Catherine Ghidiu

Obituary of Catherine Mary Ghidiu

Today we celebrate the life and light of Catherine Mary McKiernan Ghidiu. She did exactly what she wanted with that light and life. From a young age, she knew the center of her world would be a big, beautiful family and she cultivated that family through the years with humor, kindness, and unfailing love. Born May 23, 1948 in Hartford, Connecticut. Cathy grew up in different parts of the country with her family. She graduated from Syracuse's Bishop Ludden High School in 1966 and attended Powelson Business School and Onondaga Community College. Cathy went to work for the college, and filled many positions in the Police Academy and the Bursar's Office, retiring in 2006 after over 30 years of full and part time work. She would say her life was her family, and she was blessed with a handful—three children within 20 months of each other: her daughter Jennifer, and her twin sons David and John. Cathy raised her family with her husband John in Liverpool, New York, where they built solid and life-long friendships in their community. In addition to her home in Liverpool, Cathy spent many of her summers growing up and as an adult at her family cottage in Niantic, Connecticut, where she was always known as Catherine Mary, and cherished every moment with her extended family. One of Cathy's many talents was making beautiful things. If you were fortunate to be a friend of hers, you likely have a quilt, a scarf, a holiday decoration or another gift that she made with love. She also made the world's best apple pie, and magic holiday cookies that instantly disappeared. Over the years, she made many houses into warm, welcoming homes. Along with their home in Liverpool, she and her husband made a home in Penn Yan, New York, and a winter home in Dunedin, Florida. Holidays were very special and bright times in these places, whether it was Christmas, Halloween, or St. Patrick's Day. Always one to honor the past, Cathy was also constantly living in the present. She loved to go antique shopping, and her homes were filled with objects from years gone by, and mementos from family members. While her house was filled with warm memories, her garage was filled with motorcycles, which she and John often rode to explore new places, near and far. She loved to laugh and enjoyed to no end the jokes and silliness of her husband and adult children and their partners, and especially the ridiculous and inadvertently hilarious things her grandchildren would say and do. Cathy had a great and busy mind for puzzles - whether it was rubik's cubes or jigsaws. In recent years, she would do Sudoku with her husband, crosswords with her daughter, and play Words with Friends with her friends and her children. She met the love of her life at a bar, where they both worked evenings. Cathy is survived by her life-long love, John Ghidiu, who served her an epicurean meal of hot dog and beans on a table made out of a door on their first date in Syracuse, NY. They could often be found enjoying activities together, like floating in tubes on Seneca Lake, biking or walking for coffee in Dunedin, and often enjoyed Sunday morning brunch with their children, grandchildren and grand-dogs on the weekends. They could always be found enjoying each other's company, no matter where they were. John made a habit of waking her up each morning with a cup of coffee and a kiss, and he also taught her grandchildren to do the same. Cathy is also survived by two brothers that she loved fiercely- Greg and John McKiernan, along with her beloved children and their partners: John Ghidiu; David Ghidiu and his wife Katie; Jennifer Ghidiu and her partner Eric Harman. Her grand-dogs, Maggie, Quinn and Piper, and her grandchildren Francis Harman and Charlie Harman, along with too many nieces and nephews to easily count. Her family was everything to Cathy. Along with her surviving family, her love for her family members who have passed was overwhelming. She is predeceased by her graceful mother, Catherine McKiernan; and her warm and wonderful father John Francis McKiernan; as well as her intrepid brother Robert McKiernan; and her beautiful sister Peggy McKiernan O'Hargan. Generous of spirit, patient and kind, always working to make things better, she will be painfully missed. She passed away peacefully on March 12, 2020, surrounded by her family. The service will be a private affair for immediate family. Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to the American Heart Association. In the words of her grandchildren, "she made all of us feel the most special."
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