stuttering blog


By AIS, 10:06 am

Catherine Otto Montgomery
Beloved wife, sister, aunt, teacher, healer, and friend and lover of life, hope, and peace.


  1. Cathy, my colleague, friend, you are in my heart. I cannot talk about you, only to you, because I cannot grasp that you are not here to laugh, inspire, create, help others, share your beautiful optimistic nature, your warmth, and love of life. Cathy, you were taken from us much too soon. All of us who love you and the myriads of people who you have helped will miss you dearly. May you rest in peace and may your spirit continue to inspire all of us.

    Comment by Barbara Dahm — May 28, 2010 @ 10:31 am

  2. I just received your email about Catherine’s untimely passing and wanted to say how saddened I am by the news. Catherine was passionate about her program, her staff, her mission, and the people she treated. The world is a darker place in her absence.
    Please convey my condolences to her family and to all the staff at AIS.
    Donna Cooperman

    Comment by Donna Cooperman — May 28, 2010 @ 10:35 am

  3. Rest in Peace. You will be missed. Your legacy will continue with the Institute and all of those who you have helped and those who will benefit from your work.

    Comment by Howie Schwartz — May 28, 2010 @ 10:37 am

  4. What a terrible loss. My heart feels heavy today. I know Catherine’s spirit will continue to inspire.

    Comment by Nancy Hall — May 28, 2010 @ 11:04 am

  5. I will remember your warm smile and caring manner…. how you were full of life, energy, and passion for your work. And the fun times at conferences. We will all miss you dearly.

    Comment by Vivian Sisskin — May 28, 2010 @ 11:08 am

  6. I just received the e-mail and I am shocked and terribly saddened. I had no idea that Catherine was ill, and I am having a difficult time wrapping my brain around the idea that that vivacioius, wonderful person is no longer on this earth. I was fortunate to have made her acquaintance as a student many moons ago, when she graciously agreed to an interview. Many years later, she opened up her heart, and her treatment center, to allow me to accrue observation hours to obtain my specialty status. Catherine tought me and inspired me. I will miss her presence in the field and on this earth.

    Rozie Matthews

    Comment by Rozie Matthews — May 28, 2010 @ 11:09 am

  7. I feel so sad that she is gone from us. I am so sorry for her husband, for Carl and Chamonix, for all those she helped, both those who stutter and those, like me, she taught to be better SLPs. Rest in peace, Catherine.

    Comment by Vicki Pappas — May 28, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  8. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steven @ BSA, Stuttering Treatment. Stuttering Treatment said: Catherine […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Catherine « American Institute for Stuttering -- — May 28, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  9. Dear Catherine, How can you leave us? There is the future you have ensured for so many who must now carry on your brilliant message, love and joy. Thank you. Jon, what can anyone say? I will see you soon. Love, Tod

    Comment by tod keeney — May 28, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  10. I just received the e-mail from Chamonix and am shocked and saddened to learn of Catherine’s passing. My goodness! I have never met anyone in my life who had all the qualities of Catherine: dynamic, loving, intelligent, compassionate, and full of life. My condolences go out to her family and friends.

    Catherine, thank you so much for dramatically changing my life! Rest in peace.

    Comment by Louis Luciano — May 28, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  11. I was shocked and saddened to learn of Catherine’s death as I did not know she had been unwell. I met Catherine at Oxford and IFA Dysfluency Conferences and recall her warmth, animation, humour and wisdom. She approached working with stammering in a holistic and creative way that inspired people who stammer and therapists to action and change. I seem to recall she had Scottish roots and we laughed that a relative of hers had been the lighthouse keeper on an island just off my coast, the Firth of Forth, in years gone by! A guiding light has gone out way too soon with her passing. My thought are with her loved ones.

    Comment by Jan Anderson — May 28, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  12. I didn’t ever know she was fighting Cancer, last time I saw her was last day of my intensive program, I will always love and remember her, she gave me a lot of strength I never knew I had, and was always there encouraging me. I love and miss you.

    Comment by Salomea Kikozashvili — May 28, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  13. I am so sad to hear this. What a terrible loss it is to the world that she is not here with us any more. Her love, help and compassion has touched my life profoundly. Her inspiration and spirit will stay with us.

    Comment by Wenqi — May 28, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  14. Catherine was without a doubt one of the most optimistic people I had ever met. I’m sure that I will not be the only one to say that she undoubtedly helped to change my life for the better. My condolences to her family, friends, and to everyone else whose lives she touched. I will always remember her inspirational words, and I am comforted to know that her spirit and her mission will live on in the American Institute for Stuttering for years and years to come.

    Comment by Michael Taub — May 28, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  15. Catherine and I became friends at the 1st Leadership conference at Hilton Head. She inspired me to start my practice helping people who stutter like I used to. She “got” what it was like to stutter and inspired all that came to AIS to change life decisions based on their stuttering to a new life based on their potential.

    Mostly, I think, she put the cause of stuttering treatmemt on the map. She brought her crusade before the public like no one else before. We all are better off having knowm her and some will continue to grow because of her legacy. Love you Catherine.

    – Mark Power

    Comment by Mark Power — May 28, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  16. This is such sad news. My deepest condolences to Catherine’s family and friends.

    Comment by Dan Asen — May 28, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  17. This is such devistating news! Catherine was not only a wonderful mentor, but a lovely friend! My heart goes out to Catherine’s friends, family, and her husband.

    -Ruby Miranda

    Comment by Ruby Miranda — May 28, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

  18. Dear Katherine,
    You inspired our precious daughter Chamonix. You were such a passionate, creative, kind, caring person who made such a tremendous difference in the lives of so many. May your legacy live on. Our hearts go out to your husband and family. May God bless and comfort everyone who is grieving your loss.

    Comment by Lee Ann Olsen — May 28, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  19. I had no idea Catherine was sick and am deeply saddened by the news of her passing.

    It is ironic that in trying to describe the greatness of a woman who gave so many the power to speak that I cannot find the appropriate words. In moments like this, sometimes only simplicity can suffice, and put simply, Catherine was a beautiful person. And not just any beautiful person, but a beautiful person who shared her beauty with the world. Catherine regularly brought hope, optimism, vigor, and vitality to people who so desperately needed it, and she did with effortless grace, boundless compassion, and a smile that could seemingly cure all ills.

    On behalf of the entire stuttering community, thank you Catherine. For being there, for giving us hope, and most of all for understanding. The world is truly a darker place without you.

    Comment by Jonathan Zelmanovitch — May 28, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

  20. Catherine was a ray of light. Her confidence in her own abilities was only out-shined by her belief in everyone else’s. She has brought forth a legacy that has transformed lives, and will continue to do so forever. Her positive, no-boundary, fear conquering attitude has taught many about themselves and how they can accomplish anything they desire. You will always be with us.

    Comment by James Sikora — May 28, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  21. I only met Catherine once, at a conference where she spoke so eloquently and passionately about stuttering. I found myself quoting her to my clients in therapy. After that single meeting I emailed her and she helped me with my PhD research- she really was an amazing lady.
    I am praying for comfort for her family and friends.

    Comment by Tammy Thompson — May 28, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  22. I see her as my mother.I lost her.Right now i don’t have words to comment.Its a shoking news for me.

    Comment by Anuj Sharma — May 28, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

  23. I cannot believe what I read here! Cannot believe that such a beautiful, charming and lively woman as Catherine will not be around.
    I met Catherine at ODC 1999 and she was not aware of how much she had helped me through those few minutes we’d talked. Then, I’ll never forget her from the pre-congress IFA workshop in Denmark 2000. I’ve been quoting her words very often.
    Catherine was a woman I sincerely admired.

    Comment by Suzana Jelcic Jaksic — May 28, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  24. I just received the news via email from Tammy Flores….. I would like to send my condolences to Catherine Montgomery’s family and friends. I attended the intensive program at AIS in June of 2009. This was the best experience in my life because Catherine, Carl and the AIS family really showed compassion while working with me and the other group members. Catherine was always positive and always cared about her clients and former clients. The world lost a special person and she will be missed.

    Comment by Serge — May 28, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

  25. I truly believe Catherine was sent by God; as the Stutter Angel.
    She,and everyone who works with her, are one of the few amazing people that people like us who were drawn to for stuttering treatment. I have been to therapists my entire life but until I met Catherine when I was 19, I was very depressed by the false hopes, promises and guarantees to “speak perfectly” by other speech therapists. In the instance that I met her, eventhough I was dysfluent at the time, I knew I was looking at HOPE. Just by looking at her, you can see that true, 100%, raw, genuine help that she wanted to convey and share. She knew every one of her clients personally and knew exactly what they needed to feel good. And thats all that she wanted. She didn’t care to make you into a “perfect person.” She didn’t want you to be “normal.” She wanted people who stutter to be happy with themselves and their lives and to instill confidence and acceptance into us.
    Thats exactly what she did for me. Until I met her, the word “stutter” would make me cry. Now, before I speak (which was extremely scarce for the first 20 years of my life) I gladly advertise that I stutter and embrace it because that’s who I am. I know I will never be 100% fluent, but I am in such a good place right now with myself and my confidence that I dont care and just that feeling helps me speak, and accomplish all of my dreams.
    That was Catherine’s goal. To make people who stutter not only not care about their stutter, but to accept that it is a part of us and use it towards the positive and to ensure that we know that other people don’t care as well! (and if they did, then screw them).
    Catherine did that for me and for 100’s, probably even 1000’s of other people.
    And for that, she is a Saint, an Angel, and a true Treasure that this planet will miss out on.
    God bless you Catherine and I love you and miss you.

    Comment by Jeff Stern — May 28, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

  26. I am extremely upset to hear about this news. Catherine was a truely amazing person. She gave me so much confidence and made my intensive into a life-changing experience. From the first time I met her I never met someone with such passion towards job, her job was her life. My heart goes out to her husband, her family, Carl, Eric and Chamonix. She will be missed and the world will never be the same.

    Comment by Jesse Schwartzman — May 28, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

  27. I am devastated, heartbroken, at a loss for words, sad beyond belief. We will miss you with all our hearts and souls. Thank you for your work. You dedicated your life to helping people who stutter and you made the world a better place for us, and for everyone. I will miss you and our conversations. I will continue fighting the good fight and work even harder in your memory. You taught me a lot about the stuttering community and about living life. I hope you and my dad are hanging out right now. With so much love,

    Comment by Taro Alexander — May 28, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

  28. She brought hope to my stuttering. A true angel and amazing person. I will always remember her, I can’t believe it..

    Siempre pensaré en ti y gracias por ayudarme. Eres mi inspiración para ayudar a México a que la gente que sufre de tartamudez tenga un recurso de ayuda.


    Eduardo Dubost

    Comment by Eduardo Dubost — May 28, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  29. What a wonderful, inspiring woman. Catherine met us wherever we were on our stuttering journey and inspired us to push ourselves to the next level, and then the one after that. I wish I had known she was suffering; I would have liked to come by and give her an extra hug. Thanks to Catherine and everyone at AIS, the way I view my stuttering and myself as a stutterer has changed forever. Wishing peace to her family, friends, and all who have been touched by her magic

    Comment by Jessica Greif — May 28, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  30. I am very saddened to hear this news. I had the pleasure of working with Catherine during her 3 week intensive program as a volunteer during my undergraduate program. It is because of her devotion, hard work and her giving of opportunities that I decided to continue and pursue my career as a Speech Language Pathologist. She made me realize how much we can really do for other in our field. Thank you Catherine. My deepest condolence to her family and loved ones.

    Comment by Jessenia Perea — May 28, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  31. I had the pleasure of working with Cathy on-camera and behind the scenes while working for a PBS show called, “Keeping Kids Healthy.”. She was instrumental in our successful investigation of questionable claims about an anti-stuttering “device.” In the two shows we worked on together not only did we advance the undertanding of stuttering and the various legitimate treatment modalities, we also became friends. Our spouses shared in that friendship and she even pressed me into service to do some volunteer work consulting with AIS in considering public relations initiatives.

