ECW Distinguished Woman

Winners of the Distinguished Woman award

1994: Shirley Upton Drew, St. Andrew’s, Nogales

1995: Ethel Curry, All Saints, Phoenix

1996: Nancy Bissell, St. Michael’s, Tucson

1997: Leona Dudek, St. Stephen’s, Phoenix

1998: JoAnne J. Keiser, St. Andrew’s, Sedona

1999: Sister Martha Simpson OGP, Grace Church, Lake Havasu City

2000: Helen Simons, St. Thomas of the Valley, Clarkdale

2001: Peggy Titcomb Cumming, St. Andrew’s, Nogales

2002: Sarah Hoover Meyer, St. Luke’s, Prescott

2003: Diane Jones, St. Raphael’s, Benson

2004: Barbara Thurber, St. Peter’s, Litchfield Park

2005: Ann Gay, St. Christopher’s, Sun City

2006: Betty Ann Millard Wilson, St. Peter’s, Litchfield Park

2007: Dinah Gemmill, St. Thomas of the Valley, Clarkdale

2008: Alice Miller, St. Michael’s, Tucson

2009: Hartley Bennett, St. Alban’s, Wickenburg

2010: Sharon Gullickson, Church of the Advent, Sun City West

2011: Sam Goodwin, Church of the Transfiguration, Mesa

The 2021 Distinguished Woman is Canon Cathy Black. 

A tribute to Canon Black by Winifrid Follett:

Cathy Black is a cradle Episcopalian and native Arizonan. She is a past president of the ECW at All Saints’ Church and Day School in Phoenix, Arizona. She also served as the Parish Administrator of that church. Currently she is the Canon for Administration in the Bishop’s Office of the Diocese of Arizona where she was also the Bishop’s Assistant until just recently as she is preparing to retire. She has served faithfully on the bishop’s staff since 2004. Cathy is currently a member of Christ Church of the Ascension in Paradise Valley where she is an active member of the church choir.

During 2000 – 2001 Cathy and her family “adopted” 17 Lost Boys from Sudan during the airlift that took place during that time until 9/11. She remembers teaching them everything from grocery shopping for the first time to using a toaster to cleaning toilets to using a washing machine. It was a wonderful and gratifying experience for her whole family. Now the boys are men with families and well-established lives. 

In her time at the Bishop’s Office, Cathy has been blessed with the opportunity of teaching Spiritual Gifts workshops across the diocese as well as working with Vestries and Bishop’s Committees in many different ways. These chances to move outside of her regular office work and spend time with the people in the churches have been such a blessing. 

During the pandemic, Cathy scheduled Zoom time to gather the church administrators twice a month so that they could spend time together. These Zoom gatherings allowed the administrators to not feel so alone during a time of great isolation. As churches began to re-open, the administrators wanted to keep the Zoom gatherings going as they had become so important to them. Spending time with the administrators has been a joy; watching them network with each other and learn that they are each others’ greatest resource.