Kathleen Fey Obituary (2022) – Fayetteville, NY


Kathleen Fey March 23, 2022 Kathleen (Kay) Fey, 96, of Fayetteville, NY, died peacefully on March 23 at home. Just three months ago Kay had a wonderful Christmas celebration with four generations of her family, followed by a New Year’s Eve dinner with her long-time friend Barb. Kay died in her sleep at home, 13 days shy of her 97th birthday; she certainly had a life well lived. Kay was born in Fall River, MA on April 5, 1925 to George and Nellie McCarthy; her mother Nellie died in 1927 when Kay was a young girl. Her dad, along with Kay, brother George, and Grandmother Ellen moved to Utica, NY where she was raised since grade school. Kay’s brother served as a pilot in the US Air Force during WWII and was killed in action. Kay met and married the love of her life, Walt, in Utica in 1946, living in Niagara Falls, NY while Walt finished his BS degree at Niagara University under the GI bill after WW II. They then moved to Syracuse, NY, and finally to Fayetteville in 1951. Kay was a stay-at-home mom with her 5 children during the early years in a neighborhood filled with several other large families – it was a place where everyone watched out for each other. Her children amusingly remember her shooing them out the door in nice weather “to play”, then she would ring her dinner bell when it was time to come home. Kay and Walt were very active members of Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville with their young family, participating in many groups, including the much anticipated annual parish bazaar. Kay would never say this, but she was the glue that held her sometimes contentious family together. She was the ultimate soother of ruffled feathers, the peacekeeper and moderating influence that became a rock in her family. Kay assisted Walt with their new family business venture, a store in the newly built Shoppingtown shopping center in the 1950’s, called “Walt’s Fine Foods”. She liked to say that they started Shoppingtown! This venture was followed by Walt’s successful career as a securities broker with Bache & Co. Upon Walt’s unexpected death in 1982, Kay began her career with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra as a part-time, soon to become full-time, office manager. She served as Executive Secretary and was Secretary of the Board of Directors, and due to her longevity with the Symphony, Kay had so much institutional knowledge to impart to new executives and conductors that some would say she practically ran the place! Kay was proud to be a very active member of the Syracuse musical establishment, and in 2000 was named the Syracuse Symphony “Music Person of the Year”. Upon her retirement in 2007 at the age of 83, Kay became an emeritus member of the Symphony Board of Directors for many years. Kay enjoyed countless years of playing golf, tennis and bridge with her many friends. She was a founding member of the Suburbanites Bridge Group along with both 9 and 18 hole golf leagues at Green Lakes State Park, later moving on to the Cavalry Club in Manlius. Kay was a very active in the Syracuse community including her long-time participation in the Everson Museum Members’ Council, continuing to support music through her work with the Syracuse Sounds of Music Association, volunteering with the Encore Thrift Shop for many years, as well as Symphoria. With her love of reading Kay was also active in Readers With Racquets, a book club founded by several of her tennis friends. Kay loved gardening and was a member of the Suburban Garden Club. Kay is survived by her children, Linda (Tom) Grigoleit of Rochester, MN, Paul of Fayetteville, Walter (Jan Bergstrom) of Arlington, MA and Kathleen “Nina” of Syracuse, NY; her cherished grandchildren, Sarah and Laura Grigoleit, Christopher Fey, Jayna Fey, Luke Fey and Zack Fey; her great-grandchildren, James and Lilith; son-in-law, Warren Winslow of Albany, NY; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Walter and her daughter, Amy. Kay was also the last surviving member of a group of eight (8) women who met in the 8th grade in Utica and who continued to meet monthly well into their 90’s. A funeral mass will be held at Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville on Friday April 22nd at 10:30 a.m., preceded by calling hours for friends and family at 9:30 a.m. The mass will be followed by a luncheon at the Cavalry Club and a private burial for immediate family at the Immaculate Conception Cemetery. The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the staff and caregivers at ConstantCare247 and Hospice of Central New York for their wonderful care of Kay in her last few months. In lieu of flowers the family requests that you consider a donation in her name to Immaculate Conception Parish, Symphoria or the Everson Museum. For guest book, please visit: www.SCHEPPFAMILY.COM

Published by Syracuse Post Standard from Apr. 1 to Apr. 17, 2022.

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