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Catherine 'Kay' Byrne, 89; Greenwich Hospital Volunteer, Connecticut Playmakers Stage Manager

Catherine 'Kay' Elizabeth Byrne. Contributed photo.
Catherine 'Kay' Elizabeth Byrne. Contributed photo.

Catherine Elizabeth Byrne, a volunteer for Greenwich Hospital and a stage manager with Connecticut Playmakers, passed away on Jan. 6, 2014 in Greenwich. She was 89.

"Kay" was born on Aug. 23, 1924 in Philadelphia, PA, a daughter of the late Patrick Francis and Elizabeth Gallagher (nee McCormack), both from County Derry, Ireland.

She was known for her wicked sense of humor and for being a wonderful mother. Even if she occasionally mixed up the names of her children, she was adept at counting noses, and loved spending time with them at Tod's Point. She insisted that they not go out in the water "over their heads" alone, and would stand waist-deep, holding their hands as they bobbed the depths — a true act of courage for someone with a deathly, and well disguised, fear of water. 

Mrs. Byrne actively participated in numerous local volunteer efforts, notably Greenwich Hospital and for heroically coordinating the local Annual Girl Scout Cookie Drive. Aside from raising her children, her great passion and inspiration was with local theater. Kay was never more alive than when she was stage-managing as she did for numerous productions for Connecticut Playmakers, her second home and second family for two decades. Despite her love of singing, she rarely ventured onstage, preferring to express her talents and organizational skills backstage. 

In her later years Kay resided at The Mews in Greenwich. Her children are deeply indebted to the loving and generous care she received from the dedicated staff and caregivers at The Mews, and will be endlessly grateful to a small group of extended family and friends who tirelessly showered her with unconditional love and care.

Mrs. Byrne is survived by her five children, Peter Jr., Patricia, Karen, Michael and Thomas; three grandsons Gabriel, Evan, and Ryan, as well as an extended network of family, dear friends and a motley group of granddogs. 

At Mrs. Byrne's request, there will not be a viewing, rather a celebration of her life to be announced at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Connecticut Playmakers at http://www.ctplaymakers.org.


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