Mary K.

Obituary for Mary Catherine Kaighan

Mary Catherine Flanagan Kaighan died peacefully at home in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA on March 27, 2018 at the age of Seventy-Six.

Mary Catherine is survived by her husband of 52 years, Herb Kaighan; her children Christina, Kymberly and Michael; their spouses John, Jeff and Karen; her seven grandchildren Kaine, Quinn, Jack, Holly, Cassidy, Emmy and Matthew; her brother Arthur, sister-in-law Mary Fran; Niece and Nephews Debbie, Jeff, Lynda, Darren & Kerry. Mary Catherine is preceded in death by her parents Arthur and Helen Flanagan.

Mary Catherine was born on December 12, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois to Arthur and Helen Flanagan. In 1962 she followed her heart to the warm sunshine of California where she began working in Human Resources for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Mary loved interviewing and welcoming new employees in her position. One of her favorite new-hires, Herbert Kaighan, must have really impressed her because in April of 1966 she married him! They welcomed their first-born Christina Marie, and continued growing their family with the addition of Kymberly Anne in 1970 and Michael John arrived in 1972 to complete “the Kaighan Clan”. Mary was a dedicated homemaker and passionate volunteer in the kids’ education and faith formation. Throughout the 1980s St. John Fisher Church and School, and later Bishop Montgomery High School created some of her favorite family memories. As the kids headed off to high-school and college, Mary began volunteering at the Daughters of Mary and Joseph Retreat Center in Palos Verdes where she ultimately served as the first lay Director for the Retreat Center, leading and inspiring the faith community around her until she retired in 2006.

Mary was a woman of extraordinary courage, character and heart. She was forever dedicated to encouraging and supporting every member of her family as well as the hearts and souls of the women in her recovery, faith and 12-step communities. She loved to celebrate all the moments life had to offer with those that were dear to her and there was hardly a phone-call or visit that didn’t end with her telling you “to have as much fun as possible”. She loved root-beer floats and Jacuzzi talks with her kids, spa days with her daughters, everything Disney with her grand-kids, and morning “coffee talk” with Herb. Her claim to fame is being “comped” luxury rooms at the Bellagio for her slot-machine tournaments with her favorite girl-friends. She was known for her gentle and kind spirit, and always being present, mindful, and loving to all. Most importantly, she was generous in every way possible.

A celebration of Mary’s life is scheduled for Monday, April 2nd at 11:00am at St. John Fisher Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, with a reception and luncheon to follow in the Parish Hall, all are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in honor of Mary Catherine in care of the Daughters of Mary & Joseph Retreat Center at 5300 Crest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, 90275.

By | 2018-04-11T11:28:12+00:00 March 31st, 2018|Uncategorized|38 Comments


  1. Teresa C in VT March 31, 2018 at 8:40 am - Reply

    God’s love & mine to you & your family at this time
    Know you are blessed

  2. LaRee L. March 31, 2018 at 8:52 am - Reply

    May the warmth of family, friends and memories bring you comfort. For me, no one dies as long as they live in your heart. With sincerest sympathy.

  3. Margaret Smith March 31, 2018 at 8:55 am - Reply

    God created life and journey, and Mary’s was inspiring. With love, know you are blessed and favored always.

  4. Deanna March 31, 2018 at 9:06 am - Reply

    condolences & love to you and your family

  5. Laura Beth Bachman March 31, 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

    All my love to Herb, his family and all those who knew and loved Mary.
    Laura Beth Bachman

  6. Tali G March 31, 2018 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Holding you and Mary Catherine in our most loving thoughts Herb.

  7. Linda March 31, 2018 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Sending love. So sorry for your loss.

  8. Judith Reichsman March 31, 2018 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Mary Catherine, May you enjoy your first Easter in heaven and thank you for sharing Herb and his wisdom, (for which he credits you a lot, as you know), with SO MANY of us. May God hold you in a shift embrace, Herb. Bless you all.

  9. Jan Stevenson March 31, 2018 at 10:06 am - Reply

    My heart goes out to all the friends and family.

  10. I am just so sorry for your great loss. Also regret that I’m on my way out of town and won’t be there to support you on Monday. Much love to you and your family. March 31, 2018 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Dear Herb and family. I am just so sorry for your great loss. Also regret that I’m on my way out of town and won’t be there to support you on Monday. Much love to you and your family

  11. Julie Rodriguez March 31, 2018 at 11:59 am - Reply

    So sorry for the loss of such a beautiful light. Sending comforting prays for her loved ones.

  12. Ernest March 31, 2018 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    So sorry for your loss.

  13. David Hopkinson March 31, 2018 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Dear Herb and Family

    My sincerest condolences, Mary was a wonderful, kind,loving and compassionate lady and I consider my self lucky to have met her.