    Her passing makes the world less for it. But as it has been written, no one who is remembered ever dies. So it will be for Catherine.

    Jim Bunn

    Comment by Jim Bunn — May 28, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  32. Catherine was just an amazing person. I’m going to miss her very much and will always remember her. She changed my life forever.

    Comment by Troy Zabransky — May 28, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  33. Catherine was the personification of the word hope. Not the pie-in-the-sky if I wait for it will miraculously happen variety of hope that fills the pages of bad novels; but rather the kind of hope that comes from working tirelessly to transform lives – and actually succeeeding in doing so for many hundreds of people. Catherine worked, loved, played, and lived – with purpose. She was one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met and I feel so lucky to have known her. It is a sad day, but I hope we can all carry a little bit of Catherine around with us every day – our lives and the lives of those around us will be the better for it. Catherine did it right. May god bless her as she blessed us by giving of herself so completely.


    Comment by Jon Metcalf — May 28, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  34. The news this morning about Catherine hit hard. She was a sincere and wonderful person. From the moment I met her in 1989 I was impressed by her energy and desire to develop a thoroughly comprehensive therapeutic approach. She had great passion for helping those who stutter and she made a magnificent and wonderful difference in the lives of many, many people. My thoughts are with the AIS family and her husband Jon.

    Comment by Walt Manning — May 28, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

  35. My heart just sank when I read this e-mail. I knew Catherine because of a shared interest: people who stutter. I certainly admired and appreciated her contributions to the field of stuttering but what made me like Catherine was her warm smile, openness, inquisitive nature, humor, zest for life and the positive energy she exuded–all of which, it seems, she so admirably kept to the end. I send heartfelt condolences to her family.

    Comment by Kathleen M. Chase — May 28, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

  36. Catherine will be missed. Even though I haven’t seen her in decades, she was the first person who opened me to holistic approaches to stuttering, a true pioneer. The further I go in life with becoming more holistic the more I am thankful for the early start that Catherine gave me. Thank you for shining your light on me, Catherine!

    Comment by Tom Morrow — May 28, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  37. I met Catherine in 2005 during my 3-week intensive. The following year, Catherine was so kind as to let me be her student-clinician and learn about stuttering from a different perspective. I can honestly say that I’ve never met a person who was as so full of life as Catherine was. Not one day passed by that I didn’t see her either smile or laugh. She always knew how to raise someone’s spirits and look at the bright side. She was, is and always will be my inspiration as a person and as a clinician. I will miss you, Catherine! Rest in peace.

    Comment by Alina Lipyansky — May 28, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  38. My heart is so saddened to hear this!!!!!
    My friend Cathy!; so wise and kind and positive; so full of integrity; so beautiful inside and out; such an inspiration; such a blast to be with; one of the most amazing people I had the honor to know and grow with!; I only wish I had kept in touch more…. My heart goes out to you Jon. She truly was an angel and we all were blessed.

    Comment by Betsy Lincoln — May 28, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

  39. A devastating loss – clinicians, therapists, teachers like her are few and far between. Our thoughts are with her loved ones, her colleagues and her clients. We will miss her next year in Oxford.

    Comment by British Stammering Association — May 28, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

  40. I am devastated to hear the news of Catherine’s passing. She changed our lives forever by opening up hope and possibility for our son. Our deepest sympathies extend to her family, friends and staff who must endure this personal loss in their daily lives, but who can so proudly carry on her important work. Catherine will always be my hero for bringing brilliance, energy, reason, and hope to so many for so long.

    Comment by Joan Parsons — May 28, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

  41. I was very saddened to hear this news and had no idea Catherine had been unwell. I never met Catherine in person but she selflessly gave her time to share her knowledge at a British Stammering Association self help group conference call a while back. Catherine had no idea who I was when I wrote and asked if she would call in – but she accepted anyway and I believe this is yet another indication of her dedication to help where she could. TO Catherine’s relations and friends: I’m grateful for Catherine’s generosity of spirit, expert knowledge and kindness.

    Comment by Richard Cave — May 28, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

  42. I offer my condolences to the AIS family for the great loss. I will always remember Catherine with her nice smile and soothing voice. May she rest in peace..

    Comment by Onur Bingol — May 28, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

  43. I never met Catherine face to face, but every phone conversation and email correspondence left me feeling like an incredibly special person. Her enthusiasm for and encouragement of the people she encountered was a great example for me. Though I fall on the fringe of her vast circle of friends, her presence is sorely missed and her spirit is fondly remembered.

    Comment by Robert Privette — May 28, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

  44. My company,, had an office next to the Institute. I got to know Catherine as a neighbor. She was charming and helpful and smart. I enjoyed getting to know her very much. I will miss her.

    Comment by Bruce Antelman — May 28, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

  45. I can not believe it-is all I have said or thought to myself for the last few hours since getting the e-mail. I was involved VERY early on in the intensive course. This was way back in the PFP years!! I re-took the course 1 more time after Catherine and Larry took over and even helped out during one summer a long time ago. I was the youngest child she had up to the time I took the course. I have lost touch with Catherine and last talked to her in 1994. I have e-mailed her on and off since then. My affection for her was endless and everyone and anyone who ever met her felt her warmth, kindness and spirit. She and the program taught me to have confidence in myself even if I was blocking and gave me the courage to go to medical school. I was so worried that my kids would stutter and I can still hear Cathering saying “Even if they do, look at the role model they have in you.” Unfortunately my stuttering prevention skills have lapsed long ago. In some strange way however, her passing wants me to get back “in shape” and begin using what she taught me so many years ago (36+ years!!!) to honor her. She guided me (through e-mail) on who to have a child see in MA and the early intervention she guided me to helped that child never habituate stuttering and is now stutter free 10+ years later. She was a shining light in my life and many others and the sun does not seem as bright with her passing. With true sadness – David W.

    Comment by David W. — May 28, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

  46. I’m so sad to hear this. I didn’t even know anything was wrong. Catherine helped me so much in my life, from when I was so young when I met her at CRC, to now when she was always so proud when she heard good things about how I was doing. She is an inspirational person and one that I will always remember. I’m at a loss for words…

    Comment by marc vetri — May 28, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  47. Catherine, what a joy you made moving into my office – like a welcome wagon. My heart is saddened that your beautiful smile and joyous face will no longer be gracing the 12th floor. Your spirit of course will live there forever! I’ll miss you greatly.

    Comment by John Buscarello — May 28, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

  48. Catherine did nothing short than save my life – if not literally, then certainly figuratively. I can’t even think of where I’d be without her inspiration, her help, her friendship. I knew her off-and-on for over 20 years and I never saw her be anything but the most warm, compassionate, tough-loving, and selfless person you’d ever met.

    She was a fighter through everything. I can’t believe she’s gone. She was one of the most important people in my life. I wish I told her, but I hope she knew.

    It is truly the world’s loss. My condolences to all who loved her.

    I will think of her every time I have a little victory, because she taught me it was possible in the first place.

    Comment by Steve Lipsky — May 28, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

  49. I just received this terrible news of the passing of Catherine. I cannot believe it. Catherine you were an amazing champion for the treatment and recongnition of people who stutter not only in the USA but all around the world. So many people benefited from your vision and knowledge. Your passing will be a great great loss not only to your family and close friends but also to those of us who knew you and respected you and learned from your example. May you rest peacefully in Gods grace. What a sad sad day. Unbelievable!

    Comment by John Steggles — May 28, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

  50. Catherine – your dedication to PWS & your staff, your enthusiasm, your smile, and your presence will be remembered with love and appreciation. You helped make this a better world through the lives you helped change. They are in turn able to make this a better world …

    Comment by Karin Wexler — May 28, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

  51. My deepest condolences and sympathies go out to Catherine’s family and those who loved her closely. As a person who stutters, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Montgomery at last year’s AIS gala, where it would be the first (and last) time I would speak with her. Although she was very busy, I will never forget the time she took to speak with me. And when she addressed the attendees, everyone listened. There’s no doubt that the world has lost someone who truly gave everything to make the world more tolerant for those who stutter. I know that heaven has just welcomed another angel.

    Comment by Steven Kaufman — May 28, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  52. My sincerest condolences…I was looking forward so much to seeing Catherine in the near future but had no knowledge of her illness. Had I known I would have expedited matters. Although I have not seen Catherine in a number of years I have known her for more than half my lifetime since I was a young man and became involved with Precision Fluency.

    A major loss for us all…


    Comment by Jeff Palace — May 28, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

  53. I am truly saddened by this news. Catherine was more than just a friend; she was an amazing person. Her passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but in the hearts of everyone who knew her. Catherine’s memory will always remain deep within my heart.

    Comment by Annie Bradberry — May 28, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

  54. I am shocked and very saddened to hear of Catherine’s untimely passing. In my family she was a “hero” as she helped my son to literally turn his life around. She was a vibrant, warm and positive lady who offered a ray of hope to a situation that could be heartbreaking and lonely. I will never forget her.

    Comment by Robin Straus — May 28, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

  55. It with a saddened heart that I write this. Cathy (Catherine to all in the city) was my dear childhood friend, who was always so full of life. My heart breaks for the loss of her. I know she was fighting this latest battle with her true spirit. I was so fortunate to be able to see her last fall. I am truly sorry to hear about her passing. I always will smile when I think of her.

    Comment by Linda Marvin Genier — May 28, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

  56. Dear Catherine,
    We remember we met you about 20 years ago in your studio apartment coming to you feeling very lost. It was that very first meeting with you that we knew things would be okay. Thank you our dear Catherine. You truly changed our lives and you will always be the angel sitting on our shoulders guiding us forever. May your soul rest in peace. We love you.
    Our deepest condolences to Jon and family. Our hearts are with you forever.
    Janet & Peter Levine

    Comment by Janet & Peter Levine — May 28, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

  57. This is a great loss and i do feel deeply saddened but I view this in a much diffwrent light. I view this with deep admiration in light of what Catherine was able to accomplish and how many souls she was able to truly touch in her life that was cut all too shrt. I know byron pitts would call her an angel. Well The world lost one of its angels last night. She was such a warrior for the cause of stuttering a very worthy cause to dedicate a life to. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your life truly helped and touched mine

    Comment by Matt O'Malley — May 28, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

  58. My condolences to anyone who has been lucky enough to have been family or friend of Catherine’s. I was Catherine’s client over 25 years ago and I interned at AIS 4 years ago as a clinician. I have been blessed to have her as part of my life as a clinician, supervisor, mentor, but most of all as a friend. She has had such an enormous impact on my life and played a role in deciding what I want to do with my life. She has touched the lives of so many people who stutter and her love and work will live on through all her clients, students and clinicians that she’s educated, her staff, and through the work of the American Institute for Stuttering. I’m sure her impact goes well beyond the realm of the stuttering community. Her energy and love for life could not be matched.

    Thanks for empowering and educating me and the thousands of others within the stuttering community. I will miss you. Love ya.

    Comment by Mitch Trichon — May 28, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

  59. I’ve just read the email and I’m shocked – I didn’t know she had been unwell and I’m all the more grateful for her hard work and efforts despite her ongoing fight against the cancer… Like every stutterer fortunate enough to have known her, I am deeply indebted to her for helping me transform the way I see myself and ultimately the way I live my life, and I’m just so sad that she is no longer here with us and that other stutterers will not have the miraculous fortune of getting to know her like myself.. I should stop rambling before I become even more incoherent. I miss her. Nothing will be ever enough for me to express my deep gratitude and love. May her rest in peace. I miss her.

    Comment by Shinyoung Hwang — May 28, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

  60. I was so upset when I heard the news. Catherine was a rock for us all. She has done so much and truly changed the lives of many people. When I came out of my 3 week intensive, it was just relieving to live the way I wanted. Catherine will truly be missed.

