Katherine T. Rushford
Katherine T. Rushford
CONCORD, Mass. Early on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, Katherine Theresa Rushford died. She was one of a kind.
Born October 22, 1928, she was the youngest of five children born to Mary Beatrice MacDonald and James (Barney) Boyle of Saugus, Massachusetts, and spent much time with her horses and developing what would be a lifelong love of animals.
Kathy grew up in Saugus with her siblings James Bernard, Margaret Louise, Mary Thelma, and Dorothy Marie.
After attending Colby Sawyer College, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she met Don Rushford of Burlington, VT. They were married in 1954 and were very active participants in local religious events.
Together, living in Virginia then Vermont, Kathy and Don raised nine children. Her legacy lives on in them and their families: daughter and son-in-law Beth and Mark Fernald and grandchildren Matthew and Katie of Peterborough, N.H.; son and daughter-in-law Yetta and Janet Rushford of Potomac, MD, and grandchildren Courtney and Kyle; son and daughter-in-law Peter and Susan Rushford of Potomac, MD, and grandchildren Carly and Jack; son Tom Rushford of Falls Church, VA; son and daughter-in-law Tim and Faith Rushford and grandchildren Connor and Ben; daughter Martha Rushford and grandchildren Sam, Emily and Brian; daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Michael Stone and grandchildren Jamie, Nicholas and Tim; daughter and son-in-law Meg and Rich Pickering and grandchildren Alex and Gracie; son and daughter- in-law Matthew and Julieta Rushford and grandson Storm; and adopted daughter and son-in-law Christine and Neil Henricksen and grandchildren Brian and Jason.
The sheer enormity of her labor of love is not lost:
19,216 dirty diapers (the cloth kind)
49,803 pounds of laundry
46,257 meals prepared
808,566 miles of driving
1,509,361 square feet of house cleaning
$343,722 of groceries purchased
1,127 family birthday parties
900 Christmas gifts wrapped
1,933 field hockey games, baseball games, football games, track meets, cross country meets, ski meets, awards banquets, school plays, dance recitals, music performances, concerts, talent shows, graduations, soccer matches, weddings, bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, thousands of visits by friends at all hours of the day and night, broken collar bones, dislocated shoulders, cuts, bruises, burns, fractured emotions and broken hearts of all degrees.
Still, sacrifice did not deplete her heart, it expanded it. In spite of the tremendous work related to raising a large family, there was always room for more. When the call for help was made, she stepped forward with open arms ó welcoming foster children Christine and Alan, along with Willis and others who needed a home.
Kathy worked for Planned Parenthood of Vermont (which raised more than a few eyebrows) and assisting the elderly with RSVP. Later in life, Kathy lived on Nantucket, MA, and most recently Concord, MA.
And so with a mixture of fondness, gratitude and sadness, we say goodbye to Mrs. R, Kathy, Kay, Grammy, Cookie Monster Grammy, Big Mama, That crazy lady with nine kids, Mom.