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Catherine Anne Kennedy

January 9, 1951

Catherine Anne Kennedy, teacher and humanitarian, age 67, of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, died of auto-immune liver failure on October 23, 2018.

At a young age, she discovered her deep love of French culture and Franco-fied her name to Cathie.  She was also called Madame Kennedy by her students, Cuffy by her college friends, Cath by her husband, and Mémé by her grandchildren.  By her children, she was called often — for advice, encouragement and most of all wisdom.

Cathie was born in New York City in 1951 to Katharine (Canade) and John McCarthy.  As a girl, she moved with her family to Philadelphia, where she attended Nazareth Academy.  She graduated from St. Francis University in Loretto, PA. and earned a master’s in French literature from West Chester University.

She spent 25 years as a French teacher, touching the lives of thousands of students first at St. Mark’s High School and then at the Charter School of Wilmington.  She received Charter School first-ever Teacher of the Year award in 2014 and retired in 2016.

Cathie had an extensive collection of turtle toys and figurines, most of them gifts from her loving husband of 46 years, Pete.  They met at St. Francis University, married in 1972 and found their own bit of paradise — an old farmhouse amid woods and a creek.  When their children were young, Cathie and Pete would help them catch (and release, of course) newts and crayfish in the creek.  In recent years, you could find Cathie sitting next to that creek on hot summer days, dipping her toes in the water as she read an Agatha Christie novel or worked on a crossword.  She loved traveling abroad, and enjoyed many trips to her favorite city, Paris.

She is survived by her brothers, Jack (Patty) and Jim McCarthy; her husband of 45 years, Pete; her daughter, Kate (Chris) and son, Peter (Shannon); her four grandchildren, Benjamin, Rose, Neve and Calvin.  She loved and was beloved by all and was known as a quiet, powerful force for good in this world through her extensive volunteer work and unfailing compassion.

A memorial service will be at 4:00 PM on Sunday, October 28, 2018, at the LONGWOOD FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION OF MATTHEW GENEREUX, INC., 913 East Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square.  Visitation with the family will be at the funeral home from 2:00 PM until 4:00PM.  Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Catherine's name to may be made to: La Communidad Hispana, www.lacomunidadhispana.org  -or- to the International Fund for Animal Welfare www.ifaw.org

Family flowers arranged by Kennett Florist, 610-444-6040 tel.

 

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