Kathleen Healy, a longtime resident of Rye, died January 23, 2019. She was 91.
Born August 26, 1926, she was the twelfth of thirteen children of Katie (Dooher) and Daniel Sweeney of Enabeg, Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, Ireland.
She was raised on a self-sufficient organic family farm, with no electricity or indoor plumbing. When she was 2, her mother died from complications of childbirth, and she was raised by her father and older siblings. Her father kept the children together on the farm, and each child had chores. Kathleen was responsible for churning the butter, baking bread, and raising chickens to sell eggs in the town. The farm provided food to make the family self-sustainable, even in the most difficult times of World War II. The only products externally purchased were sugar and tea.
She attended Richmond National School, a small one-room schoolhouse.
With her savings and the help of her father, she immigrated to the United States.
On November 22, 1947, at the age of 21, she flew on Pan Am flight #88836 from Shannon, Ireland to Gander, Newfoundland, and on to New York, just in time to enjoy her first Thanksgiving and Macy’s Day parade. One year later, she made a declaration of her intention to seek U. S. citizenship. In March 1954, she became a proud naturalized citizen. She worked as a nanny for a Madison Avenue family and later as a waitress at Schrafft’s.
She met Christopher Healy at a dance on 86th Street. In June 1959, they were married at Sacred Heart Chapel in the Bronx. Five years later they moved to Rye to raise their family.
Kathleen Healy loved to cook and was famous for her Irish soda bread. She was an avid gardener, created beautiful hand-sewn and knitted garments, and enjoyed summer days at Rye Beach. She was a kind, generous, loving mother to her son, James C. Healy, daughters, Mary Healy and Catherine Healy Sharbaugh, and grandchildren, Katie and Christopher Sharbaugh.
She was a parishioner of Resurrection Church, a fundraiser for Resurrection School’s Christmas Fair and the American Cancer Society, and a member of the Catholic Daughters. She was active in the Mouth Vernon Irish Association.
Mrs. Healy retired to Vero Beach, Florida, and Oughterard, Galway, Ireland.
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated January 26 at Church of the Resurrection. Interment followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Rye Brook.
Donations in Kathleen Healy’s memory may be made to Hospice of Westchester in White Plains or the American Cancer Soc