Kathleen Marie (McCarthy) Sullivan, 66, died on Oct. 31, 2020, while holding hands with her devoted husband, Richard, of 41 years. They lived year-round in Truro.
Kathy, as she was known, was the daughter of Charles McCarthy and the late Marie McCarthy of Orleans. Raised in Reading, Kathy graduated from Reading High School, class of 1972, where she was voted best dressed, a superlative that she lived up to for her entire life. For most of her career, she designed telecommunication systems, and those who know her know how much she enjoyed telephones. She raised her three children in Melrose, then in Concord, and was an active parent, running school fund-raisers.
The constant in her life was the time she spent on the Outer Cape — summers as a kid in Wellfleet and, once grown, summers with her husband, children, friends, and visiting family in Truro. In retirement, Kathy and Rich moved to Truro full-time. But even then, because she never was very good at sitting still, she began working for the town in the assessor’s office.
Rich always joked that it was a small world when you have a big talker like Kathy. She made friends wherever she went and brought lightness and positivity to every situation. To make her friends and family laugh, she loved nothing more than recounting stories of the wildest and most outlandish things that had happened to her.
She was small in stature but huge in heart, and a courageous fighter who beat Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 14 and, as an adult, overcame lung cancer, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and open-heart bypass surgery. Despite all of the obstacles she faced, she exuded gratitude and grace.
She was truly in her element with her feet in the sand, chatting with friends at Cold Storage Beach and watching her grandchildren play at water’s edge. She was the ultimate caretaker and animal lover, serving as a surrogate mom for her children’s friends, spoiling the family dogs, and rescuing stray animals of various species.
She is survived by her husband, Richard; daughter Kelly Sullivan Clark and son-in-law Paul of Orleans; son Ryan Sullivan of Truro; son Brendan Sullivan and daughter-in-law Christina of Pembroke; and grandchildren Chase, Collins, Lillian, and Wesley. Kathy also leaves her sisters, Karen Toomey and husband Kevin of Wellesley; Maureen Baumgartel and husband Scott of Westford; and MaryEllen Rice and husband Tim of Wellfleet; and her brother, Charlie McCarthy and wife Deb of Hingham. She was predeceased by her brother Kevin McCarthy and is survived by her sister-in-law Debra. “Auntie Kiki” leaves 17 nieces and nephews, her rescue Lab, Myles Standish, and countless friends.
Donations in Kathy’s memory may be made to Boston Children’s Hospital or Animal Rescue League of Boston. To sign Kathy’s online guest book, visit SullivanFuneralHomes.com.