March 20, 1932 – January 11, 2020
Kathleen Duggan died peacefully at her Birmingham residence, late in the evening of Saturday, January 11, 2020. She was eighty-seven years old.
Kathleen Elizabeth Mahoney was born on March 20, 1932, in Kansas City, Kansas. Affectionately known as “Softie” in her youth, Kathleen was one of four children in the family of John and Alice Mahoney. Kathleen graduated from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, in 1950, where she was a cheerleader and senior class president. Kathleen went on to attend the University of Kansas, earning a degree in physical education from KU and meeting there her beloved “Doug”, Mell Leonidas Duggan, whom she married in 1954. Mell would later establish his medical practice in Birmingham and serve as chief of staff at Birmingham’s East End Hospital. Mel and Kathleen were blessed with three children: Kathy, Mell, and Fran.
Kathleen remained active for many years in various medical auxiliary groups, but her real love was connecting and serving at Briarwood Presbyterian Church. Kathleen’s great comfort in life and in death was that she belonged to Jesus her faithful Savior and that he belonged to her.
She was fun, vivacious, and drew all kinds of people to her larger-than-life personality. She always had a big story to tell in the most animated way. Later in life, she appointed herself as “chief greeter” at Birmingham’s Brookdale University Park and Aspire Cahaba Ridge assisted living communities. She loved to stay active physically, even while battling a number of illnesses throughout her adult life. She was a pioneer in fitness classes for women in her day, putting together a successful local early morning exercise television show in Wichita Falls, which she always said “would have kept on going a long time if we hadn’t gotten bumped off the air by Bozo the Clown.” She used to joke with her family about training for the Olympics when she would work in physical therapy to get back to walking again using her walker. Kathleen wanted to be wheeled down to an exercise class just a couple of days before her death.
Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and by two of her siblings, Bill Mahoney and Janie Mahoney Carney. She is survived by her brother, James Mahoney; her daughter, Kathy Kearns, and her husband, John; her son, Mell, and his wife, Cathy; and by her daughter, Fran Hahn, and her husband, Paul. She is also survived by her nine grandchildren – JulieAnn Kearns Cate, Walter Kearns, Ivy Duggan, Carlee Duggan Lewis, Reeves Duggan, MaryFran Hahn Anderson, Duggan Hahn, Bailey Hahn Lindsey, and Jim Hahn – and her six great-grandchildren – Lilly and Bryson Cate, Molly Kate and Sloane Kearns, Charlotte and Grayson Anderson, and two more expected to arrive very soon!
A memorial service honoring Kathleen’s life and celebrating her hope in the Risen Christ will be held Saturday, January 18, at 10:00am, at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, in the chapel, with visitation to follow. Interment will precede the memorial service, on Friday, January 17, in a private ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given in Kathleen’s honor to Briarwood Presbyterian Church, with a notation for “LOVE ministry” or “Kathleen Duggan memorial” in the tag line, and sent to Briarwood Presbyterian Church, 2200 Briarwood Way, Birmingham, AL 35243.
- Memorial Service Saturday, January 18, 2020
Frank Barker, III
January 13, 2020
I have known Mrs. Duggan since I was a kid.
She was the one that told me that I needed to ask a girl out named Pam Goff. So i did. Our first date was to the Ringling Brothers Circus in January, 2002. She also said that we were going to be engaged by May 15, 2002, which actually happened. We were married in August 2002. She would bring chewing gum to church to give to our girls. We loved her.