By Antigone Barton
MANALAPAN — A child when she learned to ride, and a young woman when she
competed as an equestrian in Madison Square Garden, Susan Findlay Cathey never
lost her love for horses. She picked up more loves along the way: her family,
her adored cocker spaniels, and her life in Florida, once a home away from
home, and where she spent the last 24 years of her life.
“She just loved people,” her daughter, Dina Cathey Millard said. “She would talk to strangers.”
Mrs. Cathey, of Manalapan and Locust Valley, N.Y., died April 23 at JFK Medical Center. She was 72.
She was born May 23, 1937, and grew up in Manhattan and Huntington, Long Island.
She learned to ride before she was a teenager, showing jumpers and hunters and
riding competitively in Ireland. She graduated from Finch College.
She married Sterling Eugene Cathey, a Korean War veteran and intelligence officer,
in 1963. He later became general counsel of Blue Cross & Blue Shield in New
As she raised her family, Delray Beach was a frequent destination until she and Mr. Cathey came to Florida to live in the late 1980s.
Mr. Cathey died in 2004.
Living at La Coquille Villas in Manalapan, Mrs. Cathey stayed busy with her
grandchildren, a buff-colored cocker spaniel named Caramel, her reading and her
hobbies. She was an expert needle-pointer and flowers and dogs were the
frequent subject of work that decorated her home. And although she no longer rode competitively, she continued
to enjoy attending horse shows.
A memorial service was held April 28, at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Cathey is survived by her son, John M. Cathey, and seven grandchildren.