Catherine Lorraine (Harris) Doxtad

January 14, 1917 ~ December 8, 2020 (age 103)


Catherine Lorraine Doxtad (née Harris); devoted wife, doting mother, adoring grandmother, and resolute matriarch of the Doxtad Family of Northwest Iowa; passed away Tuesday, December 8, 2020, at the AbiliT Senior Living of Holstein, after nearly 104 years of ever-graceful and sharp-witted living.  A private family graveside service will be held at the Holstein Cemetery of Holstein with the Pastor Bob Lewis officiating. Burial will be at the Holstein Cemetery of Holstein.  There was no visitation.  The Nicklas D. Jensen Funeral Home of Holstein is in charge of the arrangements.

Catherine was born on January 14, 1917, in Dakota City, Nebraska, the daughter of Ernest and Bessie (Sharp) Harris. She graduated from Homer High School, along with her destined beau, Floyd Rohde Doxtad, in 1935. Amidst a world war, fate and Catherine called Floyd home from his service in the South Pacific and the couple married the day after Christmas 1944. That night they danced their first dance as inseparable husband and wife.

The couple settled into farming in Emerson and North Sioux City, South Dakota. In 1946, life brought them Diane. The couple dreamed of finding a new home to call their own — the first ground they saw in Sac City, Iowa, they deemed too flat, but soon they found the softly rolling hills for which they’d been searching.

In 1949, Catherine, pregnant with the couple’s second child, and Floyd drove their ’46 Oldsmobile across the dusty Iowa roads to a farm halfway between Holstein and Galva. The couple bid every cent they had, $349 an acre, and by will and fate not another hand was raised to venture a countering bid. In 1950, their son Dan was born.

On that farm, the couple lived an idyllic life. Catherine perfected her baking, raised their children. Floyd tended to his cattle and his crops. In her free time and for all of her life, Catherine was a voracious reader of books and her bible. She was also a devoted member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church of Holstein. 

On the weekends and in the evenings, Catherine and Floyd danced. Theydanced everywhere a person could dance. They danced at the Cobblestone in Storm Lake and at the Surf in Wall Lake and at any occasion where sawdust might be sprinkled across a polished wood floor.

Over time, the Doxtad farm and the Doxtad family grew. Catherine lived less than a mile from four of her grandsons and the fifth visited every summer as if at a grandparents’ sleepaway camp. Catherine greeted any guest — friend or grandson — with baked goods and desserts, hot out of the oven, whether they’d driven in from Nebraska or torn across her yard on a motorbike.  

On a trip in Hawaii, fate cut short a vacation and Catherine’s dancing after a slip and a hurried flight home. Still, in the evenings, passing cars could catch glimpses of Floyd dancing in the living room while Catherine watched adoringly, always with a cat in her lap.

Only a second slip could relocate her from her beloved home on the farm, yet with warm and dedicated caregiving she lived nearly the whole of her life happily and healthily, even in her home in town. At AbiliT Senior Living, Catherine read her bible, nibbled the chocolate she hid throughout her apartment, and refused to touch the emergency help button that she wore against her heart.

In 2012, Floyd passed with Catherine at his side, leaving them apart for the longest they’d been in their 68 years of marriage. When Catherine peacefully closed her eyes for the final time of her long and remarkable life, she was only a few feet from where Floyd had preceded her. And now, Catherine and Floyd are reunited, dancing together once again, gracefully, lovingly, and forever.

Catherine is survived by her son, Daniel (Julie) Doxtad; her grandsons, R. Brent (Daria) Mattis, James Doxtad, Lucas (Donna) Doxtad, David (Jenna) Doxtad, and Matthew (Meagan) Doxtad; and her nine great-grandchildren, James Mattis; Stella and Amelia Doxtad; Kate and Duke Doxtad; and Sophia, Louis, Archer, and Theodore Doxtad.

Catherine is preceded in death by her parents; sister, Margaret Hirsch; brothers, H.K. and James Harris; daughter, Diane Mattis; and her husband and dance partner, Floyd.





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