KATHRYN L. “KAY” (AYLWARD) CANTILLON – in Woburn, October 30th. Beloved wife of the late Edward J. “Ned” Cantillon, Jr. Devoted mother of Edward J. Cantillon III and his wife Denise and Jean Cantillon Olander, all of Woburn, and the late Marcia and Carol. Dear sister of Marion Flaherty of Reading and the late Margaret Sullivan and Edward Aylward. Cherished “Nana” of Julie Cantillon of Del Mar, CA, Meghan Cantillon of San Clemente, CA, Kelli DeSimone and her husband Ray of Woburn, and Kate and Douglas Olander, both of Woburn, and great-grandmother of Lily DeSimone. Sister-in-law of Mary “Mae” Holbrook, Helen Cantillon, and Geraldine Cantillon, all of Woburn, and Mildred Cantillon of Winchester and the late John Flaherty and Charles Sullivan. Also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to Celebrate her life at her Funeral Mass on Wednesday, November 5th at 10 a.m. in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn. Interment will follow in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Calling hours are private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kay’s memory to the GRECC Alzheimers Program, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Road,Unit 62 A, Bedford, MA 01730 or please send a card, note or flowers to someone you may not have seen in a while.
Kathryn L. “Kay” (Aylward) Cantillon, a lifelong resident of the Woburn community, passed away peacefully, in the comfort of her home, early Thursday morning with her family by her side. The beloved wife of the late Edward J. “Ned” Cantillon Jr., “Kay,” as she was affectionately known, was eighty-six years of age.
Born in Woburn, she was the daughter of the late Edward L. and Margaret (Lynch) Aylward. Kay was educated in the Woburn Public Schools and was a graduate of Woburn High School, Class of 1939. She was the Class Treasurer and member of the first Woburn Girls Field Hockey Team, the Girls Basketball Team and a cheerleader. Following high school, Kay attended the Charles Choate Memorial Hospital School of Nursing to pursue her lifelong dream of a career in medicine. After graduating in 1941 as a Registered Nurse, she immediately began a long and dedicated career at the Choate Memorial Hospital.
Following the outbreak of World War II, the call for qualified nurses was made and Kay responded by enlisting in the United States Army in September of 1943. She was immediately deployed overseas where she served with the 5th General Hospital in the European Theatre and held the rank of First Lieutenant. She was based in England for many months before being transferred to the Normandy battlefront in France. After the war, Kay returned safely home on January 4, 1946 and rededicated herself to her nursing duties at the Choate.
On the first of June, 1947, Kay married her hometown sweetheart, Ned Cantillon. They had known each other prior to the war and Ned, who was also serving in the United States Army in Europe, quipped that he had chased Kay to Europe and home again, before winning her affections.
They first made their home in the Hammond Square section of Woburn before moving to their home on Main Street. The devoted mother of four children, Kay suspended her professional career to raise her children. A strong proponent of education and organized sports, Kay encouraged her children early in their lives to participate in extracurricular activities and athletics and spent many days on the sidelines of athletic fields and basketball courts. Additionally, Kay was also very supportive of her husband Ned’s business, the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, and helped with the upkeep and various other tasks.
In the early sixties, Ned and Kay’s family summered at Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester. The Cantillons opened their summer home to family and friends over the years and shared many wonderful and memorable times. It was also at Wingaersheek Beach where Kay began oil painting with a group of lady friends. Since that time, she painted numerous landscapes, seascapes, Renoirs and her favorite subject, clown portraits.
Kay was a very devout Catholic and a devoted member of St. Charles Borromeo Church. She attended daily Mass whether in Woburn or in Florida, and was an attendee at many of the Church’s Missions. She religiously prayed each morning and evening and called upon her enduring faith to sustain her through life’s many challenges. Kay was a tremendous judge of character and always seem to find God’s image in each individual being.
Throughout her life, Kay was an extremely energetic and vivacious woman who loved swimming, walking, playing golf and tennis. She was one of the founding members of the Women’s Golf League at the Woburn Country Club and also enjoyed her weekly bridge games with friends.
After their children were grown, Ned and Kay traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Bermuda. On their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, they returned to Europe where they revisited the sites of their World War II days. During the late eighties and nineties, they wintered in Bonita Springs, Florida.
In later years, Kay and Ned were blessed with five grandchildren whom they absolutely cherished. “Nana,” as she was lovingly known, was very active their lives as well, and attended their academic and social events, always encouraging them to do their best. She spent many precious hours with them on the shores of Wingaersheek Beach, trips to Florida and travels down the Mississippi River, all of which were very special times with Nana.
Ten years ago, Kay was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease but this never diminished her spirit, nor who she was, nor her undying love for her family. In later stages of the disease, she lost her ability to communicate with her words, but she had no difficulty in communicating her feelings and thoughts. Her loving eyes and loving smile always let you know her approval and of course, if she didn’t approve, you knew that also.
Kay was a longtime member of the Mother Cabrini Nursing Guild and a CCD Instructor for St. Charles Parish. She was a member of the Woburn Teachers Association and the School Nurses Association. During the years when Kay was home with her children, she volunteered for health clinics run by the City of Woburn and administered flu shots throughout the city and the school systems. She also was active with the Rotary Club functions as Ned was a longtime member of the Woburn Rotary Club.
In addition to her beloved husband Edward J. Cantillon Jr., who passed away in 1998, Kay was predeceased by her daughters, Carol Cantillon and Marcia Cantillon, and her siblings, Margaret Sullivan and Edward Aylward.
She is lovingly survived by her son, Edward J. Cantillon III and his wife Denise, and her daughter, Jean Cantillon Olander, all of Woburn, her sister, Marion Flaherty of Reading, her grandchildren, Julie Cantillon of Del Mar, California, Meghan Cantillon of San Clemente, California, Kelli DeSimone and her husband Ray, Kate and Douglas Olander, and great-granddaughter, Lily DeSimone. She also leaves her sisters-in-law, Mary “Mae” Holbrook, Helen Cantillon, and Geraldine Cantillon, all of Woburn, and Mildred Cantillon of Winchester. Also surviving are many loving nieces and nephews and longtime friends.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass on Wednesday, November 5th at 10 a.m. in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn. Interment will follow in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Calling hours are private.
At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers please send a card, note or flowers to someone you may not have seen in a while, or a donation may be made in Kay’s memory to the GRECC Program, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Road, Building 62A, Bedford, MA 01730.