OBITUARY

Katherine Creag Gafner

December 26, 1973February 10, 2021
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Our beloved Katherine Creag Gafner passed away the evening of February 10, 2021 from a sudden cardiopulmonary condition. She was only 47 years old.

Katherine was born Maria Katherine Cassandra Creag in Quezon City, Manila, Philippines on December 26, 1973. She moved to Warsaw, Indiana at the age of five, then headed to Chicago for her final two years of high school. Katherine attended New York University and graduated with a Journalism degree in 1996.

Katherine’s career had stops that echoed her career growth: at NY1, Elmira, Syracuse, Charlotte, Dallas and then back to her beloved New York City. She most recently served as morning reporter at WNBC-TV in New York City since 2011. She loved waking up for the morning shift at 1 am and working in the field with her cherished media colleagues. She relished the room to roam by telling stories from an “outdoor office”. The woman who toted three bags to work filled with various hamburger coin purses, dinner leftovers, planners and tattered reporter notebooks wore many hats. Katherine’s infectious smile and empathetic heart were felt by those in the stories she covered for decades.

Katherine and her beloved Bill were married at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola on September 2, 2006 and danced the night away at their reception at Angel Orensanz Foundation space on the Lower East Side.

All who knew her knew the role she loved and treasured most was being mom to her children Jackson (13), Gemma (9) and Josephine (6). Despite awaking before sunrise for work, she had the tenacity and drive to spend the rest of the day with the people she adored most.

As hard as she worked, Katherine worked to enjoy life just as much. From being a Girl Scout troop leader, to having sunset drinks with all her multiple friend groups, she squeezed every drop out of the good times as she could - usually while listening to 90’s hip-hop music or New Kids on the Block. Cheerleading pyramids were her specialty and a fixture at every event. There is no shortage of people who are in awe that someone who woke up so early in the morning would be able to give details on what played on the “Hoarders” reality show, take her kids to various lacrosse, gymnastics or school events, and even hit a Taylor Swift concert - perhaps all in the same night!

Katherine is survived by her husband Bill, her son Jackson, and daughters Gemma and Josephine. She is also survived by her father Jose Valentino Creag. She was preceded in death by her mother Cecilia Cartago Creag. Katherine leaves behind numerous cousins, in-laws, family members and countless friends who will love her forever and never forget her humor, funny and contagious laugh, kindness, her magical smile and love for everyone.

You may pay your respects on Wednesday, February 17 from 4 pm to 8 pm at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Avenue at 81st Street. A Funeral Mass will take place on Thursday, February 18 at 10 am at Saint Ignatius Loyola Church, 980 Park Avenue at 84th Street. Due to New York State regulations on capacity because of COVID-19, please note the funeral mass will only allow 300 people.

All are invited to pay tribute in the Funeral Mass that will also be livestreamed using the corresponding link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxb4xx3Sac0

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Katherine’s name to:

Saint Ignatius Loyola Church

American Cancer Society, as she emceed various events for them

Memorial Sloan Kettering, who treated various people close to her

American Heart Association

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Thursday, February 18, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Katherine Creag Gafner

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Jennifer Hopkins

February 21, 2021

Went to school with her she was an amazing women and loved to make people smile and laugh

Gemma Alexander

February 18, 2021

Oh my heart is broken as a viewer always love watching her reporting the new may god give her family strenght to also my name is gemma like her daughter we all will mist you Brooklyn ny

Mary Ciecierski

February 18, 2021

Hi
I was truly heartbroken when I learned of the death of your wife, mother and colleague.

I was interviewed by Ms. Creag several years ago at the 72nd Street and 2nd Avenue stop when the Q train began operating. She was truly kind to me, as I fussed over my early-morning appearance. How thoughtful she was to know that I would not only be nervous about speaking on camera but how I looked at 8 a.m.!!

I will always keep her relatives and colleagues in my prayers.

Sincerely,

Mary L. Ciecierski

Robert Ratish

February 18, 2021

I was in my first week at NYU when I met Katherine. She was confident and seemed to be in command at the Washington Square News, and I was a lost and bewildered freshman. She assigned me my first story and her warm smile made me feel welcome. From there our friendship grew naturally. We worked long hours as editors at the newspaper, but her unwavering optimism and sense of humor made those long hours fly by. My friendship with Katherine extended outside the newsroom, along with Mark Malyszko who sadly also passed way too soon. The three of us could often be seen grabbing a late night burger at Cozy's or heading out on a weekend to enjoy the Village. At times our talks would turn to plans for the future. She would dream of eventually working on air in New York, and after she met Bill, of having a beautiful family with him. I can still hear her voice gleefully belting out the lyrics to "Wedding Bell Blues" by the Fifth Dimension. ("Come on and marry me Bill!"). We would support each other in times of stress, and celebrate each other's successes. It would become a theme that would long outlast our time at NYU. We celebrated when we got our first jobs after graduation. We danced at each other's weddings. We shared in the happiness at the birth of our children. All the while, Katherine brought light and joy to every occasion, big and small. All of the dreams she had in college came true and she lived the life she always wanted, enjoying every minute of it. As those late nights in Greenwich Village gave way to our career and parenting duties, her positive energy never diminished. She always has been, and always will be, an important and guiding presence in my life. May her memory be a blessing.

Amy Egger

February 18, 2021

My deepest condolences to Bill, Jack, Gemma and Josie, and thank you to everyone who shared their beautiful memories and photos of Kat. I met Kat about three years ago after she and Bill moved into our building and I could tell right away that she was a special person. It was always a joy to spend time with her, and am so grateful that we became friends. I will never forget her warmth, generosity and enthusiasm, and of course her incredible laugh. Bill, please know that there is a whole community of families in our building who cared about Kat and are here to support you and your family in any way we can. We are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

Randi Boxer

February 18, 2021

I never met Kat in person but as a lifelong viewer of NBC I felt like I knew her. Every morning as I got ready for work she was there with a smile and an infectious laugh. What a great way to start the day. She was a light and may it shine forever. Prayers go out to her family and colleagues. May Katherine's memory be a blessing.

Thomas Larkin

February 18, 2021

Kat, ur infectious smile, vitality for life, has made us all better people.

Thank you for your friendship, kindness, caring, that we will carry forward as you have shown us.

All of our Love
St Ignatius Loyola Santa and his Elves

Denise Nakano

February 18, 2021

Kat and I became fast friends at WTVH in Syracuse where we first met as colleagues. I have always been in awe of her boundless energy and contagious spirit. Not to mention that memorable laugh of hers that would continue to lift you long after she left the room. I cherish knowing her before we had kids, having her as the godmother to my son, visiting her at 30 Rock, letting her experience the Mummer’s parade in Philadelphia on New Year’s Day, and her visits to the shore with the family.
She graced us all with her boundless beauty, from both inside and out.
And yes Kat, we can still hear your laugh.

Ruth Rivera

February 18, 2021

My Heart is truly broken, I am in shock of just hearing this news. I never met Katherine Creag, but she's been apart of my family for years. As we wake up to hear the latest news. I was thinking as of late, where is Kat, as her colleagues endearingly call her. May God 🙏 hold her babies tight and help they're hearts. May God 🙏 explain to her beloved husband I am here for you. Rest In Peace Katherine Creag

Tanya G

February 18, 2021

I have never met Katherine in person but she was a fabulous reporter who did her work with enthusiasm and grace. Her sudden death only reminds us that death is sure for all of us. We are the same age so her death really hits home to me. May God bless and guide her family especially her children and husband. Rest in peace until resurrection Kat.

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