Kathleen Muchka

| 09 Jun 2023 | 05:06

Kathleen Muchka (nee McFarlane) passed away peacefully on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at her daughter’s home on Cape Cod. She was 87.

Born to the late Edward and Elizabeth (Cleary) McFarlane on June 6, 1935, she was raised on Macken Street in Ringsend, Dublin, with her four siblings and was a parishioner at St. Andrew’s Church.

In her youth, Kathy loved learning traditional Irish step dancing and speaking Gaelic. She frequently picnicked with her grandmother at Phoenix Park and spent weekends at her Aunt Chrissy’s summer cottage at Sandymount Strand.

She had a special relationship with both her Aunts Chrissy and Anna, who were like second mothers to her. She saw them and her grandmother nearly every day.

In 1957 at 22 years old, she met her future husband, Master Sgt. Joseph Muchka, at a dance in London while he was stationed in Europe.

In 1959, Kathy emigrated to the United States in Chicago to work as a nanny and joined her sisters Pat and Lily and dear friend Bernie Motschman.

In 1960, Kathy and Joe married. They lived in Plattsburgh, N.Y., then in Exeter, N.H., until Joe retired from the U.S. Air Force after 20 years of honorable service.

They settled in Highland Lakes in 1965 and raised a family. After living there for 53 years, she moved to Cape Cod in 2018.

Kathy was a dedicated member of Our Lady of Fatima RC Church in Highland Lakes and a founding member of the Rosary Altar Society. The church was central to her daily life. She attended morning Mass nearly every day and participated in most church activities.

Kathy was very outgoing and well-known for making people laugh with her clever Irish sayings sand quick Irish wit. Her Irish soda bread was legendary. She loved cats, dogs and especially her parakeet, Dirty Bird, who spoke with an Irish brogue!

She loved singing, dancing, music, crocheting, exercising, gardening, visiting Ireland, people watching on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and socializing with her many friends. She also was active in local politics.

She enjoyed luncheons and day trips with the Senior Group of St. Jude’s Parish in Hamburg, the Vernon Leisure Club, the Vernon Senior Center, the Red Hat Society and the Wallkill Valley VFW Post 8441 Auxiliary.

When she moved to Cape Cod, she continued enjoying life, attending Mass, live Irish music concerts, and programs at the Dennis Senior Center and Cape Cod Museum of Art, and visiting the scenic ocean beaches.

Kathy was predeceased by her husband, Joseph, in 2008 as well as her siblings, John McFarlane of Dublin, Ireland, Edward McFarlane of England, Elizabeth Copeland and Patricia Harris of Chicago.

She is survived by her children, Michele Smith and husband Jim of Lake Wallkill, Shannon Muchka of Chatham, Mass., and Colleen Muchka of Highland Lakes; grandchildren, Kaitlin Van Dunk, Megan Brooks and husband Paul Jr., Heather Smith and Adam Smith; great-granddaughter Penny Brooks; and honorary grandchildren, Sarah, Rachel and David Silverman, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to Kathy’s Memorial Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Fatima RC Church, Highland Lakes, on Saturday, June 10 at 9:30 a.m. Interment to follow at Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Franklin.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod would be greatly appreciated. They were an amazing support system for Kathy during the coronavirus pandemic. Special thanks to Hannah, Kalo, Robin and Ann Marie of hospice.

Information and condolences can be found at www.fergusonfuneralhomesnj.com