Catherine A. McSweeny-Fisken Nashua, NH
Catherine A. "Kay" (Thomas) McSweeny - Fisken, 83, wife of Sidney Fis ken, died on Monday, January 14, 2013 with her loving family by her side at the Greenbriar Terrace Nursing and Rehabilitation facility in Nashua.
Kay was born in Somerville on April 13, 1929, daughter of the late Joseph and Pauline (Wilson) Thomas.
After graduating from Somerville High School and moving to Boston's West End, she took a job in the advertising department at the Boston Record American. In 1951, during the Korean War, she enlisted into the U.S. Navy, serving as a photographer in Jacksonville and Pensacola, before returning to Boston where she was honorably discharged in 1954.
As a single parent when her children were still small, Kay returned to the work-force to support her family, first as an assistant to the chair of the Psychology Department at Tuft's University, then as an office assistant at Pullman Vacuum Cleaner Corporation in Malden, MA. Kay was a loving mother who devoted her life to creating a home for her children, and worked hard in those years (including taking a taking a second job at Christmastime).
It was while working at Pullman that Kay met the man, who would become her best friend and husband, and a wonderful father to Bill and Cathy. From their first date at Hago Harrington's miniature golf course and for the next 42 years, their love never faltered. When Sid took a job in New York, Kay sacrificed again and remained in Massachusetts to allow Bill and Cathy to finish school. She and Sid spent five long years commuting back and forth on weekends. In 1977, Kay moved to New York where they spent the next 22 years. Kay continued working until her early her early 60s, climbing the ladder, first at Pullman and then at Mastercraft Industries in Newburg, NY, a leading manufacturer of industrial vacuum cleaners. At the time of her retirement, she headed up Customer Service and was the "go to" person for Mastercraft's many customers and employees.
Upon retiring, Sid and Kay enjoyed only a handful of years - including a memorable trip to London and Paris and winters in Naples, FL - before her life was torpedoed by Alzheimer's, a horrific disease that must be vanquished once and for all. What should have been a happy, fulfilling retirement enjoyed with the man she adored turned instead into a heroic battle waged by both Kay and Sid and the people who love them. She was brave and strong and loved, but most of all, Kay McSweeny-Fisken will be remembered as the nicest, kindest person you will ever meet.
In addition to her husband of 42 years, Sid; she is survived by her children, William F. McSweeny III and his wife, Joanne of Watertown, and Cathy A. "Kate" McSweeny of Fairfax, VA; her grandchildren, Daniel and Erin McSweeny of East Falmouth, and Zachary McSweeny of Duxbury; a great-grandson, Liam McSweeny; her siblings, Joseph Thomas and his wife, Susan of Danvers, Pauline Fitzgibbon, and Carolyn Thomas, both of Medford; her godchild, Christine Littlehale of Melrose; and many other nieces and nephews; two very close friends, Carol Andreasian of Florida, and Doreen Korman of Ontario.
She was predeceased by her sisters, Rita Gagne and Mary Buchtmann.
Kay's Celebration of Life Service will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. in the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn Street, Peabody. The family will receive family and friends Thursday morning from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Support Network, 660 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 21, Naples, FL 34102 http://www.alzsupport.net)
Burial in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody.
Please visit www.ccbfuneral.com for directions, online obituary and memorial guest book.