Kathleen Marie 'Kay' Reilly
Longtime Staten Island teacher, known for her spirit
Kathleen Marie "Kay" Reilly, 82, of Staten Island, N.Y., died Oct. 8, 2020. She died at The Chelsea at Fanwood, N.J., where she had resided for the past several years.
Kathleen was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 12, 1938, to Nora and John Murphy.
She is survived by her two sons, Stephen G. Reilly and his wife Christine of Far Hills, N.J., and Timothy P. Reilly and his wife Kerry of Scotch Plains, NJ. She is also survived by five beloved grandchildren, Samantha, Alexandra, Stephen, Ryan and Conor, and many dear nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, George A. Reilly.
Kay grew up in Brooklyn, where she met the love of her life, George A. Reilly. They were married at Saint Agatha's on Aug. 26, 1961. They moved to Staten Island in November of 1964 and began their new life in Great Kills.
She was a fixture and a voice in the stands at both the baseball and basketball games for her sons, never missing the opportunity to show her love and support for them both. She developed lifelong friends who she treasured and traveled with over the course of her life. Those who knew Kay never knew if she would show up at their front door without notice, as she was known to jump in her car or a plane and take off on a whim.
Kay graduated from Saint Joseph's College in Brooklyn. She began her career as an educator in Red Hook, N.Y. After moving to Staten Island, she continued to teach for over 30 years, ending her career at PS 42 in Eltingville. She earned a reputation as a sharp and fair-minded teacher, and students always treasured the time that they had been taught by "Mrs. Reilly." Her children remember the plethora of invitations to communions, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and weddings that she was invited to from former students who had never forgotten their favorite grammar school teacher.
Kay was also a parishioner at Saint Claire's Church. She was a lector, Eucharistic minister and an active member, volunteering whenever they needed her to.
Kathleen, Grandma Kay, "GK,"Aunt Kathy and Kay will be missed by all.
A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, in Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 1551 Martine Ave., Scotch Plains, N.J 07076. Burial will follow in the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Published in Staten Island Advance on Oct. 11, 2020.