    Comment by Matt D'Angiolillo — May 28, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

  61. I am shocked and sadden by the news of Catherine’s death. I was her only student in her december 2008 intensive speech theraphy program. Catherine used to practice with me all the time. Catherine and her team changed my life. She will be missed.

    Comment by Shevone — May 28, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  62. Cathy,

    You changed the entire direction of my life. There is absolutely NO WAY that I would be where I am today if is wasn’t for you. I was lucky enough to meet you at age 19, and after learning what you had to teach, my whole life just took off.

    While I’m in a different field than you were, I use many of the things that you taught me to help my own patients. You empowered me to believe in myself and to feel that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. Its funny… The kid who stutters grew up to be the Doctor who helps those that can’t hear and has to counsel his patients on a daily basis.

    I can’t ever thank you enough.
    The world has lost a sweet, kind, and caring human being of the highest order.

    Comment by Peter Loring — May 28, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

  63. I would like to send my condolences to Catherine Montgomery’s family and friends. She was truly an inspiration and it was a privilege and a professional milestone to have experienced her teaching and guidance in an externship during a summer intensive program. May she rest in peace while her spirit and legacy continue.

    Comment by Eileen Dougherty — May 28, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  64. Catherine, my heart is broken upon learning of your death this morning. I will ALWAYS remember your facilitation of the closing ceremony at the Houston NSA conference. Of all of my wonderful memories of NSA conferences, that one is my very favorite. Thanks for the bus rides and the laughter and the dances at many NSA conferences over the years. I – along with thousands of other people who stutter – will never forget you. You are loved beyond your wildest dreams. Rest in peace. Love, Russ

    Comment by Russ Hicks — May 28, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

  65. I had the pleasure of knowing Catherine in my early twenties…… she was caring and supportive to those of us who stuttered and never made us feel like we were “less then” She was positive and encouraging to those of who so desperately needed it. You will be missed

    Comment by Lisa Berg Anderson — May 28, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

  66. Catherine, you were the greatest gift my parents could, and did, ever give me. I came to you in high school, full of spirit but also so fearful of living with my stutter. You not only provided me with the tools to speak in control but you also taught me how to truly embrace and love all aspects of myself. And now, 14 years after I first met you and took the intensive program, I may fear some situations but I never back away. I learned to love myself for all that I am and follow all my dreams. Who would have thought I’d take a job where it is all about public speaking and not only that, actually enjoy and find the utmost excitement out of doing it. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for you, as I know so many other people feel the same exact way. You truly are an angel that continuously inspires and gives strength to everyone around you. You will remain a part of me forever. I miss you and love you.

    Comment by Michelle Levine — May 28, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

  67. I was shocked beyond words when I read the e-mail that Catherine passed away. I first met Catherine in my 20s when I was stuttering severely. I was lost and needed someone in my life who could understand the anguish I was going through. I feel fortunate that I received therapy from her. She taught me to accept myself for who I was inside and supported me as I started my journey towards fluency. Even years later when I called her, she was always available to encourage me. Later on, when I became a speech pathologist, she became a well respected colleague. She will be missed by the stuttering community. She was a remarkable person. My condolences to her family and the AIS staff.

    Comment by Lori Melnitsky — May 28, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  68. Catherine was an inspiration to her family, friends, and colleagues. Through her work at AIS she touched thousands of lives. Those of us who knew her, however briefly, will remember her warm smile and magnanimous spirit.

    Comment by Rick Herder — May 28, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  69. Catherine helped me at a time when I wasn’t sure that I could be helped. Her knowledge, compassion, motivation, inspiration and, above all, kindness set me on a path to becoming a better person. Though I had not had too much contact with her in the past few years, her teachings are in my thoughts daily. I know of so many others who’s lives she touched in ways that she cannot have imagined. The world will continue to shine with the brightness that she gave to all of us. She will be missed and thought of often and fondly.
    Exhale, slowly inhale, keep a good thought, and keep talking.

    Comment by Chris Vacca — May 28, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

  70. This is a very sad day for the stuttering community. People who stutter, professionals, and family and friends will greatly miss Catherine. I have known her for many years and what I remember is her openess, kindness, wisdom, and her zest for life. I was always impressed with her willingness to learn more about working with people who stutter, even though she had a very successful practice. Catherine reached out to SSMP several years ago for some of our ideas and adopted them into her intensive programs. This kind of openess and willingness to try something new to help people who stutter is most impressive. She will be missed.

    Comment by Judith Eckardt — May 28, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

  71. Catherine touched many people’s lives and will be greatly missed by all who went through AIS. She had a huge heart of service to others. Her life’s work was helping people like me feel more confident about my stuttering. My heart goes out to her husband and the AIS staff. Even though she is gone, her legacy will never die. I am so priviledged to have had the oppertunity to meet her at the AIS intensive in August ’09. She was an amazing person and loved by many “stutterbuds” and non-“stutterbuds.” I will miss her greatly.

    Comment by Kailey Holcombe — May 28, 2010 @ 7:28 pm

  72. I am so grateful for having known Catherine. I guess I could say, we are ALL so very grateful for having known her. She not only was one of the most caring and giving individuals I have ever known, she gave me a great gift. The sadness is not for me but for those people she will not be able to touch in the future. We, who have been touched by her joy of living, must bear her torch for her. I will live my life to its fullest with as much joy as I can, as she did. I will give generously of myself and my knowledge as much as I can, as she did. The picture of her on the AIS website announcing her passing exemplifies her being: joyful with one of the deepest happiest smiles I have ever encountered. Thank you, Catherine. Thank you for your “you-ness.”

    Comment by Diego Daniel Pardo — May 28, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

  73. Dear Catherine,
    We remember we met you about 20 years ago, in your studio apartment, coming to you feeling very lost. It was that very 1st meeting with you that we knew things would be okay. Thank you our dear Catherine. You truly changed our lives and you will always be the angel sitting on our shoulders guiding us forever. May your soul rest in peace. Our deepest condolences to Jon and family. Our hearts are with you.

    We love you.
    Janet and Peter Levine

    Comment by Janet & Peter Levine — May 28, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

  74. I am soooo sorry about what happend to Catherine. She helped me a lot in the short time I been at AIS. She encouraged me to make my speech better. I want to let her family know that she was a very good person. She was always nice to me everytime I went to her office and I saw her in the building. She is truly missed. God bless her!

    Comment by David Richards — May 28, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

  75. My deepest condolences, thought, prayers for Catherine’s husband and family. I just found out. I am deeply saddened…

    Comment by Dominic — May 28, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

  76. I came here to a school library to check my emails after work. I opened the the asha-div4 emails one by one, as usual, and so did I with the one titled Catherine’s name as well, simply expecting it to be something about AIS. I am totally numb. I cannot comprehend the news.

    I remember that Catherine shared her struggles with cancer when I was interning at the AIS last summer. I was stunned by her energetic and positive attitudes toward life. I am fortunate to have met her and was able to share some time with her. I cannot say anymore at this time.

    Comment by Yuko — May 28, 2010 @ 8:25 pm

  77. I only knew her for a few years. Her positive energy and inspiration she gave me will last my lifetime. I am privileged to have known her and will always remember her.

    Comment by Josh Kryshka — May 28, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  78. I was shocked to hear of this very sad news.
    We had some really good years together. She will be cannonized for her contributions to stuttering.
    My sympahies and love to Jon.

    Comment by Jen — May 28, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

  79. From the moment I met Catherine before my 3 week intensive, I knew I had met someone with a special gift that she freely and selflessly shared. The courage and confidence that she imparted on me will never be forgotten. She is part of the person that I am today. Her parting is devastating, but her spirit will live on forever through all the souls that she touched in her lifetime. I am blessed to have been one of them.

    Comment by Chris Shea — May 28, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

  80. Catherine, thank you for everything you have done for Carl and me. You created the opportunity for him to be happy and fulfilled every day. I am so lucky that you came into our lives and found Carl that fateful day in Dublin. I can only hope to support and encourage him to continue to carry out the mission of AIS. With love and eternal peace, Lauren

    Comment by Lauren Herder — May 28, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

  81. I do not know what to say. This was so unexpected. I believe all I can say is that she will be dearly missed and I would to take this time to say thank you to Catherine for all that she has done for me. I am forever grateful to her for helping me conquer my stuttering. I will keep her family and friends in my prayers and I send my love out to all. Also, I would like to cite a scripture. John 5:28,29 says “All those in the memorial tombs will… come out.” Jehovah, God promises a resurrection of all those who have died. We can have the comfort of knowing that we will see again in God’s new world. So, I hope this offers some amount of comfort.

    Comment by Marcus Charlton — May 28, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

  82. Cathrine, Thanks you so much for changing my life. Now I am proud to be a stutterer and I love all the great friends I have made through you and your program. I will miss you for the rest of my life because I will always think of you if I stutter or not. I have no more fears of stuttering and I am now proud of who I am. You knew just what I needed and that is so special to me. I don’t know what else to say but I love you..
    Bob Koste

    Comment by Bob Koste — May 28, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

  83. I am still in total shock and disbelief over hearing the news of Catherine’s passing. It is rare that one person can have such a positive impact on so many people’s lives. It is clear from the number of posts on this blog that Catherine was one such person. I first met Catherine at a very difficult time in my life. However, my time with Catherine at AIS changed that. Catherine not only changed the way I came to view my stutter but also transformed the way I wanted to live my life. Catherine inspired me to pursue a career in speech therapy and work towards bringing the same feelings of acceptance, confidence and peace to my clients that Catherine brought to me. She opened up a whole new world to me that I never knew existed. While I thanked Catherine for what she did for me, I wish I had known that Catherine was sick so that I could have told her one last time how great of an influence she had on my life. She is a significant reason why I am who and where I am today. I am going to miss my therapist, mentor and friend. I still had so much to learn from her and I am heartbroken that she was taken away so soon. My condolences go out to her husband, family, friends, colleagues and all her “stutter buddies”.
    Catherine, thank you for all your hard work and commitment to those who stutter. Your beliefs, philosophy and passion will live in your clients’ hearts forever. I love you Catherine and will miss you.

    Comment by Erin Bodner — May 28, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

  84. Catherine was one of the most important people in my life and I do not know who I would be today had I not met her. Sitting down with her nearly fifteen years ago as a young boy, I suddenly realized that there was someone else in this world who understood the physical and emotional pain of having my words taken from me. I considered Catherine a close friend but the impact she had on me made her so much more than that – to myself and many others she was a maternal savior, a giver of life.

    Thank you Catherine, for all you did for all of us. I love you, I miss you, and I will carry you with me for the rest of my life.

    Comment by Conor Manley — May 28, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

  85. Our family was deeply saddened to learn of Catherine’s death. She will be greatly missed by all who were helped by her and by those in need of her help. She had the ability to make those she helped believe in themselves. Our condolences to her family.

    Comment by Rocco Marando — May 28, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

  86. I’m thankful that I know that Catherine is and always will be alright, because right now I find the news of her passing – overwhelming. Catherine was my daily Prayer Partner for many months and I always regard her as family. My prayers and heart go to Jon and all those who love her. Catherine, I will miss you and I know you are blessed.

    Comment by Bobbie Horowitz — May 28, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

  87. Like me, there are many others who’d like to pay respects.

    PLEASE post the date, time and funeral location.

    Comment by Steve Golub — May 28, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

  88. I am very saddened to hear about Catherine’s death. I did not know that she was ill and I am so very sorry for your loss. Catherine was a lovely woman and a superb speech pathologist who will be truly missed by both her colleagues and all the many fluency clients that she helped over the years.

    Comment by Enid Hymes — May 28, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

  89. Cathy was blessed with a passion to help others and to inspire us all to reach our potential. She changed so many lives for the better and we all loved her so very much!! She will be missed!

