Kathleen Ann McCahill, born Kathleen Ann Hyndman on April 12, 1919, passed away peacefully at her home in Alton, Illinois, on August 7, 2010, she was 91.
Kathleen Ann was the daughter of James T. Hyndman and Kathryn (Kitty) Hyndman (nee Sheehan) and the sister of James Hyndman, all of whom predeceased her.
Kathleen Ann, known to most of her friends as Ann, grew up in Alton living on the Sheehan farm compound off Cardinal Street along with her Mahoney and Daly cousins. Much of the Sheehan farm was to become part of Rock Spring Golf Course. James Hyndman, her father, owned and operated a bulk coal and ice supply business through most of the first half of the 20th Century, and Kathleen Ann was seen often at the Belle Street office/warehouse of Hyndman Ice and Fuel.
Ann attended St. Patrick’s Grade School and then attended and graduated from Alton High School. At the age of 13, Ann traveled to Laurel Beach, Connecticut, as the summer guest of the family of her school friend, Sally Birney. It was in Connecticut that she met the love of her life, Myles F. McCahill, the son of Myles C. McCahill, a Secret Service agent assigned to the White House detail, and his wife, Anne.
Myles and Ann carried on a ten year correspondence that culminated in their marriage on Valentine’s Day, 1942, while Myles was serving as an officer in the Army Air Corps. The couple lived on the east coast for several years immediately following World War II. They returned to settle down in Alton, Illinois, eventually moving to 1415 Liberty Street, where Myles pursued a career in chemical and mechanical engineering, and Ann reared what grew to a family of seven children: Judy, Michael, Patrick, Jane, Mary, Eileen, and Sally.
Ann was a dedicated and devoted mother to her children, especially to her youngest child, Sally, who was born with Down Syndrome. In an era when many Down Syndrome children were institutionalized, Myles and Ann rejected that approach, choosing instead to raise and educate their special needs child at home, engaged in the mix with her older siblings. Ann devoted 45 years (20 of them as a solo parent) as Sally’s day-to-day, at-home caregiver. In addition to caretaking her seven natural children, Ann delighted in serving as trusted surrogate mother to assorted nieces, nephews, and cousins, along with many of the children who grew up in and around the Haskell Park neighborhood of Alton. She was also a wise and trusted advisor to many friends.
Kathleen Ann valued education, attending St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana, at a time when it was not common for women to pursue collegiate level education. She encouraged that love of education in her children with six enrolling in college, and four receiving advanced degrees. She enjoyed politics and relished good and fair discussion on the political and social issues of the day—usually over cocktails in her living room.
Ann was preceded in death by her husband Myles in 1985, and son Michael in 2007. She is survived by her children, Judy Patascher of Phoenix, Arizona; Patrick McCahill, Parker, Colorado; Jane McCahill, Riverside, Illinois; Mary McCahill Lyle, Aurora, Colorado; Eileen McCahill, Dune Acres, Indiana; and, Sally McCahill, Brookfield, Illinois. Ann took great pride joy in her 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Gent Funeral Home. A funeral mass is planned for Wednesday, August 11, 2010, at 1:00PM at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Alton, with internment at St. Patrick’s Cemetery immediately following mass.
Memorial donations may be made to Oak-Leyden Developmental Servic