Her name was Catherine Finlay(nee Molloy) and she was born on June 6, 1939 in St.Shotts to Alphonsus and Isabel Molloy. She became the wife of Joseph Finlay on November 22, 1962. She became the proud mother of four children, Anne Marie, Joseph, Mary and Paul.
During one of our many visits Aunt Kitty told me how she gave up teaching when Father Mullowney wouldn’t give her the younger children. She didn’t want to teach older kids as she felt a close connection with the primary classes. And if you ever saw her with babies and very small children it was like a light came on in her eyes and she lit right up with love and affection for the child.
My Aunt Kitty was a jovial soul who loved a good story and a good laugh. When you visited her home you had a hard time leaving. That’s just the way it was. She made the best raisin buns and if she was taking some out of the oven any time of the day or night, you had no choice but sit down and have one or two with a cup of tea, along with a yarn.
After Aunt Kitty gave up teaching she spent most of her time with her family and gave her full attention to raising her children in a Christian home. During part of this time she worked as the post mistress for the community of St.Shotts. She was a very friendly postmistress and often doled out great advice while she passed out the mail, weighed parcels and prepared money orders. No matter what time you arrived for the mail, she was cordial and professional.
What stands out in my mind about one of my favorite aunts? Aunt Kitty ate porridge every morning and burnt toast. Yes, burnt toast! If you walked in early in the morning you’d get the smell of it. She was blessed with patience for my Uncle Joe. She didn’t take things too seriously, always managing to put a positive spin on things. She didn’t seem to have a particular time to go to bed, as she often sat up until one in the morning chatting and catching up on the news. And I never heard her badmouth anyone. Always she would see the good in everyone. Most of all she gave great advice.
She was also a very devout Catholic, keeping every holy day and praying for everyone every day of her life. In my mind I can still see her kneeling in our church with the most angelic look on her face. When I was young I used to think she was a saint! She was well loved by everyone around her.
I still remember when I learned that Aunt Kitty was very sick. She had breast cancer and it had gone too far. There was nothing that could be done for her back then. She suffered a lot in the last months of her life and many of her family and friends stayed up with her at night to keep her company. St. Shotts’ residents were very sad to see her go on September 2, 1988 but most were happy that her suffering was over. She will always be a beloved and remembered citizen of our community.
If anyone has more details that would add to this piece about a beloved member of our community, please send a message and I will add it to this blog.