    Comment by Joe K — May 28, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

  90. I attended one of Catherine’s intensive workshops eight years ago. I will always remember her generosity, patience, wisdom, compassion and integrity. Catherine did not promise miracles—I understood that my stuttering was not going to disappear overnight and that yes, I will probably have it with me for the rest of my life—rather, she gave me and countless other people who stutter the tools and confidence to face the world and live our lives to the fullest. She was an amazing speech therapist and incredible person, dedicating herself to a group of people often misunderstood, disregarded and ridiculed. I have so much to thank her for. My condolences to her family and friends.

    Comment by Alexa Jaworski — May 29, 2010 @ 12:06 am

  91. I didn’t know Catherine that well. I attended an intense one month program of hers. The only thing I know about her is that she had one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever come in contact with. The capacity of her love and willingness to help others is indescribable. Catherine changed my life from the second I met her. I have so much to thank her for. She put everything she had into this program and it will never be forgotten. She helped change my life in more ways then I can explain. I will always have a place in my heart for Catherine.

    Comment by Lindsay Bassoff — May 29, 2010 @ 12:20 am

  92. I am so saddened to hear this news. We first met Catherine at ASHA in 2001 and she was so very generous when we came to visit AIS in 2003. She inspired us to make some major changes to our programme and continued to be generous, supportive and inspiring as we implemented those changes. Catherine was a truly amazing person and her legacy will live on through the many people she worked with, both clients and clinicians. My heart goes out to Jon and her family and friends. Carolyn Cheasman

    Comment by Carolyn Cheasman — May 29, 2010 @ 3:26 am

  93. When I was 15, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. My mom walked me into Catherine’s office for her intensive program and I did not want to be there. But within a day, I knew I had found home. I’d never met anyone else who stuttered and Catherine changed my life forever. As I grew older we kept in touch and I knew I could always go to her for advice about basically anything. She knew each of her clients personally, and for this SOOO many people are eternally grateful. But the most special thing about her, and I think many would agree with me, is that she believed in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves. And for that, I could never be thankful enough.


    Comment by Samantha Gennuso — May 29, 2010 @ 4:56 am

  94. I am shocked to read this very sad news. Catherine was a wonderful warmhearted, inspiring, and competent person. She will be missed but her spirit will continue to be effective. My condolences to her family and friends.

    Comment by Hans-Georg Bosshardt — May 29, 2010 @ 5:22 am

  95. I was fortunate enough to meet Catherine when she had an intensive program in Hawaii. Her holistic approach really brought on a new level of awareness that applied not only to my speech but to my life. She showed me that my speech was only a “challenge” and that fluency was attainable. In fact, after the program I volunteered to do an interview for a local news station. It went very well and I know Catherine remembers that experience as much as I do. Thank you Catherine for your tireless efforts in finding an answer for people who stutter, for your encouraging words when things got tough and for understanding what people who stutter go through word by word. My deepest condolences go to her family, friends and AIS. You will truly be missed.

    Comment by Terry K — May 29, 2010 @ 7:26 am

  96. My thoughts are with Catherine’s family. I wish you strength in these very difficult weeks ahead.
    I am sure that Catherine’s legacy will live on and that her colleagues at AIS will continue the work that Catherine spearheaded with the same devotion and enthusiasm.

    Comment by Martine Vanryckeghem — May 29, 2010 @ 9:07 am

  97. Thank you catherine for everything you taught us. AIS was one of the greatest experiences of my life. You will be missed

    Comment by nishu goel — May 29, 2010 @ 9:38 am

  98. Catherine helped me immeasurably with my speech and my life for which I will remember her and be forever grateful. I can’t think of anyone I have known who I admire more for being who she was and for her contribution to others. She was such a special person and so many of us will always be so fortunate to carry a very small piece of her in our hearts. Thank you, Catherine, Ray

    Comment by Ray — May 29, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  99. I am so grateful to have met Catherine!I live in Greece and i follow her spirit, her advices and everything she has taught me everyday!!!!!!
    She will be missed, i will never forget her!My condolences to her family and friends.

    Comment by Olga Kaidas — May 29, 2010 @ 10:23 am

  100. I am an unfortunate person! – because I only got to meet you once, and that meeting was far to brief- The first impression that you gave me was beautiful, by the end of our conversation I Genuinely liked you ( yet I hardly knew you)- During our conversation I was intrigued by your intelligence and open mindedness, and I was dazzled by your beautiful smile and quick wit. I will forever be grateful for your work in constructing and guiding AIS! My intensive program at AIS ended yesterday. My life has changed, I have hope, Im excited to live out and experience my future- You gave this to me through AIS… Thank you so much!

    Comment by Matt DeLanoy — May 29, 2010 @ 10:40 am

  101. I am heartsick to hear about Catherine. We met when she was so young and just starting out in her work. She was a friend of my son, Christopher Noble, who also died far too young in 2001. I was fascinated by her and spent the evening talking about our hopes and dreams and plans. I visited the institute and sent several people there, who were helped immeasurably. This was a great lady who filled everyone with joy and made you glad just to be in her presence. I do not need to tell her extended family how much she will be missed.

    Meg Noble Peterson

    Comment by Meg Noble Peterson — May 29, 2010 @ 11:16 am

  102. I am devastated to hear of Catherine’s passing. She is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. She inspired many clients and clinicians alike. I was fortunate to have learned from her, skills that I will carry forth as best I can. I have also been touched by her spirit of optimism and unconditional love of people – The world has lost a unique and very special human being who will be greatly missed. My condolences to her family and friends. Nevi

    Comment by Nevi Saltus — May 29, 2010 @ 11:46 am

  103. I am so sad to hear about this tragic loss..Catherine was such a special lady to so many people not only to all of us that stutter but to all that knew her…One day we were having a conversation about having children and I asked her,”Catherine you have the biggest heart and such compassion..”Why didn’t u ever have children”? And she said “Saige, u all are my children”..I truly believe that..

    Comment by Saige Kantor — May 29, 2010 @ 11:58 am

  104. This is truly sad news. Upon seeing the link on facebook I was immediately put in shock. I went to AIS’s intensive in January 2007 and I learned tools that I use to this day daily in my own speech practice and functional communication (vocal fold management). Had I never gone to AIS and met Catherine, my quality of life would not be the same as it is now. I am greatly saddened by the news and I can only hope I, as a future SLP, can touch the amount of lives that she has touched. I am in her debt for a lifetime, may she rest in peace with God.

    Comment by Carlos Alvarado — May 29, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  105. I love you Catherine soo much..Thank you for having the passion for changing so many peoples lives..You have inspired so many ..I’m truly blessed to not only be a former client of yours but a friend as well….

    Comment by Saige Kantor — May 29, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

  106. I love you Catherine soo much..Thank you for having the passion for changing so many peoples lives..You have inspired so many ..I’m truly blessed to not only be a former client of yours but a friend as well….will miss you :(

    Comment by Saige Kantor — May 29, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

  107. Always kind, giving, sincere, and passionate about helping others, Catherine, you will be so missed. You were there with me through the Specialty Recognition process right from the first observations to the final test. I am blessed to have known and learned from you. Because of the inspiration you’ve brought to this world, I know your work will live on at AIS and beyond. You will continue to touch lives forever. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends you leave behind. Kathy

    Comment by Kathy Scaler Scott — May 29, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

  108. I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Catherine´s passing this morning. My sincere condolences to her family at this time. I know that they will find strength at this time in the knowledge that Catherine has left a legacy that others will be able to carry on with pride. A life well lived!!

    Comment by Rosalee C Shenker — May 29, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  109. Beautiful Spirit, full of love and life, illuminating, grounding, giving, caring, laughing heart and soul, I will miss you, our world will miss you. Thank you for all you gave and continue to give from places beyond our knowing. Blessings to you Catherine, you’ll continue to inspire me and bring a smile to my face when I think of you. Marjorie

    Comment by Marjorie Rosenthal Foer — May 29, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

  110. Catherine changed thousands of lives for the better-including mine. I am privileged to have known and and to have received her help. Her impact on this world was profound and will be missed greatly. She was force for good wherever she went and had such a positive energy that was contagious and inspiring. My deepest sympathies to her family-I love you Catherine.

    Comment by Paul Marando — May 29, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

  111. Deepest condolences to Jon – and the AIS family of Chamonix, Carl and others.
    You know, a person is a composite of body and soul. For most of us, we have “thick skins” and the soul has to press through. For a few, the soul is so full of fire, so full of light, it shines through into the world, spreading spirit and goodness to all around.
    Catherine was one of these few. A beautiful person, and paradigmatic professional. I feel so very fortunate to have encountered such a radiant soul.
    May we all keep her memory alive – and live her legacy in all that we do.

    Comment by Uri Schneider — May 30, 2010 @ 12:44 am

  112. I am deeply saddened to hear this awful news about Catherine. My condolences and sympathies go out to Catherine’s family and loved ones. I took part in one of her three week intensive programs many years ago, and had the great pleasure of meeting her and learning many great things about stuttering that i use in my daily life even now. She was truly a blessing in my life, and i’m sure in many others as well. We have lost someone who truly cared about people, and genuinely wanted to help them. I hope the AIS organization continues her fine work. She will sorely be missed.

    Comment by Tom Dushaj — May 30, 2010 @ 1:15 am

  113. It´s eight o´clock in the morning in Germany and I nearly can´t believe what I just read. Catherine shared so much of her knowledge of stuttering and tought me so many things while my internship. I always admired her and still do of her strength and everyday positive attitude in helping people overcomming her speechproblems. She filled out rooms with her great spirit and illuminated even sad heart wherever she was. She will fill out my thoughts forever and is going to live on in my classes whenever I teach stuttering. Even being very sad, she brings a smile on my face right now thinking of her. Katharina

    Comment by Katharina Matzel — May 30, 2010 @ 2:28 am

  114. Catherine entered my life in 1994, and I owe her a debt of gratitude. Her work was ahead of its time, and her spirit ahead of that. Cathy left a legacy of hope and compassion. She will be sorely missed.

    Comment by David Sherman — May 30, 2010 @ 7:48 am

  115. I was in shock after receiving the email regarding Catherine’s passing. I send my deepest sympathies to Catherine’s family, friends, and to AIS. I did an internship for graduate school during the summer of 2007 for the intensive program. Catherine was a wonderful teacher and individual. She will be missed, but her work and her mission will keep her alive.

    Comment by Brienne Credendino — May 30, 2010 @ 9:55 am

  116. My deepest condolences.

    Comment by Steen Fibiger, Denmark — May 30, 2010 @ 11:48 am

  117. To all of Catherine’s friends, family, and beloved ones,
    I am heartbroken to hear this tragic news. I and many other stutterers owe Catherine a great deal, for helping us overcome a difficulty which has plagued us for many years. Catherine truly understood what it meant to be a stutterer, to be so self-scrutinizing and scared, and she brought that to her work every day. Catherine was a pioneer in the field of stuttering, therapy, combining several different techniques to not only treat the physical aspect of stuttering, but the mental hardship as well. She was able to accomplish this through her boundless enthusiasm, compassion, and caring. Everyone who she touched will miss her greatly, and we are all devastated by her loss.

    Comment by Barak Bacharach — May 30, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

  118. Love overrides all, including death. I have never seen so many hearts so powerfully connected by love to one person. What an unprecedented experience! I recall talking to Cathy shortly after her mother had passed away, and Cathy told me that she felt that her mother was still alive and that she was happy looking at Cathy from Heaven. In line with Cathy’s perception, I am sure that now her soul is looking down from Heaven at all the love that she brought in the profession and in the hearts of those she treated, and that she feels good about her life that was full of meaning and grace. May her lesson of love continue among those who treat people who stutter so that the torch she lit will always shine brightly!

    Comment by Isabella K. Reichel — May 30, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

  119. I did not know Catherine personally, but have heard a lot of people talk about how she touched lives. These tributes to her are beautiful. It seems the stuttering community was enriched by her, and that her legacy will indeed live on.

    Comment by Pam — May 30, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  120. This is such sad news. Catherine was a good friend to the Manhattan Stuttering Group over the years. Many of us have gone to her as a therapist and later to AIS over the years. Catherine was always so gracious and understanding to us stutterers, and we will miss her very much.

