Cathleen M. (Durand) Egan, 72, of Hubbardston, died peacefully Feb. 28 in the Life Care Center of Leominster after a short battle with ovarian cancer, with children Caitlin and Ben by her side.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, on March 11, 1949, she was the daughter of the late Alcide and Eleanor (O’Rourke) Durand. She graduated from Coventry High School in Coventry, Rhode Island, with the Class of 1967. She attended Suffolk University as a journalism major for two years, and then pursued a course of study with the Katharine Gibbs School in Providence, from which she graduated with honors. She eventually went on to graduate magna cum laude from Fitchburg State College.
Upon moving to Gardner with husband Mike in 1976, she accepted a position working at Mount Wachusett Community College, where she worked for the director of public relations and media services. This position led to a tenure at Digital Equipment Corporation, where she taught business writing principles. Cathy then was able to use her passion for the English language to work as an ESL and Wilson Reading specialist in the Gardner Public School System. She was particularly fond of this position and enjoyed nothing more than helping her students. She often would visit children’s homes on weeknights and weekends to voluntarily tutor.
Cathleen was a parishioner of the former Sacred Heart of Jesus Church of Gardner and a current parishioner of Annunciation Parish of Gardner. She was a former member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. Cathy loved gardening, reading, giving to charity and spending time at the Gardner Public Library. Books were her passion. In recent years, family could find sticky notes and lists around the house of her favorite words to use while playing Words with Friends; she was an ambitious competitor. Above everything, family and friends were her utmost priority and greatest enjoyment, always treasuring the special times they had together. She always enjoyed her lunches with “The Girls.”
Cathleen is survived by her daughter, the optimistic and feisty Caitlin Egan and husband Brett Perkins of Foxborough, a son, the gentle and thoughtful Benjamin Egan and significant other Krista Braga of Hopkinton, and her beloved former son-in-law Michael Dupre and wife Nicole of Connecticut. She also leaves behind the raucous and fiercely loving Egan clan: Ann and Randy Roberts of New Hampshire, Tom and Sharon Egan of Dayville, Connecticut, John and Michelle Egan of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and nieces and nephew Kelsey, Patrick and Madison. She also leaves dear aunts Marguerite Barry of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, and Mary Campbell and Madeline Harmon of West Warwick, Rhode Island, dear cousins Susan Carlson of Sudbury, James Carlson of Exeter, Rhode Island, and Katherine Hebert of Coventry, Rhode Island, nieces Ellen Hudson and wife Diane, and Catherine Hudson, and great-nieces and nephew Jamison, Samantha and Hudson.
She will ever be grateful for the lifelong friendships she shared with Joyce Flanagan and Emily Silver, along with her friends and mentors, John Gaumond and Judy Ferrara of Worcester, who nurtured her with her writing. Her best pals from Rhode Island, Craig Reinerman, Mark Clary and Tom Reilley, always were there to provide a laugh and comfort. Her greatest support came from dear friend George Pfeifer, who was her confidant and held a special place in her heart. He was the person she trusted and leaned on the most during her final years, for which she and the family are grateful.
She was predeceased quite unexpectedly by her most cherished and beloved husband of 34 years, J. Michael Egan, who died in 2008, sister Sue Ellen Hudson, brother Richard Durand, brother and sister-in-law Kevin and Joan Egan, and nephew Jesse Roberts. Another nephew, Michael Egan, passed away peacefully on March 2, 2022, after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident in Florida.
Cathy will be remembered for her style, wit, writing, and endless caring for those she loved. Though she was small in stature, she was fierce, with a massive heart.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, March 12, from the Boucher Funeral Home, 110 Nichols Street, Gardner, with a Mass at 10 a.m. in Annunciation Parish at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church, 135 Nichols Street, Gardner. Burial at St. John’s Cemetery, West Street, Gardner, will be held at a later date.
Calling Hours will be held Friday, March 11, from 5-7 p.m. in the funeral home.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, 119 Belmont Street, Worcester, or on its website at (foundationforwomenscancer.org), or to the House of Peace and Education, 29 Pleasant Street, Gardner, MA 01440. Please reference in memory of Cathleen M. Egan.
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