Kathleen Kelly Fulginiti McMahon died peacefully at her home in Paoli, PA, on September 3, 2022, after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. She was 75 years old. Kathy’s entire life revolved around teaching and children. She grew up in Collingswood, NJ, and attended Rutgers University in Camden, NJ. She then spent over 20 years raising her family in Haddonfield, NJ. In addition to guiding the hearts and minds of her own three children, Kathy spent many years touching the lives of other children in her neighborhood, as well as through her home-based daycare center, and by serving as a longtime Haddonfield Brownie and Girl Scout troop leader.
In 1990, Kathy joined the staff of Alice Costello Elementary School in Brooklawn, New Jersey. Over 26 years of active teaching there, she educated children in every grade but the first. Kathy was recognized many times over the years for her dedication and innovations in teaching. She was selected Teacher of the Year for the Brooklawn school district multiple times and was the Teacher of the Year for Camden County in 2005-2006. Her success in teaching Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea to elementary-age children was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2003. The lasting bonds she built with all her students and colleagues were far more critical than any of those accolades. Kathy truly loved every student she taught and kept in touch with dozens of them, sometimes for decades.
When she retired from full-time teaching in 2016, Kathy continued to serve as a substitute teacher at Alice Costello School. She also founded and helped to oversee an after-school tutoring program at Refuge Apostolic Church in North Philadelphia. In retirement, she could enjoy her passions of travel, baking, sewing, reading, history, and faith. Over the last few years, her involvement with Walking With Purpose was a great source of comfort and joy. Most of all, she cherished her move from New Jersey to Pennsylvania so that she could spend almost every day with her three grandchildren.
Kathy is survived by her beloved children, Jessica and Doug Waltman of Wayne, PA, Carrie Fulginiti, also of Wayne, PA, and William Fulginiti of Fredericksburg, VA. She also leaves behind three beautiful grandchildren, Madeline, Billy, and Luke Waltman, two sisters, Linda and Norah Kelly, a brother, Timothy Kelly, her lifelong best friend, Sally Ann Miller, her cherished cat, Alberta Ann Kelly, and many dear nieces, nephews, and former students.
Kathy donated her body to science to continue her lifetime devotion to teaching. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of her life on September 10, 2022, at Saint Katharine of Siena Roman Catholic Church in Wayne, PA. Visitation will begin at 1:00 pm, and the Celebration of Mass will be at 2:00 pm. A reception honoring her life will follow Mass at Glenhardie Country Club, 1399 Old Eagle School Road, Wayne, PA. Instead of flowers, please consider donating to one of two schools she held very dear to her heart. To support the library at the institution where she spent 26 years of her life teaching, you may donate in her name to Brooklawn School District c/o Alice Costello School, 301 Haakon Road, Brooklawn, NJ 08030. Kathy was also devoted to the preschool each of her grandchildren attended, Assumption Academy at Our Lady of Assumption Church, 135 Fairfield Lane, Strafford, PA 19087.