Landmarks 02

Kathleen "Katy" (Doherty) McDermott

March 5, 1946 ~ February 18, 2021 (age 74)


Kathleen (Doherty) McDermott, “Katy”, of Newburyport, MA, died at home surrounded by her loving family, on Thursday, Feb. 18, after many months courageously battling cancer.

Katy was the devoted wife of E. Gregory McDermott. She was the youngest daughter of the late Joseph and Margaret (Laffey) Doherty of Medford. Katy was the delight of her four sisters and her one brother, Elinor Quill, Maureen Doherty, CSJ, Terese Kennealy, Joanne Doherty, and Joseph Doherty, and sister/cousin of the late Mary Snider. She was the beloved aunt of 53 nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews including her godsons, Brian Kennealy and Patrick Quill. She will be fondly remembered by her sister-in-law, Peggy McDermott, and brother-in-law, John MacPhee.

For thirteen years, Kathleen was a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston.

She was the Executive Director, retired, of The Chase Home for Children, Portsmouth, NH. For more than 40 years, Katy was dedicated to her work in both state and private child-welfare and human-service agencies in MA and NH.

She began as a foster care worker for a private agency, followed by 14 years in various supervisory positions at the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS). As the Statewide Director of Placement Services, Katy played a central role in forming the groundbreaking “System of Care” to provide a collaborative model serving children with behavioral, emotional, and mental health needs, and their families with integrated behavioral health services and a comprehensive, community-based system of care. She returned to the private sector and worked as the Director of Adolescent Inpatient and Partial Hospitalization Services at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA.  This was followed by several years as Director of Operations for Children’s Services of Roxbury, a multi-service agency in Roxbury, MA.

Katy became a member of New Hampshire Partners in Service for Children, Youth and Families (NHPS) in 2002 where she held many executive seats including President, Vice President, and Member At Large. Due to her efforts and leadership, NHPS was awarded their first-ever Endowment for Health Grant to redesign children’s residential treatment in New Hampshire.  As one member stated, “Katy’s energy, spirit and commitment are examples anyone committed to this work would envy.  She was honorable, loyal and extremely valued and respected by her colleagues.”

Katy loved sharing time with Greg on the "Kathleen Ann".  They enjoyed their day trips to Foley Cove and the Isle of Shoals.  They relaxed on their many vacations to St. Maarten and Bermuda.

Katy could always be seen on the dance floor at family weddings and had boundless energy at Zumba sessions and demonstrations.

Her warm smile, loving spirit and joy for life are a gift to all.

Family and friends are invited to a graveside service at Oak Hill Cemetery, Newburyport, on Wednesday, February 24, at 11:00 a.m. Covid restrictions will apply. For livestream information of the graveside service please email and a link to the services will be sent to you. A celebration of Katy’s life will be held at a later date.  

Memorial gifts in Katy's memory may be sent to: Ovations For the Cure, 79 Main Street, Suite 202, Framingham, MA 01702.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kathleen "Katy" (Doherty) McDermott, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
February 24, 2021

11:00 AM
Oakhill Cemetery
134 State Street
Newburyport, MA 01950

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