Catherine Mary Spencer

Died: 2018-01-28
Resided in: Middleton, MA
Viewing type: Visiting Hours
Viewing location: Mackey FH
Viewing date: 2018-01-31 / 3pm-6pm
Service type: Funeral Mass
Service date: 2018-02-01 9am
Service location: St. Agnes, Parish, Middleton, MA
Burial type: Burial
Burial date: 2018-02-01
Cemetery: Oakdale Cemetery, Middleton, MA
Contributions: If desired or in lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to one of your favorite charities or one of Kay’s favorites: MSPCA or Kidney Foundation.

Kay Spencer passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 28 surrounded by her loved ones. Born in Saugus in 1925, her mother having died during childbirth, Catherine was raised by her Italian-immigrant grandparents Peter and Maria DeFronzo. Her loving aunts and uncles became her siblings yet Kay would often credit her grandmother as the single most important influence in her life. Family life centered around each other, hard work, good food, and pets, including her pet pig Jojo.

She was always a star pupil, from elementary school through earning a bachelors degree in her 50s. She even won the 7th grade History Prize, which she then forfeited to a sobbing student, a boy named Jack whom she would go on to marry. After graduation from Saugus High School, Kay went on to study at the Peter Bent Brigham School of Nursing, where she assisted in the first kidney transplant. She loved nursing school, living in Boston, and sneaking out of the dormitory to purchase Red Sox bleacher tickets for 25 cents. Modern medicine held her fascination and likely equipped her with a tolerance for the many health challenges she faced throughout her life.

After the births of her three children, Maria, William, and Debra, she became the nurse at Saugus High School for 32 years. Beyond the healthroom, she chaired committees, founded and directed clubs, and was described as a “generous, compassionate, and caring professional. She is an outstanding person who has touched the lives of many people in Saugus.” She delighted in her work, and in her close friendships, and while she would occasionally overlook a pretend illness by a student, her own children regret that they were never allowed to miss a day of school.

She and her husband Jack enjoyed an unparalleled love and mutual adoration. Together they built a life around family and cherished friendships, helping others, berry-picking, cruising, politics, exotic cats, and stockpiling gifts for upcoming holidays and birthdays, with Kay earning the title “Mrs. Santa Claus” from her husband. Bargain-basement stores will likely see a drop in revenue without her steady support. Her generosity was limitless; she showered friends and family with cards, baked goods, and gifts, but it was her ability to listen non-judgmentally and with sincerity and authenticity that endeared her to so many. Her life wasn’t without challenges, personal and medical. Yet she rose to meet every obstacle with grace, humor, grit and determination, leaving us all inspired to live our lives as fully as she lived hers.

She will be missed and continually celebrated by her family; daughter Maria Freedberg and her husband Paul, Debra Vitkosky and her husband William, grandchildren Alexis, Amy, Michael, and Sam, and great-grandchildren James, Eliza, Gabe, Katie, and Mallory. She is predeceased by her loving husband Jack and son William.

If desired or in lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to one of your favorite charities or one of Kay’s favorites: MSPCA or Kidney Foundation.

Online Condolences:

I admired her so much for her spirit, her brilliance, her kindness-a great lady and friend. I won't forget her or her wonderful 90th birthday party you gave her...Joyce Chunias
She was one of a kind. Bob and Marie .
Kay was special and I have treasured her friendship for the past 30 years. She was a wonderful friend and I will miss her. Sherry Lentini
I had the pleasure of sharing a space with Kay at Saugus High School. What a wonderful, gifted, selfless woman she was to all who knew her. She was so loving to the students and many dropped in just to say hello to her. Kay will be missed by many. Amy Bryan SHS retired teacher
My deepest sympathies to the family on the loss of Kay. She was such a great person and she will be dearly missed not only by her family and friends but anyone she came in contact with. She and Jack were so happy and had such a great time together no matter what they were doing. She so missed him when he passed away and now she will be with the love of her life once again. I am so sorry I can't be with you today but know that Kay is in my prayers and thoughts every day. May she Rest In Peace and God bless her always - I will miss her! Love Joyce Spencer O'Leary
We share your sorrow in losing your mother but also your joy in knowing her. She was quite the lady! It was always fun to be around her. Thank you for sharing her with us. Ken and Enid
Love You! Bob & Marie
Deepest condolences on the loss of Kay. I only met her once, when she and my Uncle Jack attended my Mother June's funeral, but I could tell they were a happy couple, and now she is reunited with him. Please know Kay will be in my prayers and thoughts. Gerard York
The glimmer never left her eyes, she claimed joy in this life and she will be missed by many fine people. Those memories you share will hold you up when missing her so much. Love to all of you. NICKI and ED
All the above are so true of Kay she was such a kind and generous person my sister and I enjoyed her at the salon.She was a very special person and left us with good memories and also sadness of passing but we know she is in a better place where there is no pain and suffering. May she rest in peace.our prayers are with her and her cherished family. Pauline Labbe
My deepest sympathy to Maria And family.Kay was truly a Special caring person.we enjoyed All the good times we shared with Her and. Jack at Saugus High. We often shared stories about Our pets both poodles. I shall Never forge t her kindness to Me as the Hospitality Lady at SHS Sincerely Rita Indresano Ferlisi Retired SHS teacher
Our very deepest sympathy on the loss of a beautiful, loving and caring lady. We had the pleasure of traveling with Kay and Jack, and from that first moment onward, we have stayed in touch. It was evident from day one what a truly great lady she was. She will be missed by anyone who ever had the pleasure of knowing her. She is now free of all pain and earning her eternal reward. May she rest in peace. Bill & Rose Marie Maloney
What a life! We all are hurting for and with you as she contributed love and caring all your life. Thinking of the whole family and especially my dear friends, Deb and Bill. Love, Nicki and Ed

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