Catherine grew up in Arkansas and Texas. She received a BS degree in Home Economics from the University of North Texas in 1975 and a BA degree in Political Science from the University of Arkansas in 2018.
In 1982 -1984 she worked with Coconino County Department of Public Health in Flagstaff, Arizona in the Women, Infants, and Children program, which involved travelling throughout Coconino County and frequent contact with the native community. Later she worked in senior and community nutrition programs in Texas and Minnesota.
Most recently she worked in finance and administration at the University of Colorado for 17 years, including working with the Center for Native Oral Health Research at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
Currently she is retired and living in Southwest Colorado.