Marylou Connelly McCarthy passed away at age 80 on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009, at her home in St. Augustine, Fla., surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Winthrop, Mass., on Oct. 21, 1928.
Marylou was predeceased by her beloved husband, Matthew James McCarthy, who was a longtime educator at Ketterlinius Junior High, Orange Street, and The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, both in St. Augustine. Matthew was also a teacher at Sacred Heart in Lombard and principal of St. Peter and Paul in Napersville, Ill.
Marylou was the daughter of the late George William and Loretta Kennedy Connelly. The granddaughter of Massachusetts State Sen. Patrick J. and Mary Augusta Hickey Kennedy, her paternal grandparents were Michael J. and Margaret Connelly. Marylou was also the niece of the late Ambassador Joseph P. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and Charles and Margaret Kennedy Burke. Marylou's first cousins include the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Edward Moore Kennedy, Mrs. Marnee Burke Devine, and Charles and Thomas Burke.
Marylou moved to St. Augustine from Winthrop, Mass., in 1945 with her parents. She was a 1947 graduate of St. Joseph Academy. She earned her bachelor's degree from Barry College (University) in 1951 in Miami.
Marylou was a proud educator at R.B. Hunt School, Orange Street; Evelyn Hamblin; Cathedral Parish School; and owner of Pixie Playschool, all of St. Augustine. Marylou was also a teacher at St. Petronilles School in Glen Ellyn, Ill. After retiring from teaching and all the years she devoted to children, she turned her interest to the senior population. She earned her master's degree in gerontology from the University of Illinois, Springfield, in 1983.
Marylou and Matthew were married in the Cathedral Basilica on Dec. 29, 1951, and remained active with the Cathedral, as did their family. Marylou was former president of the St. Patrick's Circle, past president of the Altar Guild and longtime member of the Cathedral Parish School Festival. She served as vice president of the SJA Alumni under the leadership of President John Alexander. She also chaired the SJA Reunion Committee classes of 1944 to 1954. She was a member and co-founder of the Poinsietta Garden Club and proud past member of the Junior Service League, The St. Augustine Little Theater, St. Johns March of Dimes and The Easter Festival Committee. As an educator and gerontologist, she was also a member of many associations and professional organizations here in St. Augustine, in Glenn Ellyn, Ill., and in Hyannis, Mass.
Her memory is cherished by her surviving children, Kevin Michael McCarthy, a National Park Service ranger, Kathleen M. (Kerry) McCarthy, a consultant, and Cheryl Davis Knapp, retired RN; extended family members Gary Hoog, an educator, and Sgt. Mark Miner, Florida National Guard; and many loved cousins, godchildren and valued friends.
Marylou McCarthy - poet, teacher, parent, wife and friend - will be greatly missed by all who love her. Her warmth, wit, love, faith, courage and joy are all gifts she generously left us.
A memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. today, Aug. 6, 2009, at the Cathedral Basilica. Flowers are respectfully declined. Donations in Marylou's memory are gratefully accepted for the benefit of The Sisters of St. Joseph Development Fund, 421 St. George St., St. Augustine, FL 32084.
Craig Funeral Home Memorial Park is in charge of arrangements.