    Comment by Mike Cohn — May 30, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

  121. My deepest condolences are offered to Jon and Catherine’s family, Chamonix, Carl, and the rest of the AIS family. Catherine was such an advocate for people who stutter and the clinicians who treat them. She will be missed. My thoughts are with you all.

    Comment by Lisa Scott — May 30, 2010 @ 7:27 pm

  122. I did not know Catherine personally, but I heard soooo many wonderful things about you Catherine through my sister, that I feel cheated to have not met you. My dear Catherine God Bless you may you rest in peace, your legacy will live on.

    Comment by Marie Di Grande — May 30, 2010 @ 11:42 pm

  123. I was very saddened to learn of Cathy’s passing. I’ve known her since we first met at the 1987 National Stuttering Project convention in San Francisco. I met her quite a few times since then at various stuttering conventions, and we had been in touch through E-mail and Facebook.

    Cathy was one of the outstanding gems of the stuttering therapy world, who combined her considerable professional knowledge, insight, and experience, with an extraordinary genuine caring for people, dedication to helping people who stutter meet their life challenges, and friendliness to everyone she met.

    There are very few professionals in the stuttering field who can match her expertise, commitment to the needs of people who stutter, and ability to relate with such compassion to all of us in the stuttering community. Unlike many other clinicians she took into consideration with sensitivity the emotions, feelings, and thoughts of people who stutter, and made it a point to get to know people on a personal level by attending gatherings of the stuttering community.

    She will be sorely missed.

    Comment by Paul Goldstein — May 31, 2010 @ 12:03 am

  124. I was shocked when I got the e-mail telling that Catherine had passed away. She was so optimistic, energetic, full of humor, and open-minded. We had met in the IFA end at congresses. So when I was to arrange a course in stuttering, the choice wasn’t difficult for me: I had her come to Denmark to be a lecturer at an IFA pre-congress course in 2000 for SLP’s from all over the Globe. I never will forget the course, nor will the participants.

    My condolences to Catherine’s dear ones.

    Comment by Hermann Christmann — May 31, 2010 @ 8:25 am

  125. We connected as fun loving, adventure seeking young women in the process of developing and strengthening our beliefs, goals and values over twenty-nine years ago. Then, as during these last few weeks, I was struck by your indomitable spirit, commitment to your loved ones and your work, which has been more a calling. Strength, courage, beauty and grace are adjectives that keep running through my mind as I think of you laughing about your pirate patch while describing the next “crappy” medical procedure on your docket.
    Although personally intertwined, when my own professional evolution kept bringing me to AIS and I saw the growth of your organization and met some of the numbers of people whom you have touched, you became an inspiration in a different way. I will keep your memory alive in the work that I do, the stories I tell about you and the people whose lives can be made happier and will pass the joy forward.
    With love,

    Comment by Denise Grenier — May 31, 2010 @ 9:17 am

  126. I met Catherine at an AIS intensive session in July 2008. I had researched many stuttering programs for my daughter and had decided on hers. She truly pioneered a different way to view your stuttering and with that came an attitude of self confidence and acceptance of stuttering for my daughter. Her stuttering is not completely gone, but, because of Catherine, she is ok with that and is equipped with tools for handling it. We got off to a rocky start at the beginning of my daughter’s program and Catherine took all the time we needed to help my daughter work through it. She was( I am crying as I have to write the word was instead of is) brilliant, dedicated, compassionate, determined, inspiring, and upbeat. Thank you, Catherine, for your immeasurable contribution to helping stutterers and their families! You will be missed and I pray that your great work will continue.

    My deepest sympathy to all your loved ones.

    Comment by Teri Rigell — May 31, 2010 @ 11:25 am

  127. Catherine has touched thousands with her skills and her spirit. She was a congruent SLP: one who continuously sought out new modalities and new therapies to treat stuttering with an integrated approach. Catherine was a leader within the ASHA stuttering community. She was a brilliant business woman who put outcomes with people who stutter first. My prayers to AIS, Catherine’s family, and all those she touched.

    Tim Mackesey,SLP Atlanta, GA

    Comment by Tim Mackesey — May 31, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  128. Dear colleague Catherine,

    You were a symbol of life, bubbly, cheerful, optimistic and conveyor of energy, we will terribly miss your sunny side in the field of stuttering. I remember all of our discussions during our meetings at the international congresses. You were rare. Thank you for what I’ve learned from you.
    My deepest thoughts to your husband and your loved ones.
    Marie-Pierre, Paris, FRANCE

    Comment by Marie-Pierre Poulat — May 31, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

  129. I am so saddened by this news. My deepest sympathy to Catherine’s family…I am very sorry for your loss. Catherine was an inspiration and will be remembered for her professional and personal contributions to us all.
    Diane Parris – Boston

    Comment by Diane Parris — May 31, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

  130. Dear Catherine,
    You have been such an inspiration to me throughout my career and a joy to know personally. I will miss the positive spirit you brought to everything you did! But I also know that the lives you touched will share that spirit with others, and your legacy will continue to provide hope to those who stutter and their families.

    I am keeping your family and friends in my heart and prayers at this very difficult time.

    With love,

    Comment by Sheryl Gottwald — May 31, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

  131. Cathy will be missed very deeply. Her strength and passion were an inspiration to all who had the pleasure of knowing her. We have all grown from Catherine’s presence in the stuttering community, and will hold her memory close. My deepest condolences to Jon, her AIS family and friends. She will be deeply missed and always remebered. Lee

    Comment by Lee Caggiano — May 31, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

  132. I’m preaching to the choir here when I say that stuttering is a difficult thing to deal with and it seems like all hope is lost. Catherine showed me that there was hope for people like me. What she and AIS did for me and many others is beyond words. she will be missed.

    Comment by Daniel Espinal — May 31, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

  133. I fondly remember in 1996, Catherine graciously spoke for our small Speech and Hearing Society at Brooklyn College as a guest speaker. We were a juvenile bunch of speech undergrads but she still managed to find the time to lecture on stuttering for us.
    I am shocked and saddened by her untimely death as well.
    Robert Gabelman, Brooklyn

    Comment by Robert Gabelman — May 31, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

  134. As Catherine’s minister, I am deeply saddened by the loss of this beautiful light. She really didn’t share with me the extent of her illness, so her passing came as a total shock to me and others at Unity of New York. Catherine is now free of all pain, and she is as alive as she ever was while in her physical body. Blessings of peace to all who are grieving the passing of this lovely woman.

    Comment by Paul Tenaglia — June 1, 2010 @ 12:05 am

  135. I was incredibly fortunate to spend my final clinical externship in Speech-Language Pathology at AIS with Catherine as my mentor and guide. Since then, she has guided me as I worked with people who stutter, supported me in my theatrical pursuits and most recently has encouraged me in my own battle against cancer. She remained positive through every step of her treatment and this incredible positivity inspires me every day. She has taught me to fight this fight with grace and courage. My heart goes out to Jon, who has also been a supporter and source of encouragement in my life, as well as to her family and colleagues at AIS. I will carry Catherine’s incredible spirit with me every step of the way. I count my blessings every day for having had the beauty of her soul in my life. She had that rare capacity to touch every person that she met and leave them feeling accepted, loved and full of hope. Oh Catherine, we will all miss you deeply.

    Comment by Victoria Lavington — June 1, 2010 @ 12:30 am

  136. So very sad. I remember Catherine as a bright, vivacious individual, full of grace and charm. I always looked forward to meeting her and hearing about all the great work she had been doing. She will be missed by so many people.

    Comment by Dave Rowley — June 1, 2010 @ 5:55 am

  137. It’s hard to believe Catherine’s gone. I knew her for over 30 years and will never forget her face and that smile. Her picture captures her perfectly. So full of life and a great positive force. She’ll be missed by many but not forgotten. Peace.

    Comment by Don Baillie — June 1, 2010 @ 8:38 am

  138. This is such sad news and such a great loss. However, Catherine will certainly live on in the lives of the many she touched personally and professionally. It was a joy to know her.

    Comment by Judy Martin — June 1, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  139. Cathy,

    It was a long time since we visited last in the early days of the NSP/NSA. You were always a joy, an inspiration to me and other members of the Houston NSA. You will be missed greatly! We love you Catherine!

    Comment by Douglas Scott — June 1, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  140. I was fortunate enough to meet Catherine at the June 2009 intensive program. She was a wonderful teacher but and even better person who brought hope to countless number of people who stutter. She will be missed dearly but her spirit will live on through everyone she coached.

    Comment by Brandon Hicks — June 1, 2010 @ 11:14 am

  141. I was so deeply shocked and saddened to learn of Catherine’s passing. My heartfelt condolences go out to her husband, family, and friends.

    Comment by Jennifer Berkey — June 1, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  142. Words, the difficulty I had with them, the fear I had of them and the obstacles they provided were the subject of my first conversations with Catherine in the fall of 1995. On this occasion, words are simply inadequate to express what I feel. As I hope dearest Catherine knew she was one of the most important people in my life, whose influence upon me, like countless others, cannot be underestimated. She leaves an aching vaccum in my life. Without her I would not be the person that I am. The day I met Catherine I was blessed. RIP, dearest girl.

    Comment by simon boughey — June 1, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  143. We are devastated by the news of Catherine’s passing. She had such a passionate belief in the power of the human spirit and the courage, strength and determination to get through this illness if anyone could it would and should have been Catherine. We are so sorry, and our thoughts and prayers are with you Jon and her family during this unbearably difficult time. We had such good times, and remember Catherine always at the heart of it. We shall miss her terribly. She left too soon but what an impact she made on us all and what a legacy she left. A little bit of her will remain with us all and she will not be forgotten. With love Willie,Frances and all her friends at the Michael Palin Centre

    Comment by Willie Botterill — June 1, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  144. I feel like I lost a life partner who was so dedicated to her family and of course her beloved therapy students. She traeted people with the utmost respect always keeping that big smile at all times. I was very fortunate to know her just a year ago, in the May 2009 Intensive Program. I will miss her very much and she will never be forgotten. May she R.I.P.

    Comment by Yossi Waldman — June 1, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

  145. I had read and heard a lot about Catherine and her work. I was fortunate to meet her in summer 2006 at the IFA world congress on Fluency Disorders in Dublin Ireland. It was nice meeting and chatting with her and she was such a nice person. Catherine, may your should rest in perfect Peace.

    Comment by Joseph Lukong — June 1, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  146. Words formed the subject of the first conversation I ever had with Catherine in October 1995. Specifically, my fear of them and my inability to say those I wanted. On this occasion, words are simply inadequate. Like so many others, Catherine changed my life. The moment I met her my life changed. She will leave an irreplaceable void in my life but her spirit will walk with me always. RIP dearest girl.

    Comment by simon boughey — June 1, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

  147. I too was shocked to hear of Catherine’s passing. I live in Bermuda and some years ago we came to New York to bring our daughter to an intensive program. Over the years Catherine became like family to us. She had such a sweet spirit. She has left her mark on our hearts. She will be such a miss. We extend our condolences to her family and say thank you for sharing her with us.

    Comment by Maxine Pearman — June 1, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

  148. Catherine…my heart is broken. You have had so an influence in my life. You have provided a safe haven, a space where we could stutter and finally be ourselves and feel no pain, no fear. You have helped transformed so many lives. You have helped healed so many hearts. You have helped heal mine. But once again mine is broken. There are times when I gave up but thought of how much of yourself you gave to AIS, and I continued on. Your spirit and life will always shine for me, in my heart. Thank you for your wonderful you! There is one thing that I am happy about, I am sure you already knew how much we love you and how grateful we are to you! Thank you for a being a space for us to free our voices, and change our lives!
    ~Love Always, Always,
    Kamela Mohabeer <3

    Comment by Kamela Mohabeer — June 1, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

  149. Most who have commented here knew Catherine through the AIS, Catherine’s passion and her amazing accompomplishment.
    I knew Catherine as a classmate of Lyman Hall High School in Wallingford, CT. In a class of 500, we were friendly acguaintances at the time. Still, I never doubted she would do wonderfully great things with her life. I am so deeply saddened by Catherine’s passing and send love and solace to Jon and all who knew her through the institute or otherwise. I feel especially privileged to have known both of Catherine’s parents, all of her siblings and their extended families…a remarkable family to say the least!
    May we all take comfort in knowing that Catherine’s new adventure will include a reunion with her beloved parents, Peg and Dr. Otto.

