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Obituary: Kathy McKenna

Published on January 30, 2018

SALEM – Kathy McKenna lived, laughed, loved, and left the world a better place. She was a giving, loving, lady who lit up any room from the moment she made her flamboyant entrance, always greeting you with her warm beautiful smile, and an embraceable hug. You left every conversation with Kathy believing you were the most important person in the room. From her earliest days, through her years at Salem High School, Salem State University, and her final days at her beloved Leonard Florence home, Kathy welcomed people into her life with wide open arms. Kathy affected people in a way that seemed magical. Making fast friends with complete strangers instantaneously, putting shy people completely at ease, and embracing old friends like family.

Kathy McKenna died peacefully on her 61st birthday, Thursday January 25, with family and loved ones by her side, after a courageous battle with ALS. She was the daughter of the late Robert and Elaine McKenna. She was raised and educated in her beloved Salem. Kathy’s spirit for life was unmistakable throughout her career of providing service for people. From aerobics instructor, to flight attendant, to scheduling visiting nurses, to hostess at several local yacht clubs and favorite restaurants, to her last position as the liaison manager for Lahey Health. Kathy had a true love for music, and literally danced her way through life. She also loved to travel, and some of her favorite, most memorable trips were with her parents to Hawaii, as well as some unforgettable times with her mom to Europe. She is survived by her four siblings, Bob Jr., and his wife, Nan, Susan Munroe, and her husband, Mike, and Billy, and his wife, Jennifer and Michae; and her longtime companion Jeff Dunleavy. She was the proud aunt to seven nieces and nephews who all adored her.

There will be a funeral Mass held at the Immaculate Conception at 15 Hawthorne Blvd., in Salem, at noon on Saturday ,February 3. A celebration of life reception will follow at the Knights of Columbus on Salem Common at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, you may please donate to Compassionate Care ALS at