Catherine Wagner Nee (Kay) Feeley
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Catherine (Kay) Wagner, nee Feeley

Catherine Wagner passed away on Sunday, February 21, of age-related conditions. She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Frank Wagner. She is survived by their children: Catherine, Frank (Mary Bunker,) Mary Clare, and Monica (Dennis) Runyan. She was the proud and loving grandmother of Emily Back; Caroline, Lucy, Eileen, and Annie Kate Kull; and of Frank Wagner, III.

Kay was born in Chicago in 1929, where she graduated from Visitation High School and St. Xavier College, majoring in mathematics. In 1953, she graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a master's degree in mathematics. The Chicago Tribune noted that Kay was the first woman to attend and receive a degree from Notre Dame. Following her graduation, Kay worked as a mathematician at The Institute for Air Weapons Research at the University of Chicago and studied for her doctorate. In 1959, she married Frank Wagner, whom she had met at Notre Dame when he was a doctoral student there. They moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Frank and Kay both taught mathematics, he at Marquette University and Kay at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Following the birth of their first child they moved to Cincinnati, where Frank taught at the University of Cincinnati and Kay stayed home while the couple had three more children. During those years, Kay received a master's degree from the University of Cincinnati in special education, exploring an interest in dyslexia. She was a founding member of the Cincinnati branch of the International Dyslexia Society, and later a member of the international board of directors of that organization.

Kay served as Director of Special Services at the Wyoming School District for 15 years before returning to mathematics as an instructor at Northern Kentucky University. After retiring from NKU, she devoted many years to teaching dyslexic adults to read through the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati, preparing underserved high school and GED students for their mathematics tests, and tutoring residents of the Lebanon Correctional Institution. She was a board member of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cincinnati for many years.

Kay so enjoyed her bridge friends from the University of Cincinnati Women's Club and her 70-year friendship with the "club girls" of Chicago!

A funeral mass will be held at Nativity of Our Lord parish on Wednesday, March 3, at 10:00am.

Remembrances may be sent to Cincinnati Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired (

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer from Feb. 28 to Mar. 1, 2021.
Funeral Mass
10:00 AM
Nativity of Our Lord parish
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
March 2, 2021
So sorry to learn of your mom's passing. My condolences to you and the rest of your family. No wonder you were so smart, you had terrific genes in the family, was very enlightened to learn about the background of your mother.
Tim Sheeran
March 1, 2021
I worked with her at the Literacy Network. She was an amazing woman. I was so impressed that she used her “retirement” to give back to others. She was always positive and full of energy.
Julie Steimle
March 1, 2021
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
Ann P
March 1, 2021
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Ann P
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