Kitty Geissler, aged 105 and a stalwart Irish American for decades, passed away on Sunday, February 18.
Katherine “Kitty” Bagnell, a native of Co. Limerick, immigrated to the U.S. in 1930 at the age of 18. She became a member of the Ladies AOH Division 9 of Port Chester in Westchester County, New York in 1938 and in 1951 became a member of Division 11 in Tarrytown after she and her family moved.
According to her obituary, “Through the years she has served on every level of office including 10 consecutive terms as president. On the county level she also held many offices including that of president.
“She is well known throughout Hibernian circles and has been a delegate to most of the New York State and national conventions. For several years she was a delegate to the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. She was an active member of the Irish American Association of Westchester, the Catholic Daughters, Ladies of Charity, Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Tarrytown Senior Citizens. She was a parishioner of Transfiguration Church and a member of their women’s club.”
Kitty married George Geissler in 1942 and they had three children, one of whom, George, pre-deceased her. Her obituary continued, “In 1979 Kitty was honored by the Irish American Association for her many charitable works on behalf of senior citizens, the sick and the infirmed, cancer patients, the mentally challenged and the Missions. At that time she was the first AIA Irish Woman of the Year. In 1986, Kitty was aide to grand marshal Patrick Grimes in the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day parade and in 1988 aide to grand marshal Bill Burke in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“In 1997, Kitty was the first grand marshal of the Sleepy Hollow St. Patrick’s parade. Kitty’s dedication and good works were recognized by the LAOH when she was awarded the first Mother Teresa award by the organization.”
When asked by the Irish Voice last year what her favorite St. Patrick’s Day memories were she replied, “I used to enjoy when we would go to the dances. I liked that very much.”
Kitty is survived by two daughters, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She will be waked at Coffey Funeral Home in Tarrytown on Friday, February 23 from 5-9 p.m. Mass will follow on Saturday at Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown.