Kathleen was a feisty kid who grew up to be just as much a character as an adult. Her earlier job choices were diverse and plentiful but she discovered a love of learning a later in life and, after obtaining her MSW, found her niche as a forensic counselor. Jobs included working in victim’s assistance for the Rochester NY Police Department and counseling inmates in the Auburn and Monroe County jails. She really loved those jobs and worked hard to help her clients.
Kathleen was known for telling outlandish stories that delighted friends and family. She had a great sense of humor and often made herself the butt of the jokes. Her counseling talents didn’t stop at work, but were shared with a wide variety of friends and neighbors. Kathleen loved all animals and saw to it that neighborhood birds and stray cats never went hungry. She especially loved Rottweilers and owned several in her lifetime.
She was diagnosed with primary brain cancer (glioblastoma) in February 2011 and began an aggressive course of chemo and radiation. In addition, she agreed to participate in a clinical trial with the hope of not only prolonging her life, but also aiding in scientific research. During the first six weeks of radiation, chemo and the trial drug, she walked to Wilmot Cancer Institute at Strong Memorial Hospital twice a day – eight miles a day, five days a week – regardless of the weather, which was often cold, heavy rain or sleet, amazing the doctors caring for her.
Unfortunately, a second tumor was discovered in September 2011 and the trial drug was discontinued. She fought very hard over the next few months but lost her battle in April 2012. Kathleen’s son, Mike, the apple of her eye, established the KM Memorial Golf Tournament in her honor and to help Wilmot Cancer Institute continue to pursue a cure for this devastating illness. The first tournament was held just four months after her death.