Catharine Anna Holleran, 89, of Peabody, Mass.

Posted 5/26/20

Catharine (Kay) Anna Holleran, 89, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 22, 2020. Kay was born in South Boston on Dec. 10, 1930 to Alfredo and Yolanda Biagioni. She was the wife of the late James C. …

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Catharine Anna Holleran, 89, of Peabody, Mass.


Catharine (Kay) Anna Holleran, 89, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 22, 2020. Kay was born in South Boston on Dec. 10, 1930 to Alfredo and Yolanda Biagioni. She was the wife of the late James C. Holleran and together they raised their family in Peabody, Mass. Kay mostly wanted to be remembered as the devoted mother to her six children, Kathleen and Stephen Gaspar of Dartmouth, Mass., Joanne and Frank Legro of Barrington, Linda and the (late) David Johnson of Barrington, Mary Ellen Holleran and Christopher Brust of Chapel Hill, NC, (the late) James Holleran Jr. and Andrea Holleran of Norwell, Mass., and Thomas and Susan Holleran of Peabody, Mass. Kay has the love of 20 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her brother, Robert Biagioni.

Kay often spoke fondly of her time growing up in South Boston walking on Carson Beach or strolling across town with her parents to shop or visit Boston Commons. Only speaking Italian as a child left her with the challenge of learning English prior to attending public schools. After moving to Ash Street in Somerville, Kay met many good friends who helped her quickly acclimate to life as an Italian-American. She graduated from Somerville High School in 1948 and continued her education at Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing where she graduated in 1951 as a registered nurse. During her time in nursing school, Kay was known for her fierce personality and strong independence which earned her the nickname “Hot Shot”. Kay’s career began in Boston as a surgical nurse, but her heart soon found passion in pediatric nursing; she devoted the next 30 years of her career to serving the community at the North Shore Children’s Hospital in Salem. 

During a time where working mothers were rare, Kay remarkably raised six children while working full time – often second and third shifts – so she could always be present during the day for her family. There are many memories of six children all lined up, neatly dressed, and waiting for their short walk to St. Ann’s in South Peabody for Sunday Mass. Kay was active member of the South Peabody community especially at St. Ann’s Parish, where she was an integral part of CYO, Sodality, CCD and its many other programs.

Kay managed to find time to not only build wonderful life-long friendships in South Peabody but also opened her home for many joyous gatherings on Outlook Avenue also known as “the Hill.” Many years of her life included summers spent on Lake Winnipesaukee sharing memories with the Trovato family, traveling with her friends, and planning the menu for frequent family cocktail hours.

Raising her children and experiencing life with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren gave her the greatest joy.  She expressed this loving sentiment as part of a 1990 letter written for her family: “Finally, to all my children, I leave everlasting love and respect. You have all been a source of joy to me and the men and women you have married became an important part of my life. The grandchildren that have been brought into this world made any heartaches I may have had disappear and bring into focus what a truly fortunate person I was and how loved. God Bless you all. Catherine A. Holleran“

Arrangements were made by the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, Peabody, to view on-line obituary and sign guestbook, visit In lieu of flowers, please donate in Kay’s memory to Hope Health Hospice Care of Rhode Island at

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