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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.