Kathryn “Kitty” Elizabeth Luond McCarthy (Sept. 12, 1923 – June 6, 2021)
Longtime resident of Venice and native Californian, Kathryn “Kitty” McCarthy, peacefully passed at 97 years old in her Venice home of 70 years on June 6, 2021. She was surrounded by her loving children.
Kitty was born in Imperial Valley on a dairy farm to parents Elizabeth and Joseph Luond, and older sister Viola. She often attributed her strong work ethic and cheerful nature to her upbringing on the farm, where she milked cows at 3 a.m. and 3 p.m. every day, as well as harvested the alfalfa that fed their herd.
As a teen, she played softball and participated in gymnastics, once ‘performing’ on the back of a flatbed truck in a Fourth of July parade in Brawley. A good student, she started working during high school at a local drugstore and moved briefly up to Washington state to live with her older sister and husband. There, she helped with the war effort, joining the WACs and working in a large garage, cleaning and assembling parts for military vehicles.
Back in California, Kitty met her husband, Marine Corp Tech. Sgt. John C. McCarthy (JC), who proposed to her at the top of the Ferris wheel at the Long Beach Pike. They were married and moved to his home in Connecticut, where they had the first two of their six children. Returning to California in 1951, they purchased a home on Amoroso Place, where she lived the rest of her days. Following daughters Kathryn and Pamela, Kitty had Susan at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. A pioneer of natural childbirth, her following three children, Theresa, David, and John, were birthed in the home on Amoroso Place.
While JC worked at Edwards Airforce Base and then at McDonnell Douglas, Kitty raised her six children. A convert to Catholicism, she was continually active at St. Mark Church and School in Venice, including Holy Name Society, Knights of Columbus, Parent Club, etc. She participated and led many activities, from picnics to fundraisers, bowling leagues and seasonal parties.
Known for her sense of humor, willingness to take on any job, and gregarious nature, Kitty became a favorite of not only her peers, but of all her children’s friends. She never turned a child away and was known to cart as many as eight children (before seatbelt rules) in her Econoline van to ballgames, cheerleading practice and concerts. (Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl!)
When the children were grown, Kitty and JC enjoyed traveling in their motor home or taking cruises with their longtime friends, when she wasn’t babysitting her grandkids! Well into her nineties, still surrounded by family and friends, Kitty was always up for a game of cards, a puzzle, a walk on the jetty, or a good ‘game show’ on TV.
Kitty was a kind, funny and loving woman who will be sorely missed by not only her six surviving children and their spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren, but by all their friends and the residents of Amoroso, where she was declared “The Mayor” for her 70 years of ‘service’ to her neighbors.
Her funeral rosary and mass will be held at St. Mark Church in Venice on July 27th at 10 am. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her name to Adopt a Family, through the Archiodese of Los Angeles, to honor her love of all children.