Born on March 13, 1930, Kathleen was number nine of ten children to Matthew and Elizabeth Kelly in County Clare, Ireland. She grew up on a family-owned farm where all were taught at an early age to be obedient, respect others, live their faith, love the work ethic, and to be generous in helping those who needed help. She was four years old when her mother died, leaving her father to raise 10 children alone. At the age of 16, she decided to join her five older siblings who had moved to London.
It was with this in mind that Kathleen thought she could pursue a religious vocation and joined The Sisters of the Good Shepherd located in London, England. After finishing the Novitiate and Novice training, she was Professed for three consecutive years, totaling six years — at which time there was the option of either making final vows for a lifetime of poverty, chastity, obedience, and the salvation of souls, or a return to the secular world. After much thought and discussion, Kathleen chose the latter. Soon after, she made passage on the Queen Elizabeth to join her brother Martin Kelly who had emigrated to the US to begin a new life. Martin died three years later.
Soon she joined the relatives and friends who liked to perpetuate the Irish Culture —sports, music, dancing, etc. Kathleen made new friends and had some boyfriends before meeting up with a man from Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland. They married in 1956 at Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Philadelphia, where Kathleen was registered and was an active member of “The Tuesday Night Dance Committee.”
Kathleen and Michael were blessed with ten beautiful children, three boys and seven girls. Needless to say, life was not easy but with God’s help, each of those ten children had 12 years of Catholic education and all went to college. They got married and now there are 25 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Kathleen enjoyed her life as a wife, Mother, Mom-mom, and Mother-in-law.
She was also proud to have taken classes at Villanova University in her spare time, and to have worked for 30 years as a private duty nurse for the sick and elderly at their homes, nursing homes, and for the priests at St. Thomas Monastery.
Amongst her hobbies were dancing, swimming, sewing, knitting, the Internet, and an occasional trip to the casinos. At the young age of 80, Kathleen received a certificate for belly dancing! Despite having had seven pacemakers and her husband of 55 years having gone home to God, Kathleen enjoyed traveling to many countries in Europe and beyond in her lifetime.
Kathleen was the beloved wife of the late Michael C. O’Sullivan; loving mother of Maureen Donohue (late Robert), Patrick (Mary), Robert (Bernadette), Dianne Haley (Jack), Sheila O’Sullivan-Feeney (Jeff), Elizabeth O’Sullivan (Greg), Margaret O’Sullivan, Brenda Doychak (Doug), Eileen Thomas (Mark), and Michael (Sara); dear grandmother of 25 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Also survived by her sisters-in-law, Kitty of Dublin, and Philomena of County Clare, her cousin Mary Sullivan and many nieces, nephews, and cousins from Ireland and England. She was predeceased by 9 siblings; Martin, Pat Joe, Bobby, Jim, Johnny, Ita, Anne, Mary, and Susan.
Relatives and friends are invited to Kathleen’s Viewing 9:00-10:30 AM Saturday, September 19, 2020 at SS. Peter & Paul Church, 1325 Boot Rd, West Chester, PA, followed by her Funeral Mass 10:30 AM, which will be live streamed: https://www.facebook.com/thedonohuefuneralhome/. Interment Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are requested to St. Laurence Church, 8425 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby, PA 19082.
Per the CDC guidelines and the State of Pennsylvania, masks are to be worn to the Viewing, Funeral Mass and Cemetery and social distancing is to be observed.
St. Laurence Church
30 St. Laurence Road, Upper Darby PA 19082