    Comment by Kathy Addy Banks — June 1, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

  150. We mourn the loss of a very special friend and colleague. Our collective heartfelt thoughts and prayers are extended to Jon, Catherine’s family and the AIS family. She fought a valiant and inspiring battle against a relentless foe. In the end she chose peace and may peace be with her always.

    While I am deeply saddened over the loss of my dear friend I can’t help but smile a bit as I reflect on one of the most amazing people I have had the privilege of knowing. Catherine was one of those special people whose inherent energy made a room brighter and more alive just by being in it. Her physical presence will be missed forever but her spirit lives on in the lives that she touched through her work, her friendships and her love.

    Catherine and I first met in 1986 in San Francisco at the annual National Stuttering Project (now the National Stuttering Association) conference. We were both young, energetic and passionate about helping those affected by stuttering. We came from different sides of the street. She was an aspiring clinical speech pathologist and I was a guy whose struggle with stuttering had driven me to the self-help movement out of frustration with and a bit of disdain for her profession. It was apparent though from our first encounter that Catherine was not an average clinician. Nor was she an average human being. This was a lady who had a deep passion to learn, to understand and most of all to help. She often said that she came to NSA conferences to learn but what she didn’t realize was that in the process she played a powerful role in breaking down the barriers that existed between the professional and self-help communities. She became a strong supporter of self-help, and a powerful advocate for public awareness and research.

    It was a joy to watch her develop into a respected master clinician and then as a visionary to bring life and reality to the idea of the American Institute for Stuttering. The AIS is a tribute to her love for her work and for those that she cared so deeply about; those affected by stuttering and those dedicated to helping them.

    What I admired most about Catherine was her spirituality and her ability to keep life in perspective. In the years to come as we gather together in our respective circles of friends I hope we remember to raise a glass to our dear friend and to share a favorite story. Catherine Otto Montgomery made a difference and we are all better for it.

    Comment by Lee Reeves — June 2, 2010 @ 1:57 am

  151. The sad news of Catherine’s untimely death is deeply upsetting. I have known Catherine from her work with IFA, where she provided her expertise freely, and was a friend with a ready smile – indeed a good laugh when it was needed! – and a listening ear for everyone. Her enlightening seminars and talks over the years provided inspiration, motivation and direction to improve the way we work. I join the many others in recognition of the bright star Catherine has been, whose light will continue to shine, brightening the world for our lives and work. In Irish our prayer for Cathering is: Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis: may her lovely soul rest forever at the right hand of God.

    Comment by Margaret Leahy — June 2, 2010 @ 5:06 am

  152. Catherine’s physical presence has left us, but she will remain in our hearts and minds. I first met her in the UK at an Oxford ODC. I agree with all the lovely comments already made. Her spirit and ideas will remain with us for a very long time. Reading the comments above we can say that during her life, Catherine made a difference to the world. She will be pleased with that. To her loved ones I would say that Catherine is at peace now. Remember and enjoy your good memories of her life as many of us will remember.

    Comment by Keith Boss — June 2, 2010 @ 6:45 am

  153. For any of us who had the priviledge to know Catherine, you knew she was one of a kind and she will be greatly missed. In my remembrance of her, I find myself focusing on all the love and positives that she provided to anyone who was blessed to be around her. The inspiration she gave will forever shine brightly. She will stay in all of our hearts as we make progress in our lives and in our speech. Blessings and comfort to her family and friends. She will always be in our thoughts and prayers.

    Comment by Mike LaRocco — June 2, 2010 @ 7:27 am

  154. Cathrine was the sparkle in the champagne of life. She brought love, joy and smiles to everyone she touched. She healed so many who struggled in their life. Her smile could light up the darkness of any day. Her family and all who knew her will miss her. She left this world too soon.

    Comment by John and Mary Ann Hacku — June 2, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  155. I was saddened to hear that Catherine lost her battle with cancer. She always greeted me with a smile in the hallway of our building, and made the 12th floor a very pleasant place to be. I commend her on all of her efforts with AIS. May she rest in peace. She will be missed!!!

    Comment by Diane Battista — June 2, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

  156. I was so shocked by this news! I could’nt even write a word.
    I belong to the lucky people who catched the opportunity to meet Catherine. From the first moment I saw her (I was in the institute as a collegue to observe and learn about an intensive program), I knew how important this relation will become for me. She was a truely amazing person, generous, optimistic and creative. I learned so much sharing our experiences and chatting every day during lunch time. Every time I was in New York, I used to spend time with her in the institute to be nursed with her energy and knowledge. I’ll never forget her sunny smile. I surely miss her a lot. I’d like to thank her here for all she did for her job and for all of us in the field of stuttering.

    I send my deepest thoughts to her husband john and her entire family.

    Danielle Bloch, Switzerland

    Comment by Danielle BLOCH — June 2, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

  157. Today our sweet Catherine was laid to rest. She passed the same way that she lived her life – with dignity, generosity and courage. My heart is so heavy with sorrow. I will miss her generous spirit, her twinkly eyes and her unconditional love. I am most sad that we will not know the joy of growing old together.

    Comment by Adriana DiGrande — June 2, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

  158. I was very sad to hear that Catherine had passed away. It took me a while to put my thoughts together. I met Catherine when I was an extern at AIS in July of 2005. She was such a joy be with and to learn from. I was lucky enough to be able to spend two extra weeks at AIS. Catherine was instrumental in guiding me to my spiritual home, Unity of New York. She supported my as a clinician, as well as a performer. I was lucky enough to have a chance to see Catherine and Jon just before the new year. While she was a bit tired from her battle with cancer, she still radiated that vibrant personality that made her so special. I will miss her and my heart goes out to Jon, her family, and everyone at AIS. I know that she is now dancing with the other angels that are always there looking out for us all.

    Comment by Eileen Marino — June 2, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

  159. I was blessed to have recently met Catherine through her dearest friend Meg. I was struck immediately by her spirit. As Ill as she was, she was absolutely all energy, all belief, and so welcoming. As an educator, I saw her gifts immediately. As a woman, I could see her depth.As Meg says, she was an angel on earth. I live in her neighborhood and I will always feel her vibe here. My prayers go to John and her family…the loss is so great, but what she has built will endure. If I can be of any service, I would like to help continue her impact.

    Trish Rubin

    Comment by Trish Rubin — June 3, 2010 @ 12:27 am

  160. Catherine gave us stutterers a gift. She gave us her gift of our present fluency, unrestrainedly, empathetically, caringly, unhesitantly, and so begins a list of words to attempt to describe her and her influence on so many of our lives. It is our place to respect her for what she did for us, individually, yet not to fail to remember all those beyond us, she had helped. Try to rmember her as that glowing person, who understood us, stutterers, and was our advocate for understing our affliction in the world.
    You will be missed by so many who came into contact with you, Catherine, and will not be forgotten.

    Comment by Roelof Blonk — June 3, 2010 @ 3:40 am

  161. My thoughts have gone out to all Catherine’s friends, family, colleagues and the many many people whose lives she touched. She has been in my thoughts since hearing the sad news. I met Catherine on a few occasions – when she visited London to run a workshop, and at occasional conferences. Although i did not know her well i was so very struck by her vivacity, warmth, exuberance and creativity. What a special and wonderful person. My thoughts, and those of all of us at the Michael Palin Centre, are with all of you who are feeling her loss so very much.

    Comment by Jane Fry — June 3, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  162. Having been a graduate student on an externship at the time who attended the intensive fluency-training seminar for adults, I came to greatly admire Catherine for the person that she was. Helping individuals who stutter was a strong and essential component of her core being. Her strong leadership skills and charisma were evident, and her ear-to-ear smile never ceased to vanish from her face. She was undoubtedly a dedicated, understanding, hope-giving, kindhearted healer for multitudes of people. She will be sorely missed, and fondly remembered.

    Comment by Leon Holczer — June 3, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

  163. For me, the sun, moon & the stars will all shine brighter as now she is with them on her new adventure.

    Comment by Roger Arms — June 3, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  164. Catherine,
    I write this with a very heavy heart and have been so sad for the past week. You left this earth way too early and you are and will continue to be deeply missed by so many.

    I have been thinking so much about all of the ways that my life is how it is because of you…and how I never properly expressed my deepest gratitude for all that you helped me to do. I am so thankful for how you, all those years back, trusted me to come aboard AIS and be part of the growing process of your dream. You helped to groom me into the clinician I am today…You sent me to Option and opened an entire world for me that has enhanced the quality of my life and how I walk through this world. You were a role model to me and, through watching you work, I learned more and more about stuttering and working with those who stutter. I think about you often when I work and realize how special the lessons were that you taught me through your example. You never judged people-you worked to understand them and you paved the road for them to be at their very best. How lucky so many were!!

    No matter what, you were so optimistic and positive and always looked at life as the glass half full or more! You changed lives, you touched so many, you taught so much, you shared yourself and greeted everyone with open arms. You will be sorely missed and always remembered with thoughts of your smile, sense of humor, brightness and hope.

    With the utmost love and respect,

    Comment by Elena Caffentzis — June 3, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

  165. Catherine was such a wonderful person. As everybody, I was feeling so well each time I met her. She would share her smile, joy and laugh. She was making people precious. Two years ago, we invited her to give a workshop in Lausanne, Switzerland. Everybody was so enthousistic about her: as a therapist and as a teacher, she was always so professional and at the same time fully human.
    With my best sympathy and wishes of courage to Jon, to her family and to her good friends.

    Comment by Florence Juillerat Rochat — June 4, 2010 @ 5:01 am

  166. I am very sorry to hear such sad news. My deepest condolences on your loss.

    – Ed Petrosky

    Comment by Dr. Edward M. Petrosky — June 4, 2010 @ 9:40 am

  167. […] Visit this page to join the many others who have left an expression of love for Catherine. Related posts:It’s been a week of chaos at AIS […]

    Pingback by Our beloved Catherine Otto Montgomery (1951–2010) « American Institute for Stuttering — June 4, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  168. Such sad news about such a devoted and passionate person. I first met Catherine during the intensive program 25+ years ago when it was called Communications Resource Center.

    Followed by two refreshers — one in NYC and one in Hawaii — I always had fond memories of Catherine and how much she clearly loved doing what she did. Her comforting smile and encouragement will be missed.

    – Jeff Davis

    Comment by Jeff Davis — June 5, 2010 @ 12:06 am

  169. June 5, 2010 Saturday
    Cathy, that “wee smiling child” who my family and I watched
    grow up. My folks and yours were great friends…your dad and mine in the same school, LHHS. I babysat for you and your brothers there on the corner of Fair and Center Street for several years.
    I just was told of your passing last night by a teaching colleague and am so saddened. I wish I had known much earlier so that I could have attended the services. You will be in my heart and prayers always.
    Peace and love, Jill Fernald Huie

    Comment by Jill Fernald — June 5, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  170. Hi,

    I knew Catherine very well and was in contact with her when she first worked at the Precision Fluency Shaping Program (PFSP) clinic in Manhattan and when she created her own 1st clinic in Manhattan called the Total Immersion Fluency Training clinic and then the AIFS and I want to tell you the incredible complete story about Catherine and her wonderful courage in rejecting the PFSP program developed by Dr. Ronald Webster of Roanoke College in Virgina and developing her own program that has achieved world fame and a higher success rate than Dr. Webster’s program, a TRUE success rate.

