The Honorable Samuel Allen Cathey, 78 of Alexander, N.C., passed away at his home on Saturday, May 13, 2023.

Judge Cathey was born March 15, 1945, in Iredell County. He was the son of the late George Bartlett Cathey and Rosalee Wallace Cathey. He was a 1963 graduate of Statesville High School, Davidson College, and the University of North Carolina School of Law. Judge Cathey was a proud veteran who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Conflict. In 1975, he married his beloved wife, Sandra Gibson Cathey, who survives. During his amazing life, Judge Cathey served as Assistant District Attorney, and in 1982 he was appointed the youngest judge in North Carolina history by Gov. Jim Hunt. He served as a judge for more than 30 years. He was a Rotarian and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow and received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Judge Cathey served on the Board of Lake Norman State Park and was a member of the North Carolina Audubon Society. Upon his retirement, he continued to serve as a state emergency judge, holding court in numerous counties. He was proud to have completed the Appalachian Trail in its entirety. He was active with youth sports at the Statesville YMCA and began the Hiking Club at the YMCA.

In addition to his wife Sandra, Judge Cathey is survived by his son, Michael Gibson (Katharine) Cathey; daughter, Deputy Commander Emily Alexandra Cathey, USN (currently serving on the USS NIMITZ) (Retired Captain USN F. Curtis Jones); his son, Alexander Allen Cathey; his grandchildren, Lillian Jones, Eleanor Jones, and Dashiell Cathey. He is further survived by his brother, Retired Commander USCG Robert Wallace (Maggi) Cathey; and sister, Georgia Ann Cathey; and his nieces and nephews.

A visitation for family and friends will be held on Monday, May 22, 2023, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Troutman Funeral Home. A funeral service celebrating the life of Judge Cathey will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at First Presbyterian Church of Statesville, the Reverend Stephen Scott will officiate. A burial service with full military honors will be held at 1 p.m. at Oakwood Cemetery with longtime friend Frank Goldsmith to play taps. Pallbearers will be Joel Harbinson, Michael Cathey, Allen Cathey, Dashiell Cathey, Curt Jones, and Billy Webb. Online condolences may be made to the Cathey family at

Those wishing to make memorials are asked to consider: First Presbyterian Church Statesville, General Fund, 125 North Meeting St., Statesville, NC 28677; First Presbyterian Church Statesville, Music Department, 125 North Meeting St., Statesville, NC 28677; and Carolina Friends of State Parks, Inc., PO Box 37655, Raleigh, NC 27627; and Audubon North Carolina, 807 E. Main Street, Suite 2-220 Durham, NC 27701.

Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.