcorn College in 1969 and a master’s degree from Jackson State in 1976.

Mrs. Thomas served as a classroom teacher and a remedial reading teacher in Jefferson County for 32 years.

She is a longtime member of Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church and served as a vice president of its senior usher board and is a Mother of the Church. She is also a member of Lizzy Shumaker Elks No. 1052.

Mrs. Thomas was married to Alvin Thomas Jr., who passed away in 1997. They are the parents of five sons: Johnny (deceased); Alvin III, William, Leonard (deceased) and Gregory (deceased).