Devoted to her family, possessed great memory

WAKEFIELD — Catherine E. “Kay” Luke of Wakefield passed away on December 9, 2023 at the Aberjona Nursing and Rehab Center in Winchester just weeks after her 98th birthday.  

She was born to Rufus and Marie (Cronin) Saunders on November 17, 1925 in Chelsea.

There will be a celebration of her life in early spring followed by a private interment.

Kay and her five siblings grew up during the Great Depression in a fatherless household where putting food on the table was an “all hands effort.” It was while working in the payroll department at one of her jobs that she met her future husband, Clement A. Luke, Jr.  They were married on April 27, 1946, shortly after he returned from the Pacific Theater of WWII, and spent the next 65 years together until his death in 2011 at the age of 86.

She was completely devoted to her family but painfully buried her two daughters years ago. Kay was very disciplined and was still watching her calories at 96 years old, usually refusing the ice cream offered by her caregivers. She never complained about her personal plight but was quick to speak up (sometimes to her personal detriment) about anything that she felt just “wasn’t right.”  

Kay had an incredible memory for dates and figures and remained extremely sharp until the very end.

In another life we are sure she would have been an accountant.

After her husband passed away, she lived independently in a condo in Wakefield until May of 2017 when she had a life-changing fall and broke her hip. She went from complete independence to complete dependence, was never able to stand again, and spent the next 6-plus years going from bed to wheelchair and back.

Kay is survived by her sons, William (wife Liane), and Gerald (wife Beth) her grandson, Tom, granddaughters Kristen, Gwendolyn and Gretchen, and one great granddaughter, Ella.  She was predeceased by her mother, Marie; two daughters, Linda Ann and Susan Marie, and as the last of her generation, by her husband and all of her siblings, John, Mildred, Warren, Florence and Edna.

Arrangements by the McDonald Funeral Home, Wakefield.