Mary Kathryn McDonnell Brackenridge, of New Canaan, Connecticut, died peacefully at home on August 27, 2023, with her husband and daughter by her side. She was 70.
Born on July 8, 1953, in Rye, N.Y., Kathy, as she was known, was the daughter of Mary Frances (Breeding) and Charles E. “Bish” McDonnell. She attended Rye Country Day School, Miss Hall’s School, and Bennett College.
After college, she moved to New York City and went to work in the art field. Coe Kerr, Davis & Long, and Salander-O’Reilly were among the preeminent galleries she worked at. In addition to being a fine art consultant, she spent the last 12 years of her 40-year professional career as Regional Director at Doyle New York, the auction house.
A devoted and loving wife, mother, stepmother, and grandmother, Mrs. Brackenridge adored her extended family and vast network of wonderful friends, for whom she was a source of boundless energy, positivity, and support. “Kathy showed constant care and interest in everyone in her life and was always shining with the brightest light of her beautiful smile and true love of life,” said her family. Her greatest source of joy was her 2-year-old grandson Bish, named for her dear departed older brother.
Kathy Brackenridge accepted her diagnosis of ALS with remarkable determination to live every remaining moment with appreciation for family, life, laughter, and beauty. Her heroic strength of character was an inspiration to all.
She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Gavin Brackenridge; her daughter Kathryn and partner Tuck, their son Bish; stepdaughter Kirsten and her three sons Gavin, George, and Whit; her sister Margot Genge and brother-in-law Dean Genge and their sons William and Tyler; sisters-in-law Mary McDonnell and Belinda Brackenridge; her niece Megan Boyle and nephews Charles E. “Bish” McDonnell III and Gavin Wiesen. She was predeceased by her parents as well as her brother Charles E. “Bish” McDonnell Jr.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held September 6 at Church of the Resurrection in Rye.
Donations in Kathy Brackenridge’s honor may be made to Compassionate Care ALS, P. O. Box 1052, West Falmouth, Mass. 02574.