Kathleen Rowan Neumann of Mattituck and Jupiter, Florida died on Sunday, July 10 after a courageous battle with cancer.
She had a great many roles — daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, friend, educator, canasta player, golfer, artist, book clubber — and lived each day to the fullest, her abundant love and enthusiasm overflowing.
She is survived by her six children Cecilia, James, Denise, Michael, Margaret and Patricia, their spouses, Robert, Tara, James, Beth, Terry and Mark, her 16 grandchildren, Kyra, Peter, Hayley, Curtis, Marion, Ethan, Lily, Amelia, Mikayla, Aidan, Luke, Holden, Barron, William, Brett and Delia and her step-grandchildren, Kathryn and Robert and their children. She also leaves behind her much younger brother James Rowan and his wife Lorenza as well as many nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her beloved husband of 43 years, Gerard “Rod” Neumann, as well as her sisters Monica Noss and Judith Rowan.
Family and friendship were cornerstones of Kathy’s life. She loved holding court at a crowded dinner table, trying to solve the world’s challenges through meaningful, often boisterous conversation, and then attempting to beat Rod during a heated post-prandial game of Scrabble (he rarely opened vistas for her obscure seven-letter words …)
Kathy was born in Jamaica, Queens to Vincent and Marion Rowan. She was the second of four children. A lover of literature, she attended Rosemont College, becoming president of her class in her senior year. After raising her children, Kathy earned her masters in English from Fordham University. She spent her early career writing for Look magazine and The Miami Herald and for Robert Montgomery Presents, a live television show, and later served as an adjunct professor of English at Ramapo College.
While Kathy enjoyed a life-time of learning, her greatest joy was being the wife of Rod, mother of her “six pack” and GK (Grandma Kathy) to her grandkids. She lived life with faith, a sense of humor, a love of foxes and unparalleled zest, including for cold water plunges into the Long Island Sound. She never lost her desire to make the world a better place through prayer and acts of kindness.
Her family welcomed friends at the DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck on July 14 and a Mass of the Resurrection was offered at Our Lady of Ostrabrama in Cutchogue the following day.