In Loving Memory of Emma Burr Cathcart

July 07, 1928
Bridgeport, CT
November 29, 2019
Fairfield, CT
Funeral Home

Spear-Miller Funeral Home

39 South Benson Road,
Fairfield CT US 06824


First Church Congregational

Memorial Service

148 Beach Road,
CT 06824

Thursday, December 12. 2019 11:00 a.m.


Family Gathering


Fairfield Museum and History Center

370 Beach Road,
CT 06824

CT Audubon Society

314 Unquowa Road,
CT 06824

Emma Burr Cathcart

Emma Burr (Shelton) Cathcart, age 91, of Fairfield, CT, beloved wife of the late Ernest J. Cathcart, passed away peacefully Friday, November 29, 2019 in her home. The daughter of the late Florence Jennings (Burr) and Philo Sherwood Shelton, she was a lifelong Fairfield resident. A graduate of Roger Ludlowe High School and Edgewood Park Junior College in Briarcliff Manor, NY, Emma spent her early years working in the Advertising Division of General Electric. Later in life she also worked for Norden Systems and Perkin Elmer, Inc.
Throughout her life, Emma enjoyed tennis, skiing, sailing, and traveling. As a child she spent many hours riding her horse, “Smokey”, on bridal trails throughout Greenfield Hill and as far as Easton. Ready to try a new sport later in life, she became an avid golfer. As Emma began suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, her faithful cocker spaniel, “Colby”, remained steadfastly at her side, providing much comfort and companionship.
Outgoing and friendly, Emma loved to be involved in her community. A member of the Junior League of Eastern Fairfield County, serving as Secretary for a time, she enjoyed volunteering at the League’s Hobby Horse thrift shop in Bridgeport and in their Art Goes to School program. Delivering meals as a volunteer for the Meals-on-Wheels program to those having trouble getting around was another of her activities.
A former member of the Eunice Dennie Burr chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Emma was a direct descendent of Jehue Burr, a charter settler of Fairfield, and of the Reverend Philo Shelton, who was the first Episcopal minister ordained in North America (in 1785), and was rector of St. John’s Parish, Bridgeport, and Trinity Church, Southport, for forty years. Emma was a long-time member of First Church Congregational where she served on the Ladies Guild, volunteered at the Church’s thrift store, and taught Sunday school.
A member of the Fairfield Beach Club, Emma was a former member of Pequot Yacht Club, Black Rock Yacht Club, The Contemporary Club, and The House and Garden Club of Eastern Fairfield County.
Survivors include her beloved daughter, Ann R. Cathcart of Fairfield; a brother, Philo S. Shelton, Jr. and his wife Carolyn of Fairfield; fifteen nieces and nephews and her kind and devoted caregiver, Helena Ferreira. Having suffered the loss of her loving husband Ernest in 1987 and her son Peter S. Cathcart six months later, she more recently faced the losses of her dear friend and companion for nearly twenty years, Royal Sherwood Everts of Southport, CT, her sisters Lillian S. White of Fairfield, CT and Martha S. Marr LePrell of East Aurora, NY., as well as her rescue dog, “Colby”.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at First Church Congregational, 148 Beach Road, Fairfield. Interment will be private in Oak Lawn Cemetery. Contributions in Emma’s memory may be made to the Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT 06824 or the Connecticut Audubon Society, 314 Unquowa Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. For information or to offer an online condolence, please visit

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2 Guestbook Entries for Emma Burr Cathcart

  1. Ann,
    May your dear mother rest in peace. I had occasion to meet her and your aunt during
    an art exhibition several years ago. I remember them both as gracious and lovely. Your devotion to her was admirable. Sincerely, Richard and Linda