    I am preparing a tribute to Catherine and her devotion to people who stutter all over the world and the truly inspiring story of Catherine’s quest to come up with a stuttering program THAT WORKS.

    Please wait while I complete my grieving to be able to write this story.


    Katherine Child

    Comment by katherine child — June 5, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

  171. I will always have such fond memories of Catherine, my deepest condolences. Catherine was such a positive upbeat person she will be sorely missed.

    Comment by Benjamin — June 6, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

  172. It’s been about 10 days now, but I’m still in shock that Catherine is gone. I saw her in March (which feels like just the other day) when she stopped by AIS. I’d been camping out in one of the cubicles and practicing on my own, when she heard me and stopped by to offer words of encouragement. We had such a nice chat — She was so supportive and uplifting, and I came away feeling so comforted and inspired by her. I’d known her for 7 years, and this is one of the many conversations that will stay with me. I’m so glad I had this last chance encounter with her. She will be missed…

    Comment by Ihno Lee — June 6, 2010 @ 11:45 pm

  173. I has taken me ten days to write these words. My beloved wife was truly one of God’s angels on earth. When we first met, I had just about given up on ever meeting anyone like my dear Catherine. To say that it was love at first sight was an understatement! Catherine’s grace, elegance, sense of humor, and kindness were evident to me immediately. I grew to understand what a soulmate really was. I watched that amazing heart at work as I observed her with so many of the stuttering community that have become my friends also. A more unconditionally giving person never set foot on this planet.She understood my creative nature better than anyone. Catherine gave me such great love, the hole in my heart and soul is cavernous. I am so thankful for all your kind words. There are times when Catherine was sitting at the other end of our couch when I would just look at her and tears would come to my eyes for the love I felt for her.
    I understand all the love the world over has for my beloved Catherine, I only hope her legacy lives on in the stuttering community and at AIS. I have complete faith in Chamonix, Carl, Eric and Amanda. Through Catherine, I have come to love you all, and will always have a special place in my heart for those who stutter, and are proud of it.

    Comment by Jon Montgomery — June 7, 2010 @ 9:18 am

  174. My deepest condolences to the Montgomery family. R.I.P. Catherine. Thank you for helping me accept myself as a stutterer and for all your efforts in the field. I know that the AIS family will be able to continue Catherine’s legacy!

    Comment by Georges Magloire — June 7, 2010 @ 10:00 am

  175. Catherine, Your physical presence will certainly be missed at AIS’ Annual Gala tonight but I’m confident that your amazing spirit will be there as it is always a guiding light for the stuttering community. You have been an inspiration to all who have had the pleasure of working with you. The world is a much better place as a result of your life long work. You will always remain in our hearts and prayers.

    Comment by Tony Bossone — June 7, 2010 @ 10:38 am

  176. Cathy was my closest friend at a difficult time in my younger life, when she was working at CRC and I was at CTC, a sister company. We spoke daily for the few years I was single in Manhattan and she was my maid of honor when I remarried in 1984. Although we have kept in touch here and there by email or seeing each other at the occasional event, I did not know she was battling cancer and was shocked to receive the email of her passing. I still cannot believe she’s not here, but knowing Cathy, she handled her passing like she did all of life, with an open heart, peace and acceptance. She would say she has just left the planet, that’s all. May all of us who were touched by her big heart pay it forward.

    Comment by Betsy Ern — June 7, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  177. I first met Catherine when she worked with her former colleague Juan, in the basement of a Park Ave building. I was 15. That was 25 years ago. I took several more classes with her, most recently in 2003. I had not spoken to her since then, although I emailed her a picture of my first son when he was born in 2005, and she replied with her congratulations. I had been meaning to call her. She was a wonderful, selfless, funny, smart woman whom I admired very much. God bless you Catherine.

    Comment by Doug Dugan — June 7, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

  178. Wow, this is hard to take in.
    My memory of Cathy flashes back to when I first started speech therapy with her back in the early 80’s. This was at the Park Avenue office. I remember her dedication,warm and ready smile – which her eyes accompanied – and that mane of hair….;-)
    We stayed in touch since then and often marveled at how fast time had passed. I remember her coming to see one of the shows that I was dancing in and she telling me that her mom had passed. It seemed as if our next conversation was about her meeting her future husband Jon. We agreed that her mom had sent him to her. Now she can thank her mom again.
    I will miss her; yet, as like so many, I will continue to carry her in my heart and good thoughts. My prayers are with Jon and the rest of her family.

    Comment by Kenneth "Ken" Roberson — June 7, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  179. I was deeply saddened to hear of cathy’s illness and death. I am very sad we had seen so little of each other the past 10 years. She was my best friend in college and a wonderful woman. I was lucky to know her.

    Comment by elaine — June 8, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

  180. The Millhiser family is saddened to hear and wishes to express its deepest sorrow to AISl community hearing that Catherine lost her battle with cancer. Catherine was a tireless campaigner and voice for AIS.

    I first met Catherine in the ’90s when she and my father, a stutterer as a young man, were working to expand her facilities. Her focus and energy attracted my father’s interest, and her successful efforts continue to bring recognition to AIS. She has developed clinical programs that have had real success, which few can claim. It is such a loss to lose her so soon.

    Comment by Tim Millhiser — June 9, 2010 @ 11:16 am

  181. I have just learnt of this terrible news. It is such a painful shock. From the times I met Catherine, and from all the words I heard about her from everyone who entered her world, it was obvious that she was a deeply passionate and compassionate person. The many, many stories on this blog alone are a stunning testimony to her work and what sort of a person she was. Personally she was both kind, understanding a generous to me. Her easy laughter is something I vividly recall. She introduced me to a wealth of fascinating people and I will always be grateful for that. I wish that I could have been in New York to attend the gala in her memory. I thank her for who she was and send my heartfelt condolences to all who loved her.

    Comment by Katherine Preston — June 9, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  182. How devastating to hear of Cathy’s passing. I’ve known Cathy since the mid-80s when she attended an annual conference of the National Stuttering Association. Cathy ran a closing exercise that was unlike anything that any of us had ever experienced. It promoted clarity and connection with yourself and others, and we all left the conference on a high note. That’s the kind of effect Cathy had on people. We talked maybe once a year, and during that phone call she’d share all the exciting developments at the institute. I don’t know anyone who has had a more lasting impact on people. Cathy, many, many people are living fuller and happier lives because of you. You are very special.

    Comment by John Harrison — June 11, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

  183. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Montgomery family. Catherine was such a special woman and even though we only met her a few times we were very touched by her kindness and spirit. She put her whole heart and soul into her work and changed so many lives. The world is a better place because of Catherine. God bless ~ Love, The Mancusos

    Comment by Nick Becky and Myles Mancuso — June 15, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  184. I met Catherine at one of the Stuttering Foundation parties at ASHA, after I had become a fluency specialist and subsequently had the pleasure of conversing with her at the Montreal World Congress and on several occasions at ASHA. I looked up to her as she had been practicing in NYC, where I grew up. I was so very sad to hear of Catherine’s passing. She inspired me. I always loved her laugh, her spirit, her professionalism and her dedication to people who stutter. My heart is breaking for her family and all those who loved her.

    With my deepest sympathy.
    Paula B

    Comment by Paula — June 15, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

  185. Catherine Otto Montgomery was a ray of sunshine, a shining star whose vision and leadership in stuttering treatment forged a path that was both new and comprehensive. Tireless in her service to those who suffered the burden of impaired verbal communication, seeking always to find the best way, the most personal way, to help; she gave of herself completely. She created the courses, created the Institute, sought funding, lobbied Congress, and reached out to broaden the general information available to the Speech Language Pathology community, all to help others gain fluency.

    As a colleague of Catherine’s in the world of voice (I am a singing teacher), as a friend of 27 plus years, and as an admirer of her life and work, I am profoundly bereft at her demise. I will remember, however, that she would not want me, nor any of us who will miss her deeply, to mourn her absence. Rather, she would want us to remember her fondly, find her in all of our joyous moments, and continue to help stutterers. She could never be forgotten, as her light has only shifted. It will never dim.

    Jeanie L

    Comment by Jeanie — June 15, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  186. I was in Guyana when Adriana told me that Catherine had passed away.
    I would like to have -in English- the talent to express my esteem and admiration for Catherine.
    I will remember you when walking in the Pac de Sceaux where we had so marvelous professional and personal exchanges.
    Be in peace Catheribne, with the love of all those you met in such an unique way.

    Comment by Anne Marie Simon — June 18, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  187. How saddened I was to hear the news. I first met Catherine in 2001 at my first ASHA conference. I was so inspired by her presentation that it started a clinical therapy journey for us and our clients at City Lit stammering therapy centre UK. An abiding memory for me is of Catherine throwing strings of colourful, shiny madi gras beads into the auditorium after her presentation! What a lovely moment. I still have them. To me the beads represent aspects of Catherine that I came to know, they are both pretty and colourful. Her gesture of throwing them into the audience illustrates her generosity, energy and sense of fun. Catherine selflessly shared her work with us in order that we develop our work in the uk. We and our students have benefitted greatly this remains a testament to her.

    Comment by Jan Logan — June 21, 2010 @ 6:42 am

  188. Memories make us immortal..and we have so many warm ones of Catherine. She left the world a better place.

    Comment by Tricia Zebrowski — June 21, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  189. I am having the hardest time composing what I want to say, because I don’t want to believe that Catherine is gone. She was professional extraordinaire, and I will really miss her. I am sure that she is smiling down at us now and saying something like, “You silly boy! Don’t weep for me. I am just fine. I lived my life while I was there and loved every minute of it. But now I am gone to a city called heaven. However, my legacy will continue on earth. I have touched the lives of many who stutter and they too are fine.” I know that the angels in heaven are rejoicing because they have found a new friend. I on the other hand have lost mine….

    Comment by Tommie L. Robinson Jr. — June 21, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  190. I just received the company e-mail a few moments ago. My mind flooded back to Wallingford where Catherine and I first met in the Wallingford School System. Her Dad actually recommended me to be hired, and later we became friends. I was always bowled over by her brilliance, humor, and ability to manifest her dreams. I am reminded about the preciousness and fragility of life, even in one so full of life, love, and caring. Dear Catherine, your brave and soaring spirit will remain in my heart. Thank you for being on this earth.

    Comment by Diana Vytell — June 21, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

  191. Friends,

    We are shocked and saddened to learn of the news of Catherine’s passing.

    Our hearts go out to John and to all of C’s family and friends.

    We shall express ourselves to you at her memorial service.


    Comment by Anne Dee Goldin & Howard Charles Yourow — June 21, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

  192. Dear Catherine, I can’t find the words to discribe how much I miss you, it’s beyond measured, you are an ispiration for millions stutterers around the world. You’ve taught me how to love my self, and how to beleive in my self. The day I met you was a turning point point of my entire whole life. I owe you all the success and happiness that I am currently living. You will still be inside everyone attended the AIS, you are here as long as we carry on the great tool you have gave us to overcome our blocks. May you rest in peace for all you’ve done for us.

    Love you,


    Comment by Atif Abdelmageed — June 21, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

  193. My condolences to Cathy’s husband, family and friends. I have wonderful memories of the two of us starting our professional careers in Wallingford, Ct. schools. We stayed in touch over the years as our paths diverged but finally reunited in NYC several years back. It was as though we had never been apart…..She was happy personally and professionally and it was wonderful to reconnect. I know that her memory will be a blessing to all who knew her….

    Comment by Teri Segal — June 23, 2010 @ 12:08 am

  194. I knew Cathy for almost 20 years. She was my role model for compassion, dedication, and determination to help stutterers. She was a trailblazer and a class act. Cathy was warm, optimistic, and very giving. I will truly miss her.

    Comment by Randy Dorfman — June 23, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

  195. Catherine,

    You helped me change my life forever… you helped me see my stuttering for what it was… part of who I was and not to fear it, but to embrace it, something I don’t do all the time… If not for you, I may have never found my way up to The Option Institute… I had such trust in you, that I went there without giving it much thought… and of course once again, my life has changed forever… and now I’m helping others change theirs too.. if that’s what they want!