  14. Kathy Acosta March 31, 2018 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    May her loving presence be felt in your heart. May your family draw close on April 2nd to share the joyful memories and to share any feelings of loss.

  15. Jessica Chapman March 31, 2018 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    To Herb and Family,
    My deepest condolences for your loss. Sending love and prayers to you.

  16. Pat Duncan March 31, 2018 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Prayers for the Kaighan family in this time of loss.

  17. Jimmy Zamani March 31, 2018 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Rumi said “From the first love story I heard, I was looking for you, not knowing how blind I was. True Lovers don’t find each other, they are inside each other.”
    My Consciousness knows Herb & Mary that very same way.
    Blessings to Herb & Family.

  18. Yacine W March 31, 2018 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Herb K & Family

    Lifting you in prayer at this difficult time, and sending my heartfelt condolences in the loss of your dear loved one.

    Peace Blessings

  19. Judith D'Ambrosia March 31, 2018 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    So sorry for your loss to Herb and your family.

  20. Mairead Madden March 31, 2018 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Herb and Family,


    Requiescant in Pace.

    “And in God’s house for evermore,
    Their dwelling place place shall be.”

  21. Lee L March 31, 2018 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Dear Herb. And Family ,
    I was so blessed to know. You and Mary in my life. What a gift my God gave me . Kind loving
    Wise and always ready to listen.
    What a great example of selfless service.
    Soft and so faithful at the same time . Gratitude of a wonderful life and journey.
    Mary will be so missed by so many.

  22. Dawn March 31, 2018 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Dear Herb,

    I’m very sorry to hear about this. I am confident you’ll make it through. And I pray for your family and for God’s love to continue to support them.

    My sincere condolences

  23. Julie C March 31, 2018 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    Bask in the many happy memories Herb.

  24. Jom Mckuhan April 1, 2018 at 12:32 am - Reply

    To Herb and family.

    My condolences and my thoughts for your loss. May you celebrate her life which sounded so rich. May God hold her and keep her until next time.


    Jim M.
    South Florida

  25. Emil April 1, 2018 at 1:11 am - Reply

    I’m sorry for you and your families loss.
    Take care of each other.

  26. Cindy rosandich April 1, 2018 at 1:58 am - Reply

    So sorry for your loss Herb. She was a really remarkable woman and will be missed. She always made me feel loved when I was around her. May God rest her beautiful soul and keep you and your family safe and protected. Love you.

  27. Toni April 1, 2018 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Herb & Family,
    My prayers and thoughts are with you and yours.
    I met Mary a couple of times. She was and still is a bright star. God must’ve needed another angel (and forgot we have a shortage here on earth).
    Peace and love.

  28. Irene April 2, 2018 at 6:39 am - Reply

    May God’s strength and peace continue to be with you Herb. I love you.

  29. JEANETTE GOLDSTONE April 2, 2018 at 7:13 am - Reply

    I treasure my memories of Mary and I consider myself blessed to have received her love and council.
    I will keep her presence and memory alive in my heart, and by continuing to remember her in conversations with our mutual friends.
    Happy memories Herb, my love to you.
    Jeanette (UK)

  30. Mary Gladstone April 2, 2018 at 7:30 am - Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss and the pain which precedes and follows. All my love, Mary G

  31. Gerald Goldstone April 2, 2018 at 7:51 am - Reply

    To Herb and family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Mary’s passing.
    I treasure the moments we spent together in Greece. Mary was every inch the epitome of the Irish colleen –
    warm,compassionate,down to earth, with a twinkle in her eye.
    My love to you and your family,
    Gerald UK

  32. Debbie Peters April 2, 2018 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Dear Herb and Family
    Holding you all in our prayers sending you love and peace. Bryan and Mariah learned so much from you both at the couples retreat, they are grateful for the time she shared with them.
    Debbie Bryan Mariah

  33. Dave Custance April 2, 2018 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Hi Herb,

    I’m was so sorry to hear about Mary. Although I never met her, I could tell by your comments that she must have been a remarkable woman. My thoughts and prayers are with you today!
    Dave C.

  34. Tom C April 2, 2018 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Thank you Herb for all the spiritual wisdom and emotional healing you have shared with me and my family in recovery! May Love continue to light the way!

  35. Len L. April 2, 2018 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Kaighan family. I’m grateful for the woman who kindly shared her husband with so many of us.

  36. Shira G. April 2, 2018 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Dear Herb & family,

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

    May you be blessed with comfort and support during this difficult time of sorrow.

  37. william mcnamara April 3, 2018 at 11:00 am - Reply

    So sorry. I’m out of town working. I did not know Mary personally but Herb spoke of her often and I wish the Kaighan family my condolences.

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