75, of West Chester, PA, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, September 2, 2022.
Kate was born on August 5, 1947 to Elizabeth and William Quigley in Pittsburgh, PA. After Kate graduated from Holy Innocents High School in 1965, she went on to work in an eclectic range of jobs from cashier at Schwartz’s Sanitary Supermarket, to sales associate at Horne’s, and then went to lab school and became a phlebotomist.
After marrying Donald Rodgers in 1967, having known him since grade school, the couple went to live on Cape Cod. They later moved back to Pittsburgh and after struggling through several lost pregnancies, Kate and Don went on to have their cherished daughter, Erin, in 1971. Kate and Don cared deeply for each other. They were married for 55 years, and their relationship was grounded in common experiences, shared loves, and the joint purpose of forging better and joyful lives for themselves and their family.
The family’s journey took them to Mechanicsburg, PA where Kate spent many years as the everything - devoted mother, brownie leader, role model, confidante, - to Erin. She later returned to school as an adult learner, graduating with a degree in Business from Pennsylvania State University, and then worked many years as a respected financial analyst for AMP Inc. and Tyco International Ltd.
Kate was a fierce woman with a love of gardening, reading, genealogy, Pittsburgh history, PBS’s Masterpiece, impressionist art, laughter, the color yellow, puzzles, spending time with family, the unvarnished truth, and just zooming around West Chester in her Subaru. She was infamous for her “interviews” at family events – making sure she was up to date on all of the happenings of family members’ lives.
She was a magnificent baker of cakes, cookies, and fudge. Kate celebrated at every possible holiday and opportunity, and excelled at bringing magic, wonder, and giggles to the lives of children. But most of all, she was passionate about her role as Grandma Kate to Caroline and Sadie. She spent the past 21 years deeply devoted to each of them. Grandma Kate was always there with a wise word, a sweet treat, a laugh, and an overall blanket of warmth, comfort, and security. She was also a familiar character, bus stop companion, and chauffer in the lives of her granddaughters’ friends, and often the in town, stand-in grandma for Jonas and Siena Cadungog.
Kate was preceded in death by her mother Elizabeth Quigley, father William Quigley, and brother Bill Quigley. She is survived by her husband Don Rodgers, daughter Erin Rodgers (Chad Goodwin), granddaughters Caroline and Sadie Goodwin, siblings Mary Ann Cavanaugh, Jim (Thelma) Quigley, Sarah (Ed) Cadungog, Tom Quigley, Elizabeth (Jack) Graham, and John (Martha) Quigley, godsons Dan Quigley and Mark Cavanaugh, her walking buddy and fellow “turtle” Dolores Glatts, and a host of other friends, cousins, nieces and nephews, and extended family members.
There will be a visitation at 6pm-8pm on Friday, September 9 at DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home at 410 N. Church Street in West Chester, PA; and a second visitation will be held 6pm-8pm Sunday, September 11 at Laughlin Cremation & Funeral Tributes, 222 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon, PA. Burial will occur at Union Dale Cemetery, 2200 Brighton Road, Pittsburgh, PA at 10am on Monday, September 12, followed by a luncheon celebrating Kate’s life at the Grand Concourse, 100 West Station Square Drive,
Pittsburgh, PA. Kate always wore a vibrant range of happy colors, and the family requests that visitors honor her joy and pizzazz by wearing a rainbow of colors, and leaving the somber ones at home.
Kate was a champion of women’s rights and support for the welfare of others, and in lieu of flowers or gifts the family requests that any donations be made to Planned Parenthood or the West Chester Food Cupboard.
Kate was a stubborn force to be reckoned with, and an unrelenting advocate for being who you are and doing what you want. There is so much more that should be said, but in the end, what she did was make the world brighter to all that came into her presence. We will miss you greatly, Grandma Kate, but we will continue to celebrate in all the ways and traditions that you gave us. We love you most!
West Chester Food Cupboard