    We hadn’t spoken in several years… I felt such a loss when I heard the news that you were gone…

    I’m so very grateful for my stuttering… that path led me to you… and that has made all the difference… :)

    Thank you Catherine…

    Much love,


    Comment by Sid Diamond — June 27, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

  196. Last fall – Cathy and I ran into each other at Unity of NY’s Sunday service and went to lunch to laugh and catch up on life…having been out of touch for a few years. Yet, her ability to instantly connect with joy, love and those smiling twinkling eyes were always part of this dear friend whom I had known since the early 1980’s! We spent hours covering everything from her work…the clients…the upcoming fundraiser gala…God and life’s challenges. It never occured to me that this would be the last time we would see one another this side of heaven! I had the joy of working for over 10 years as an office manager in the early years for Cathy when she was developing her program and having Larry Ensign assist her. I saw first hand the amazing work being done and how lives were being healed and given new breath. It was a joy to be there and come to know so many of her clients. Cathy’s calling in this life was to be a loving healer and to inspire and educate. She will be remembered in her field as a master clinician with vision to leave a legacy for others to follow. She will also always be remembered as a radiant, positive, giving
    friend to so many, whose spirit burned passionately bright! Cathy. may you continue on your soul journey’s next chapter with good cheer! We will greatly miss you and always love you so!

    Comment by Toni Narducci — July 7, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  197. I did not have the privelege of knowing Catherine. My son Carl has been working with her for a few years and she has been such a remarkable mentor to him in his career. She took him under her wings fresh out of grad school and treated him as an equal colleague from the start. Carl has loved working with the team at AIS and I know he has found a home there away from home. Others have said it better, but God go with each of you at AIS as you discover how to move on and love and come along side the stutterers who seek you out. Grace and mercy to family, friends and co-workers, God Bless!

    Comment by Marsha Herder — July 8, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  198. It is so sad that Catherine is gone She was a wonderful person. I met Catherine at a ASHA conference and spoke with her afterwards. I feel that the success behind the American Institute for Stuttering is not only the fluency techniques but the inspiration, charm, encouragement, and personal touch that Catherine gave her clients that enabled them to gain more control over their stuttering challenges and, if not completely, at least guidance and hope on accepting themselves and managing their life around this affliction. I hope the AMIS can continue without this personal touch. Catherine was very personable and, using these natural talents she had, enabled her to persuade people from all walks of life to support her Institute, especially those in the entertainment world., to show that even very successful people have overcome their problem with Catherine’s help. If a new director is to be for AMIS it should be someone who is as personable as Catherine was to continue this tradition of providing a totally supportive atmosphere for people who stutter.

    Comment by Bruce Baker — July 20, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

  199. I just found out today about Catherine’s passing and the sickness that lead up to her passing and I am so sad and shocked by the news. What can you say about such a wonderful person who changed and touched so many people’s lives, especially mine. I met catherine at my first 3 week intensified program was I was 19 back in 1985 before I went off to college. I am now 43 and have kept up a wonderful relationship with Catherine throughout the past 24 years through one week refreasher programs and phone calls.

    Words cannot express the type of loving and compassionate and so full of life person she was and I will miss her dearly and hearing that cheerful and uplifting voice over the phone every time we spoke. What a terrible loss the stuttering community has encountered but I know her dedication and love will always continue on through the work that is done in her honor.

    Catherine will always remain in my heart and my thoughts and I will dedicate the rest of my life to working towards being that happy person no matter if I stutter the rest of my life or if I can increase my fluency. What I learned most from Catherine is that you need accept yourself for who you are and be proud of who you are and never let stuttering get in the way of accomplishing your goals and aspirations and I have always tried to live my live by those words. I love and miss you Catherine. You are, and will always be, the most important and influential person in my life for my stuttering and how it shaped me into the person I am today.

    May you rest in peace and comfort knowing your wonderful and so well respected work will be continued and never ever forgotten.

    Bill Matthews

    Comment by Bill Matthews — August 24, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  200. I heard only this morning. To lose Catherine is devastating; my heart goes out to Catherine’s closest loved ones. For the rest of us loved ones–and you know Catherine’s love to be so big it embraced us all–there will never be anyone like her. That’s why she lives in my heart still, as she has for so many years, and always will. What an expansive spirit. Combined with beauty, intelligence, and strength, Catherine’s spirit made anything seem possible–even turning adversity into opportunity. Sheehan gave us chutzpah; Webster provided the tools; but Catherine blew the dark clouds away and showed us joy. At the sight if it, you can’t turn back; it’s forward all the way after that–and Catherine was quite a firm prodder, let’s not forget that steely aspect! Thank you, Catherine, for the help in 1980 (led to an article on stuttering in Cosmo in 1980, then one in Ms. in ’82) and thereafter. This tenacious do-er ranks amongst the most significant changemakers of our time. She is part of the story of our lives; most definitely a key catalyst in the happy ending.

    Comment by Candace Lyle Hogan — September 23, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

  201. Dear Catherine….

    You are truly an inspiration and words cannot describe you. From the moment you walked into my office, I felt your energy; your grace and the love and joy you bring to everything you touch. You are more of a feeling…a feeling of peace, passion and love…and as i think of you, I think of how I felt, and how I will continue to feel when I think of you. You have left a legacy and you are alive in the hearts of all that have known you. With all my love, Dr. Tammy L. Bohne’.

    Comment by Dr. Tammy Bohne' — October 31, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

  202. I met Catherine the summer of 2002, at the 3 week intensive program. I was 17, last day of the program was August 29th, my first day of College, Catherine was nice enough to hold the “party” for family & friends one day early so I can attend.
    Catherine changed my life in so many ways. I used to be afraid to answer the phone, because I thought I’d stutter, I was so ashamed of myself and thought I was different than everyone else. Catherine allowed me to never put the phone down & tell people that “I stutter, so bare with me”.
    I thought of Catherine in May of 2010, I wanted to go back to the Institute and maybe even be a guest speaker & share MY story, but when I called I was told she is home, that she is battling Cancer. Today I googled her name and found this out.

    Catherine you were my inspiration, because of you I can now speak freely, I have not stuttered since the last day of the program. May your soul rest in peace, you were one of the most special and kind people I had the pleasure of meeting. You will forever be in my heart & I will never forget you.

    Love, Kleoptra M.

    Comment by Kleopatra M. — November 4, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

  203. I was shocked to read of Cathy’s (Catherine’s) passing. I first met her in the 70’s at the Hollins Communications Research Institute in Roanoke, Virginia. There, I taught her what I knew about stuttering therapy while she taught me what she knew about empathy and advocacy. While I was wrapped up in the science behind the problem, she knew all along what the real problem was and taught me. She took PFSP and ran with it. Cathy had the brightest eyes, the greatest smile and the biggest heart. Jon, I never had the pleasure of meeting you but I am so glad that you brought joy to her life as she brought joy to so many others.

    Comment by Catherine — November 26, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

  204. Catherine,
    I’m sitting here thinking about you and everyone I’ve met through knowing you and my lap is full of tears. I never thought I could have control of my stuttering. You changed my life and many people in my life. I miss you so much and it really hurts. I just want you to know that I will never forget you. You taught me how to love, how to feel what love is, and how to love myself. For that I’m forever grateful.
    I will always love you

    Comment by Bob Koste — December 14, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

  205. I went to high school with Cathy. Her Dad was a MAJOR influence on my musical life. Cathy was a Terrific friend and I miss her great wit and wonderful smile. I will miss her and wish to express my deep concern for those that have shared her life most recently. I know you must miss her more! God bless everyone that shared her life!

    Comment by Jim Sheehan — December 24, 2010 @ 12:29 am

  206. I met Catherine in 1982 in Manhattan at the speech clinic where she worked. I was a reporter at the time doing an article on the clinic. I enjoyed doing the interview with her and sorry she has passed.

    Comment by Jacky — February 24, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

  207. Catherine,
    You have changed my life, I will never forget you.


    Comment by Eran — February 27, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

  208. I never met catherine but it sounds like she was an extraordinary lady. The angels in my life are those I have never been abe to see but i still love very much for the kindness and love they have shown to others. I wish I could have met catherine because she sounds like my science teacher and her husband. There has been no one like my science teacher or her husband or 2 grown children, and what is described how catherine was sounds like what I would say about my science teacher. Susan and Leo are the most compassionate parents/teachers you would ever want to see. Leo was filled of life and vitality and he made me forget my stuttering. And I never thanked him or told him that I loved him dearly for making me see that my speech problem can be a gift to only the chosen few..the angels that love us. And susan–i wonder if she specialized in speech therapy??? Simply because she made students and especialy me see life in a very different way. I never want to lose Susan or Leo–they are angels that I never see. I surely wish I had known catherine—the angels in the world are very rare. And I love them very much.

    Comment by adam — July 25, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

  209. I found Catherine to be a hardworking person and very interested in everything related to stuttering issues and problems. She always put in extra time to learn and apply. Although I feel that her new stuttering program missed the mark on the exact nature of stuttering, I do not doubt her enthusiasm, genuine caring and empathy for PWS. Although I would have preferred he staying to work with me in the stuttering field, I still think that her creation of the AIS has resulted in a higher awareness of the stuttering condition and will result in the future in many more discoveries in the stuttering arena. I am saddened that she is gone.

    Comment by Ronald — February 5, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

  210. I was a client of Catherine in her early years at Total Immersion Fluency Training (TIFT) and I felt that she was a very good therapist always trying her best and experimenting to achieve better results. We became good friends afterwards and I remember her upper East Side studio apartment where we would have great conversations and warm evenings.

    Comment by Sherry — February 16, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  211. Beloved Catherine, a woman of true grace and beauty – I just found out the news of your passing. Having searched the AIS website and googled your name to see where I could find you… I was the first SLP trained at the AIS. I applied to attend as a volunteer to work with a student of mine who I referred. Catherine accepted the young man into her 3 week intensive programs on a scholarship and invited me to be trained during the children and adults 3 week intensive programs. As a recent graduate student qualified with CCC-SLP, Catherine guided, mentored, and showed me the sensitivity, strategies and skills to promote fluent speech in her clients. As a highly skilled specialist, she had a loving approach, warm and witty in all situations. It is because of Catherine that I am confident in helping children and adults control their stutter and achieve their life goals and aspirations. So Catherine! you continue to touch peoples lives and I feel blessed to have known you. It is over two years… and I send my best wishes to Catherine’s husband.

    Comment by Bridget (Breda) Mullarkey — December 6, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  212. What an amazing person! She was an angel to me as she gave me the ability to shine and illustrate my true personality to the world. I took her 3-week intensive course back in 2001 and I still practice the techniques on a daily basis. As a result, I have been able to take on sales positions and have accepted invites for various speaking engagements. Before I met Catherine, there is no way I would have been able to do this. Because of her, my professional and personal lives have flourished. Thank you Catherine and I know you are looking down on us with that beautiful smile of yours.

    Comment by Samir — February 4, 2013 @ 7:39 pm

  213. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, fantastic site!

    Comment by — June 4, 2014 @ 9:55 pm

  214. I was treated by Catherine for Stuttering over 30 years ago. The therapy was very sucessful for me, and it certainly changed my whole life. Everything I wanted to do became possible for me.

    What a shcok to see that she had passed on.

    I remember her for her warmth, tremendous professionalism, and dedication. She was truly in a class by herself,and the world is a greater place for her having been here, and a lesser place now that she is gone.

    Rest in peace Cathy, I will never forget you.

    Ira Seigal

    Comment by Ira Seigal — June 13, 2014 @ 2:36 pm

  215. […] Visit this page to join the many others who have left an expression of love for Catherine. […]

    Pingback by American Institute for Stuttering – Our beloved Catherine Otto Montgomery (1951–2010) — April 6, 2015 @ 7:33 am

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