PAMALA M. CATALA
Pamala M. Catala passed away Wednesday after a battle with cancer. Pam was born Aug. 24, 1948, in Key West; the daughter of a Navy man, she only lived here a short time as a child before moving on, but she returned as an adult to the place she always considered home.
After graduating from Oscar S. Smith High School in Chesapeake, Va., in 1966, she joined the Army, serving for three years. After receiving an honorable discharge, she returned to Key West, going to work for the Key West Police Department for six years as a dispatcher. Little did she know at the time, she was working with the man she would eventually fall in love with and marry.
She left Key West once again in 1975, and moved back to Virginia, where she worked as a school resource officer for 16 years. Then, in 1991, she moved back to Key West for the last time. She began working for the Public Defender's Office. Happy to be back in her hometown, she became reacquainted with Vincent Catala, whom she'd worked with at the Police Department. They married in November 1997 and he turned out to be the one she'd been looking for all her life. They lived happily together until her death.
Pam loved her family dearly. She loved to go out dancing on Friday nights with her husband, "The Big Cat." She enjoyed watching television and shopping with her loving granddaughter, Jordan Rose. The two of them frequently spent time having their nails done and doing "girl" stuff.
She and Vincent have a second home in Vero Beach, near her brother Steve; her brother Gary also has a second home there, and they would all get together for dinner, drinks and a good time. She and Vincent loved to visit Vero and see her family, but her heart was always in Key West.
After 20 years with the Public Defender's Office, Pam was looking forward to retirement next year and to spending more time relaxing both here and in Vero Beach. She is now retired and we know she is relaxing in a better place where she has nothing to worry about and where cancer can no longer touch her.
Pam is survived by her husband, Vincent; her two sons, Donald Catala of Key West (Rebecca Herrin) and Terrill Gay of Dothan, Ala. (Becky); her three grandchildren, Jordan Rose Catala and Brooks and Bradley Gay; her brothers, Steve McAnelly of Vero Beach (Marilyn LeVecchia) and Gary McAnelly of Pennsylvania (Patti Wallace); her sister, Cindy Johnson of Sarasota (Terry); and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert McAnelly and Grace Codding McAnelly, and her half-brother, Kenneth Main.
Services will be 4 p.m. Sunday, May 20, 2012, at Dean Lopez Funeral Home, with burial to follow at Key West Cemetery. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. until service time on Sunday at the funeral home. The Dean-Lopez Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.