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Obituary: Catherine Elizabeth Keeshan Ranieri

Catherine Elizabeth “Kitty” Keeshan Ranieri, age 83, of Chatsworth, CA and formerly of Munsey Park, Manhasset died peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. She was born Feb. 3, 1930 in Manhattan, the youngest and only daughter of John Joseph Keeshan, a native of Roscrea, County Tipperary, Ireland, and Margaret Frances (Conroy) Keeshan. Catherine was raised in Forest Hills, NY, and attended school at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and Forest Hills High School.

Catherine married George Bruno Ranieri on July 12, 1952 and raised four children in Riverside, CT then Manhasset. Catherine was a Girl Scout leader and member of several committees at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. In 1963 her beloved husband George succumbed to stomach cancer. Five years later her brothers Jack and Bill encouraged her to join them in southern California, so in November 1968 the family moved to Westland Village, Ventura County, CA.

Catherine loved to play the piano and compose songs, including liturgical works. She enjoyed reading historical fiction, gardening and collecting miniature pitchers from her travels. She thoroughly loved a cup of hot, strong tea, and anything chocolate. Catherine had a great sense of humor. Over the years she would often quote Katherine Hepburn in Stage Door (1937), “The calla lilies are in bloom again!” said with a perfect mid-Atlantic accent. She could put on an Irish brogue and sound like she just arrived from Ireland. She was proud of her Irish heritage and in 1977 after graduating from Moorpark College with an A.A. degree, she traveled to the Keeshan family farm in Roscrea, County Tipperary, Ireland, where she found stones from the foundation of the thatched roof dwelling. She was the family historian and knew everyone’s birth, anniversary and death dates.

About 1971, Catherine became a member of the United Methodist Church of Westlake Village, where she sang in the choir for many years and served as membership secretary. She enjoyed her work as patient representative at Westlake Hospital and an administrative assistant at Raytheon and Hughes Aircraft.

She is survived by her children and their spouses: Margaret Ranieri, Ruth and Larry Burbach, Robert and Sharon Ranieri, and Mark and Cheryl Ranieri, and grandchildren Andrew and Scott Burbach, Nicholas and Matthew McCoy Ranieri, and Audrey and Brian Ranieri. She is survived by cousins John M. Keeshan of Montauk and Richard E. Keeshan of Kings Park and several nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her best friend of 80 years, Margaret Roberta “Bobbe” (Ranney) Lynch of Stony Brook and Vero Beach, FL.

Catherine was predeceased by her parents John Joseph and Margaret Frances (Conroy) Keeshan, her brothers John, William, and Robert Keeshan, and her sisters-in-law Edna (Audino) Keeshan, Theresa (Audino) Keeshan, and A. Jeanne (Laurie) Keeshan. She is deeply loved and missed and is now with Jesus and her family in heaven.

A celebration and memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 25 at the United Methodist Church, 1049 S. Westlake Boulevard, Westlake Village, CA. Her ashes will be interred with her husband George, near her parents, at Mount St. Mary Cemetery, 17200 Booth Memorial Ave., Flushing at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Catherine’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, 4221 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Contact: Jennifer at 323.930.6246.

Arrangements are by Rose Family Funeral Home, 4444 Cochran Ave., Simi Valley, CA 805.581.3800. You may leave a message for Catherine and her family on her Obituary page at www.simivalleymortuary.com. Please use the “Send Private Condolences” link if you wish the family to contact you.