Kathleen Mary (O’Brien) Johnson of Milford died peacefully at home Saturday, April 24, surrounded by her family after fighting a long battle with cancer. Born and raised in Pittsfield MA, she graduated from St Joseph’s High School Class of 1970. She later became a registered nurse after graduating from St Luke’s in 1973. On December 28, 1974 she married her high school sweetheart Samuel L. Johnson.
Sam had to work hard to get Kathy to agree to go out on their first date, their tenth grade class trip. The poem he wrote her worked: Kathy O’Brien, you always see smilin’, Sugar is sweet, I like Kathy O’Brien. Together they raised their five sons in Milford since 1983.
Kathy’s greatest joys included spending time with family and friends especially in the neighborhood. Over the years, Kathy created and enjoyed time in her colorful perennial garden that she maintained every year and loved cooking meals--her favorite recipes were from Barefoot Contessa, often prepared with vegetables from her yard to be shared with friends and family. Kathy most enjoyed spending time with her siblings and their families at the cottage on Richmond Pond in the Berkshires, kicking the summer off with a bang on the Fourth of July. She always outdid herself with red, white and blue decorations and each holiday she updated her spaces from her extensive collection of decor. Later in July, she would spend time on the beaches of Cape Cod with the Johnson family.
Kathy is predeceased by her late father, John C. “Jack” O’Brien. She is survived by her mother, Patricia O’Brien of Pittsfield, her husband Sam, as well as five sons, Samuel O. and his wife Carrie-Elise and their children Hannah and Patrick of Pittsfield, Patrick and his wife Stibaly and their children Melody and Mia of San Diego, CA, Michael of CA, Shaun of Shrewsbury, MA and Christopher and his fiance, Jacqueline of Dedham, MA. She also leaves behind her six younger siblings; Maureen Cimini of Phoenix, AZ, John O’Brien, Patricia Kelly, and Anne Marie of Pittsfield, Daniel O’Brien of Hinsdale, MA and Bridget King of Westfield, MA as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. Known as Nana to her grandchildren, she cherished her short time with them, especially on birthdays and the holidays.
The family would like to thank all those who supported Kathy during her battle. She maintained her wonderful sense of humor until her last day, lightening the burden and the worries of those that loved her.
Her funeral will be held Friday (April 30th) at 9am from the Edwards Memorial Funeral Home, 44 Congress Street, Milford MA followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10am in St. Mary of the Assumption Church, 19 Winter Street, Milford MA. Committal services will be held Friday (April 30th) at 2:30PM in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in in West Stockbridge MA. Visiting hours will be Thursday (April 29th) from 4pm to 7pm at the Edwards Memorial Funeral Home.
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