Mary Kathleen Brophy

June 21, 1933January 13, 2023
Obituary of Mary Kathleen Brophy
Kate Brophy, in her 90th year, died peacefully at her Phoenix home on January 13, 2023. A long-time valley resident and third generation Arizonan, Kate grew up on her family farm located on North Central Avenue “7601”. Her formal education began in Phoenix at St. Francis Xavier grammar school and Xavier High School. Kate then attended San Diego College for Women (now USD). After graduation, she furthered her education earning a master’s degree in English and Theatre from Stanford University. A lifelong learner, Kate was dedicated to the written word. She devoted her life to literature, focusing her energies on teaching English, both as a professor at the University of San Diego and later at Glendale Community College. She loved her craft, loved teaching and was a talented writer. She published feature columns in the Arizona Republic/Phoenix Gazette. Two of her articles were titled respectively “Mary’s song is for all of us to sing” and “Spare a moment to comfort the lonely near end of life”. Kate volunteered at Hospice of the Valley for more than 25 years. She never met a stranger and had a wonderful gift of the gab, always engaging and at times exhibiting a diamond-hard center of personal conviction. With her wit and depth of knowledge, she had a unique ability to make everyone feel special, welcomed and always entertained. A passionate hiker, Kate dearly loved her home state. Well into her eighties, she hiked every nook and cranny of Arizona. Kate delighted in bringing her friends along to discover a beautiful desert vista, or copper flecked sunset, including her family’s historic Babacomari Ranch. She was a consummate traveler and through her many trips to Ireland was able to maintain strong connections to her family roots and her cherished Irish cousins. Throughout her life, Kate was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous, a “friend of Bill” for 57 years. She sought to debunk that stigma by generously sharing her own struggles and vulnerabilities. Kate was a devoted sponsor to many. She exemplified the full measure of gratitude for her own recovery through the generosity she offered others by her devoted presence, participation and support of the countless friends she counseled and encouraged along the way. She was a frequent speaker at recovery-focused retreats, a constant force and confidant to all. Kate was the granddaughter of Mrs. William Henry Brophy who in 1928 established Brophy College Preparatory and Brophy Chapel. Kate served on the BCP Board of Regents for several years. Her contributions to the greater Phoenix community are too numerous to recount. A profoundly spiritual presence, Kate will be dearly missed by her nieces, nephews, their children, extended family members and her bountiful, treasured friends. She is predeceased by her parents Sallie and Frank Brophy, her four brothers Bill, Blake, Frank, Rory, her three sisters Patricia, Sallie (Goodman) and Alice (McChesney). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kate’s name to Andre House, PO Box 2014, Phoenix, AZ 85001.

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