Cathy Dowers Kurth has been named the 2022 Distinguished Person of the Year by the DeQuincy Chamber of Commerce.
Kurth was born and raised in DeQuincy, as were her parents Billy F. Dowers, Sr., and the late Carol Ann (“Poochie”) Dowers. She competed in gymnastics with the YMCA team in Lake Charles, placing fourth in the state finals, and performed with the DeQuincy High marching band. She graduated with honors in 1978 and was chosen Homecoming Queen by the student body.
She attended McNeese State University where she was a twirler with the MSU marching band. She was a founding member of the Cowgirl Kickers and was chosen to be their very first captain. She graduated from McNeese with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and a certification in Secondary Education. She did her student teaching at DeQuincy High School.
In 1986, she married McNeese professor, Dr. Michael Kurth, and moved to Moss Bluff where they raised six children: Mette, Michael, Lexi, Ryan, Traci, and Billy. They now have 12 grandchildren: Justin, Spencer, Caden, Ava, Aubrey, Asher, Collin, Parker, Rhett, Jolie, Justin Jr. and Rhys.
As she was growing up in DeQuincy, she took dance and later taught for her “other mother” Sondra Stark. In 1987, Cathy opened her own dance studio in Moss Bluff with 60 students. Today, Cathy Kurth Dance Academy has nearly 300 students and her dance teams have won numerous awards in regional and national competitions. Many of her students have gone on to perform with the McNeese Cowgirl Kickers, (including two of her daughters), with the LSU Tiger Girls, and to have professional careers in dance and theater.
Kurth has been active preforming in and choreographing shows for ACTS community theater in Lake Charles. Her performances include Gypsy, Chicago, Annie, Peter Pan, Sweet Charity, and, most recently, she appeared in ACTS 2020 production of 42nd Street.
She helped to establish the Moss Bluff Harvest Festival, served as dance coach for the Sam Houston High School Broncette Dance Line from 2000-12, and has been an active member of Cross Roads Church and their programs to help feed the homeless. She and her husband have been members of Krewe du Grande Bois since 1987 and served as their King and Queen in 2020.
Kurth says she has many life-long friends from her years in DeQuincy and says she is forever grateful to her hometown for having instilled in her the value of faith, family, and friendships.