She found work as an executive administrative assistant for a family owned lumber business, a position she held until she retired. In the 1950’s she met and married Jim Stallings, an attorney-accountant 18 years her senior, and the couple moved to Evanston.
Sadly, her husband died in 1966; the couple had no children. Catherine continued to work, travel and live independently. She retired in her 60’s after a long career and spent the remaining years of her life traveling, attending cultural events and spending time with friends. She read voraciously, especially in preparation for one of her trips. She relished exploring other parts of the United States, Europe and Central America and appreciated the multicultural joys of living in Evanston. She loved animals of all types: the Siamese or Burmese cats she owned, the neighbors’ dogs who visited her and the horses so familiar to her from her native Kentucky.
Catherine Stallings passed away in 1994 at the age of 78. She loved her adopted city and made generous bequests to several cultural organizations such as the Evanston Public Library Foundation, the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Gardens, in addition to the funds allocated for art and beautification of Evanston. To help select an appropriate sculpture or art piece, Donna Gamble, executrix of Catherine’s estate, and her husband, Jim Gamble, a landscape architect, met with representatives from the leading arts organizations in the city including the Evanston Arts Council, the Evanston Public Art Committee, the Block Museum of Northwestern University and Noyes Cultural Arts Center. The Gambles traveled to various art and sculptural installations, spoke to artists and solicited advice and suggestions. They wanted to honor the memory of their good friend and neighbor with a piece that was, according to Donna Gamble, “an image of singular strength and beauty.”