A life so wonderfully lived deserves to be wonderfully remembered. It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Kathleen Mary Kirkley of Gloucester, on Tuesday, August 23, 2022. Kathy was born in Washington, D.C., on June 15, 1948, at Providence Hospital. She grew up living with her parents, Alice and Milton O’Conner, and her siblings, Shirley, Bobby, Jerry, Marty, and Charlie; she was the youngest. Kathy attended an all-girls Catholic School in Washington, D.C., and it was there in D.C. where she later met and married the love of her life, James E. Kirkley. Kathy pursued an administrative career at GSA downtown in the heart of our nation’s capital. Several years later Kathy and Jimmy relocated to Cape Cod, Mass., where they remained until 1985 when they moved to Gloucester, Va., to be closer to their family. Kathy was a woman of many talents—she loved spending time with her family and friends, she loved to go out dancing and was quite good at it as well. She even got involved in politics; she was very passionate about her beliefs and worked as a volunteer for the Women’s Democratic Committee. Kathy was very sociable and took great pride in supporting her favorite sports teams, the Washington Redskins, she grew up in a family full of Redskins fans, some of them even had box seats; in fact when Kathy was a young adult she tried out to become a red-skinette cheerleader. She also enjoyed watching the Washington Nationals play. Kathy truly was an extremely positive person; she always tried to see the best in everyone, the positive side to any situation. Kathy was a friend to everyone and made an impression on each of us as I’m sure you will agree.
Loving husband, James E. Kirkley; her parents, Alice and Milton O’Conner; sister, Shirley Michael, and brothers, Gerald, Charlie, Robert, and Marty O’Conner, preceded her in death. She is survived by her loving children, Kelley Kirkley Blake (Harris), Kara Kirkley Perkins, James E. Kirkley Jr., and Krista Kirkley; grandchildren, Zachary James Perkins, James Dylan Blake, Kylie Addison Blake, and Kingston Kirkley Perkins, along with many beloved nieces and nephews, as well as great-nieces and -nephews, also her furry companion and family dog otherwise known as “Chiller.” Although Kathy’s life ended before we were ready, the time she spent in our lives was memorable and full of joy. She was a light in this world and now we need to continue shining her light by carrying it with us in our own lives. The world has lost a wonderful person and we will never be the same without her. It’s not often life brings us someone as special as Kathy and we are so fortunate to have called her our mom. We want to honor her love of life on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at 3 p.m. in the banquet room at Gloucester Point Yacht Haven. It’s Kathy’s wish that memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society, c/o Nancy Dransfield, 7274 Joseph Lewis Road, Hayes, Va. 23072, or to your local food bank.
Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home.