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Catherine (Kay) Louise McGovern

August 21, 1920 ~ June 24, 2020 (age 99)

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Kay is an inspiration to all who know her.  Her smile and joie de vie draw you in.  She is surrounded and loved by friends of all ages.

She was born an only child of Irish parents on the East Coast.  Her mother described Kay as an “amusing” child.  She grew up loving dogs and has had their companionship all her life, continuing to rescue them to this day

After graduating from NYU in 1942 with a degree in Education and Health, she taught science and physical education for a year before joining the Navy and teaching physical education to thousands of WAVES. She went on to become a personality on NBC TV with “Swing and Sway with Shan and Kay”.

Kay became the first woman Vice President of the Chicago YMCA where she wrote grants to successfully create a number of important and innovative programs. Though dedicated to her work, she traveled and skied with friends every year in Switzerland and Europe for a month.  After almost thirty years she left the YMCA, but retirement was not in the plan for Kay.

Her concern for the struggles of underprivileged women in Chicago led her to start a thriving non-profit cottage industry called Threads, that got support through the MacArthur Foundation.  Interesting textile products were sewn by the mostly women workers and sold at Dillard’s, Marshall Fields and through various catalogs. Kay chose not to take a salary.  Her reward was having the time during her fifty-mile morning commute to think of creative new products, and also knowing that these women could provide a better life for themselves and their children.  She reluctantly retired at the age of eighty.

With a keen eye, Kay has been an art collector and savvy real estate entrepreneur.  She has bought and sold many houses.

In Lieu of Flowers please consider donations to "The Grotto of Our Lady" at St. John's the Evangelist Church.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Catherine (Kay) Louise McGovern, please visit our floral store.


June 29, 2020

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Beckman Williamson Funeral Home
5400 Village Drive
Viera, FL 32955

Funeral Mass
June 30, 2020

11:00 AM
St John the Evangelist Catholic Church
5655 Stadium Parkway
Melbourne, FL 32940


St John the Evangelist Catholic Church
5655 Stadium Parkway, Viera FL 32940
Tel: 1-321-637-9650

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