Catherine Elizabeth Pope

May 23, 2023


Catherine “Katie” Elizabeth Pope died on May 23, 2023, after 49 full years on this earth—the best of which were spent raising and loving her beautiful, strong and wildly smart daughters, Elizabeth “Ellie” and Erinn, alongside her partner and husband, William “Bill” Kannel. As a mother, wife, daughter and friend, Katie was a light. Her thoughtfulness, empathy and wicked dry wit attracted and held an ever-growing circle of loved ones and friends. Her greatest pride and joy—and her true North—was her family. As her fight with cancer ebbed, flowed and—ultimately—raged, Katie’s Pittsburgh family grew to include her loving parents, Elizabeth “Betsy” Pope (Miller) and Edward C. Pope. She was predictably scrappy, stubborn and gracious at every turn, and spent her final years absorbing— with intention—all the quiet moments, big feelings, sweet memories and grand ambitions that the work of raising two teenagers entails. In both her personal and professional life, Katie invested her time taking care of and thinking of others. A fierce advocate for equality in all of its many forms, she arrived at the University of Pittsburgh in 2015—serving as the institution’s first full-time Title IX coordinator in its newly created Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The team expanded in both responsibility and size over the years, and Katie steadily rose through its growing ranks to become the office’s associate vice chancellor of civil rights and Title IX in 2019 and its inaugural associate vice chancellor of strategic operations and planning in 2022. Prior to joining Pitt, Katie served as the Title IX coordinator for Allegheny College, the Title IX deputy coordinator for Purdue University, and the executive director of a domestic-violence and sexual assault shelter and outreach agency in Ames, Iowa. A lifelong learner, Katie was pursuing her Doctor of Education degree from Pitt. She held two master’s degrees—one in interdisciplinary studies from Iowa State University and another in philanthropic studies from Indiana University—and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Dayton. A native of Eastern Ohio, she was the fifth generation of her family to graduate from Toronto High School. Katie leaves behind her loving husband, Bill, daughters Ellie and Erinn, dogs Hershey and Belle— all of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—as well as her parents, Ed and Betsy; Bill’s parents, Ed and Margie Kannel; Bill’s siblings; and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins. Plans to celebrate Katie’s incredible life and legacy are underway, and, in lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations in support of colon cancer prevention and research or to a GoFundMe account that will support the ongoing needs, adventures and aspirations of Ellie and Erinn.

A Memorial Service will be held at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 on Saturday July, 8, 2023 at 11 AM.

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Catherine Elizabeth Pope, please visit our Tree Store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Catherine Elizabeth Pope?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Catherine's memory.


Memorial Service
July 8, 2023

11:00 AM

Please note
Memorial Service will be held at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

© 2023 Charles W. Trenz Funeral Home, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility