Kathleen Wall Casey

August 5, 1944November 16, 2021

Kathleen Wall Casey passed away peacefully on November 16, 2021 at her home in Portland Oregon surrounded by her family.

Kathy was born in Teaneck, New Jersey to John R. Wall and Edythe Finneran Wall. She was married to her husband, Bernard J. Casey, for over 51 years. Kathy is the mother of Brendan W. Casey and B. John Casey, both of Portland and the grandmother of six grandchildren: Finn Casey, Owen Casey and Kate Casey (children of Brendan and Erin Boyd Casey) and Nora Rose Casey, Liam Casey and Ryan Casey (children of John and Nancy Smith Casey). Kathy also has a sister, Alice “Lisa” Westphal, of Trappe, Maryland.

Kathy, following her father’s career as a steel executive, had a well-traveled childhood, residing in Towson, Maryland, Winnetka, Illinois, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. As an adult, she lived for forty years in Washington, DC where, with her husband Bernie, they raised their family.

Although she would never talk about her academic achievements, Kathy was an outstanding student. She was a graduate of the Beaumont School for Girls in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. With impeccable academic credentials, Kathy was accepted at Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in Purchase, NY, and spent her first two years there. Kathy’s college studies focused on French, and she attended her junior year abroad in Fribourg, Switzerland. She then transferred to Georgetown University— where her father graduated from both college and law school— graduating in 1967 summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown’s School of Languages and Linguistics.

After college, Kathy worked for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (1967-1968) and then as a French translator for the Central Intelligence Agency (1968-1971). In later life, Kathy worked in the White House as a member of First Lady Hillary Clinton’s correspondence staff.

France, French language and literature were mainstays in Kathy’s range of interests. Drawing on her experience as a student in Switzerland, Kathy provided research for a book on the relationship between one of her professors there, former Vichy official Bernard Fäy, and Gertrude Stein (“Unlikely Collaboration” by Barbara Will.) Kathy also developed a broad knowledge of American art through her years as a docent at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

So much for the basics. How to describe who she really was? "How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?” Kathy was a sprite with the purest of hearts. Position and status meant nothing. Posturing and pretense she disdained. Her signature was etched for all to see in a delicate face with sparkling eyes and a gentle smile. Books and family were her sustenance. Even as illness stole many of her memories, Kathy retained a remarkable acuteness of mind and an elegant, gracious loveliness til the end. We miss her terribly.

A memorial Mass will be held at St. Andrew Church in NE Portland on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 11 AM.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to Child Aid (


11 December

Memorial Mass

11:00 am

St. Andrew Catholic Church

806 NE Alberta St.
Portland, OR 97211


Kathleen Wall Casey

have a memory or condolence to add?

Frank Titus

November 24, 2021


Ella Cleveland

November 24, 2021

What a beautiful, lovely woman! I remember singing "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" to her at the U Club. Love Bernie, too.
Ella and Dave Cleveland

Don Sodo

November 23, 2021

Pat and I loved being with Kathy….and Bernie, too.

I think of her as a beautiful, pleasant, welcoming, caring smile. A smile. A smile that you looked forward to seeing because you knew that being with Kathy was going to brighten your day. She was always interested in you, how you were, what you were doing. What a gift in relationship to be with someone who cared so deeply for others.


Nancy Walsh

November 21, 2021

Kathy spent many summers at our home in Hackensack, also at the Jersey shore,. It was the normal occurrence to have Kathy come East.
Her grandparents ( my aunt and uncle) also had Kathy visit in their home in NY City and NJ.
My mother was the youngest of 10 and that meant that the many cousins were all part of Kathy’s life as well.
My sincere and deep condolences to Bernie, Brenden and John and families, Kathy was a bright light and is missed

Kathy Cornwell

November 20, 2021

I remember enjoying so many happy Thanksgivings, Christmases, and Easters with my mom's sweet cousin and her lovely family! Kathy was so gentle and kind. A memory that sticks with me is when my mom and I came to visit Kathy just after John was born. Kathy was in bed (recuperating), and she asked me if I wanted some "C-A-N-D-Y." I had to work this spelling out, so I paused for a good while before eagerly accepting!

Kathy is on our Christmas tree, in this joyful candid photo taken at Michael and April's wedding in 2000.

I'm sending my heartfelt condolences, prayers, and hugs to Bernie, Brendan, John, and their families.