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Kathleen "Kitty" Mabie

1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Kathleen "Kitty" Mabie Obituary
August 17, 1929 - February 18, 2017 Our wonderful mother Kathleen Marie Mabie passed away Saturday, February 18, 2017. She was an amazing woman who lived her life with a heart full of love and kindness, facing every challenge with a patience and calm reserved for angels. Kathleen was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 17, 1929. Her parents Roy and Laura McGowan had one other child, James. After high school, Kathleen was drawn to the convent and became a novice with the Sisters of Mercy in Des Plaines, Illinois, taking the name Sister Mary Moninne. After her novitiate year she left the convent to serve God non-secularly. In 1948 she enrolled at Marquette University as a botany major. It was in biology lab that she was paired by alphabet with her lab partner Richard Mabie who was from Fond du Lac. Kathleen and Richard dated for more than three years and then, with his degree in medicine, hers in botany, and a powerful faith in God, they married. Our parents' love for one another was absolute. As children, we never heard them quarrel. Their affection was obvious, sincere and true. After graduating from medical school, Richard enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and both he and our mother were stationed in Sasebo, Japan in 1956. They lived in a Japanese-style home rather than on the naval base and Kathleen established close friendships with their neighbors. Upon their return in 1958 they chose Claremont, California as their home. Together they raised 9 children. Kathleen and Richard lived in Claremont the rest of their lives and were devout parishioners of Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church. Our mother led a life of meaning and purpose. While our father was at the hospital, our mother organized the household. It was more than a full-time job, yet she did it quietly, efficiently and with a smile. She brought order to what could have been chaos. When we woke up, she was already assembling lunches for all nine of us. At dinnertime we lined up cafeteria style. Of strong Irish stock, our mother's hair was red, her skin freckled and her laugh memorable. She had a perpetual twinkle in her eye. She loved music and never hesitated to sing a tune, put on an album, or both. She was a leader, organizer, teacher, counselor and activist. In the busiest of years she had much to attend to, PTA, a child in every grade, recreation league basketball, AYSO soccer, Scouting, track and field and gymnastics. She would cheer us on at various elementary schools and high schools including Claremont, Damien and St. Lucy's - sometimes half the game cheering on one side of the stadium and the second half on the other side. At the end of the school year our mother would turn our patio into a classroom. She tilted up large chalkboards against the wall and handed out study booklets. Every morning of the summer recess she would help us prepare for the coming school year. She challenged us to think, encouraged us to believe, and always supported our goals. Her support bore fruit. All 9 of her children graduated from four-year universities, with many earning graduate degrees. Our summer vacations were spent camping and backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or trips to the beach in San Diego. Our winters were highlighted by fun at the family cabin on Mt. Baldy. She never hesitated to the play in the snow with us. She loved the outdoors and wrote letters to the tobacco industry protesting ads showing hikers smoking cigarettes in the forest. She had a profound commitment to serving those most in need. Along with members of their parish our mother and father led efforts to provide free pediatric care to thousands of children in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles. Clinic patients were primarily undocumented refugees and immigrants from Central America and Mexico who sought out clinic services they could trust. Our mother also served as a volunteer through the office of Inland Hospice and at the food bank sponsored by the Pomona Valley Council of Churches. She loved to travel, and with our father visited Central America, many European countries and many states as well, including Alaska. They were repeatedly drawn to Hawaii, particularly Hana. Our mother enjoyed traveling regardless of the climate and took time to write about her experiences on the road. She also wrote poetry. After all her children had left the nest, she wrote one poem that speaks sadly of missing the sound of a young child's feet running across the floor. Our mother was the steady and soothing center of our universe, always ready to bring joy into our lives, make us giggle and laugh, and feel loved. Ours was a blessed life with a mother so thoughtful, caring and kind. She will be profoundly missed. May each of us be consoled knowing her spirit and example will always be with us. Kathleen was preceded in passing by her loving husband of 60 years, Dr. Richard H. Mabie, daughter Jane, son James, daughter-in-law Rhonda Heth and grandson Jason. She is survived by her children and their spouses, Thomas Harry, Laura Ellen (Keith Serxner), Kenneth John (Patti), Ann Moninne (Frank DeRuyter), Mary Therese (Bill Platt), Peter David (Gwen), William Allen (Denise Mendoza), and Michael Joseph (Nora); and by 15 grandchildren, Margaret, Claire, Joseph, Melissa, Lauren, Julia, Thomas Jr., Michael, Kathleen, Grace, Emily, John, Roy, Sarah and Daniel; and four great-grandchildren Olivia, Thomas, Benjamin and Everett. A rosary service will be held Thursday, April 6, at 6:00 PM at Todd Memorial Chapel located at 325 North Indian Hill Boulevard in Claremont. Funeral services will be held Friday, April 7 at 11:00 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church located at 877 North Campus Avenue in Upland, California. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the , 225 North Michigan Avenue, 17th Floor, Chicago IL 60601-7633 or WWW.ALZ.ORG.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Apr. 1, 2017
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