LIMERICK, Ireland – Cathy Pendergast, a longtime former resident of Saranac Lake, passed away peacefully in Limerick, Ireland, on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013. She was 90 years old.
Cathy was born Mary Catherine Newell in San Francisco, Calif., on May 11, 1922. Her parents returned to Ireland with her to live in January 1923, and she grew up in Belclare, County Galway.
She trained as a nurse at the Mater Hospital in Dublin and spent a year nursing in England before coming to the United States at age 26, in early 1948. She worked for nearly a year in New York City before contracting TB. She arrived in Saranac Lake in January 1949 to cure at the Trudeau Sanatorium. After a rather speedy recovery, she remained on to nurse in Trudeau.
“I fell in love with Saranac Lake from the moment I stepped off the train,” she said. “I remember thinking how beautiful the snow and all the trees looked, and I had never seen anything like it.” It is here she spent the majority of the rest of her life.
When Trudeau closed in the mid 1950s, she went to work at Sunmount in Tupper Lake and remained there until she retired in 1983.
In 1960, she married Edward M. “Ed” Pendergast, and they remained happily together until his death in January 1980.
She left Saranac Lake and her home at Saranac Village at Will Rogers in December 2008 to take up residence near her son in Limerick, Ireland, where she remained until her death.
She is survived by her son, Jim; two grandsons: Eamon and Donal; Jim’s partner D.J; a niece and nephew; step-grandchildren; and many close friends and extended relatives, particularly the Mulflur, Lytle and Murphy families.
A funeral Mass was celebrated on Wednesday, April 3, at St. Nicholas Church in Corbally, Limerick. Her remains were taken to Dublin for cremation and will return to Saranac Lake at a later date to be intered in Pine Ridge Cemetery.