Shrewsbury – Katherine A. “Kay” (McQuillan) Canney, of Shrewsbury died peacefully on Friday, July 5, 2019 surrounded by her loving family at the age of 86. She was the wife of the late Joseph F. Canney with whom she shared 35 wonderful years in marriage.
Born and raised in Boston, the daughter of the late Patrick I. and Rose McQuillan, Kay was a graduate of Dorchester High School for Girls after which she attended Emmanuel College and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics in 1954. Her love of math and its applications in daily life guided her career after Emmanuel. She immediately accepted a job with MIT, working in the Wind Tunnel Facility where she evaluated models for supersonic aircrafts.
Just a few years later Kay began employment with EG&G assessing nuclear weapons tests for the Atomic Energy Commission. Kay then moved to Germany and worked as a civilian on the US military bases in Mannheim and Worms, taking advantage of the opportunity to travel throughout Europe. After her return, she settled in California and she became employed with Lockheed Missile and Space working on the Polaris Missile program before returning to Boston to work with the Apollo Spacecraft Program utilizing her mathematics skills to analyze the spacecraft’s guidance system.
It was during this time that Kay was introduced to Joseph “Joe” Canney, a Boston College graduate who swept her off her feet. After a two week courtship, they were engaged and later married in 1965. Joe’s career at College of the Holy Cross brought them to Shrewsbury in 1966 where they settled, became members of St. Mary’s Parish, and began to raise their family. From the early days as a parishioner, and well into retirement, Kay was a very active member who was vested in helping in many areas of the church activities and committees. Never one to sit idle, after raising her children, Kay held roles at H&R Block and the Worcester County House of Correction, and she was a dedicated volunteer at the Shrewsbury Senior Center.
Kay is survived by her two sons, Joseph F. Canney, Jr. and his wife Jacqui and grandchildren Julia and Lauren of Demarest, New Jersey and Patrick J. Canney of Boston. She was the sister of Patricia Waite and her husband, the late John “Jack” Waite of Winchester, the late John J. McQuillan and his wife Dorothy of Needham, the late Thomas J. McQuillan and his wife Janet McQuillan of Medfield. She is also survived by her sister-in law, Marian Canney, wife of the late Lt. Col. John Canney of Washington, DC. She was also a sister-in-law to the late Rita M. Canney, the late Edwin and Lorraine (Canney) Rae, the late Dr. Robert and Mary (Canney) Flynn. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Kay’s family would like to thank the staff at Notre Dame Health Care in Worcester, for the kind and dedicated care they provided while she was a resident.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at the BRITTON-SHREWSBURY FUNERAL HOME, 648 Main Street, Shrewsbury. A Funeral Mass for Kay will be celebrated on Wednesday at 10:00 AM at Saint Mary’s Church, 640 Main Street, Shrewsbury. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made in Kay’s memory to Emmanuel College Office of Development, 400 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.