Friday, March 7, 2003

Catherine 'Kit' Nicholas oversaw labs at hospitals

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Ms. Nicholas

Catherine "Kit" Nicholas died of cancer Saturday at her home in Covedale. She would have turned 78 Monday.

Born in 1925 in Cincinnati to John and Naseem Nicholas, she graduated from Our Lady of Mercy High School in 1941. She earned her bachelor's degree in biological science in 1947 from Our Lady of Cincinnati College (Edgecliff), which is now a part of Xavier University.

After college, she was an elementary teacher at St. Margaret of Cortona School (now part of Prince of Peace Catholic School) in Madisonville.

In 1949, she joined the pathology department at General Hospital (now University Hospital) and spent more than 35 years in the pathology, histology and cytology fields at University and Christ hospitals.

Her sister, Eleanor Hage of Waterford, Conn., said Ms. Nicholas started the cytology lab at Christ Hospital and was known for getting the slides to the doctors quickly.

"Kit was a very determined and courageous person and was a major contributor to the Christ Hospital cancer program in cytopathology for many years," said Dr. Philip Leming, an area cancer specialist.

Dr. Corwin Dunn, of the Christ Hospital Department of Internal Medicine, said: "I knew her as a professional. She was smart, conscientious and could poke fun at herself."

Ms. Nicholas took advanced studies at Indiana University in 1972 and at Case Western Reserve University in 1973.

She was a member of the Cincinnati Zoo Volunteers and served as a guide and instructor. She co-chaired the recent national convention of zoo volunteers in Cincinnati.

She traveled to Africa with the Cincinnati volunteer group through the zoo's Angel Fund in support of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia to study cheetahs. She helped produce a film with Lesley Clemons, WKRC public service director.

"She was a very loving person," said Clemons, who became good friends with Ms. Nicholas.

Ms. Nicholas was a member of a number of local organizations, including the Edgecliff Alumnae Association and the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Red Cross, where she was the most senior volunteer in service years (50 years).

As a member of St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Church, she served as a lector, an instructor of children's religious classes, a member of the A-Shabebat Society and a president during the 1980s of the local chapter of the National Association of Maronites.

Survivors include another sister, Toni N. Reilly of Dent, and nieces and nephews.

Services have been held.

Memorials: Naseem Nicholas Education Fund, St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Church, 2524 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45206-2004.


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