Grandma Katie McCarthy, 1932-2012

Our dear Grandma Katie passed away shortly after her 80th birthday, and only a few weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.


One of my favorite memories of Katie is the trip we all took to visit Uncle Jim in the Netherlands. We all used a British Airways promotion that gave us a free night in London, before flying to Amsterdam. We had only a few hours to explore London, and since I'm a big cheap-skate, we took the subway and did a lot of walking to see the sights. We saw Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, and probably some other places I can't remember. Katie was a real trooper, but Anne had to remind me that she needed a break from all the walking. The next day we flew to Amsterdam and did even more walking. Fortunately, the remainder of the trip mostly involved driving.


Katie was determined to live in her house as long as she possibly could. Certainly the old house on Perth Street was more than she could handle by herself, but with help from family and neighbors she managed. The neighborhood changed a lot since its glory days when the McCarthy kids roamed the street, but it was clear that Katie loved her neighbors and vice versa. I think that's really why she wanted to stay. A number of them said that she was the "glue" of the neighborhood, which will never be the same without her.


The three of us traveled to Toledo for Katie's memorial mass. Anne had been there only a week before to celebrate her birthday and help with her care. I found the note below stuck to Katie's bedroom mirror, which made me more than a little verklemmt.


This note is "classic Anne." She, more than anyone, knows how something as simple as a handwritten note makes people feel special. Thank you Grandma Katie for raising such a wonderful daughter that I'm lucky enough to call My Lovely Wife.

P.S.: You should also read My Mom's note about Katie, which is much better than mine.