Kathryn A. McElroy, 52
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Swampscott – Kathryn A. McElroy, a daughter, sister, wife, friend and devoted mother, passed away Sunday, November 1, 2020. She died at 52 years of age.
Kathy was a talented corporate attorney whose work ethic, legal acumen, and compassion for others characterized her 15-year tenure as Vice President and Counsel at Eaton Vance. She previously worked for Dechert LLP in their Washington, D.C. office-where the long hours and synergistic goals fostered enduring friendships. While Kathy enjoyed her work, her primary focus was her twin 7 year-old boys, Max and Ryan- photos of whom covered every surface of her office.
Kathy and Michael Lancaster, her high school sweetheart and husband of more than two decades, awoke each morning to the boys singing in their bedroom. This optimistic start to each new day was most often followed by riding bikes, walking around the neighborhood, reading books, playing sports, eating lots of pasta, and cuddling with the boys’ furry sister, Abby. Kathy’s passion for 70’s soft rock was inherited by the two boys who could often be found humming along. Halloween was the family’s official favorite holiday, and debates on the costumes spanned the entire year! Kathy’s and Mike’s love of the beach and the ocean led them to settle in Swampscott, MA, where they were lucky enough to enjoy a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean. Favorite out of town excursions most typically involved Vermont, where the family swapped a view of the ocean for a mountain panorama. Kathy, Mike and the boys loved spending time with family, especially swimming in their grandmother’s pool with the boys’ cousins Lauren, Shannon, Jake, Keryn and Jax McElroy or sitting at Nana’s kitchen table enjoying a meal.
Kathy’s love of travel began amidst the artistic beauty and architecture of Florence, Italy, where she and her life-long friend, Megan Skelly, attended university for a year and (unsuccessfully) attempted to learn how to speak Italian. Kathy frequently returned to Europe- she and Mike especially loved visiting regions less known and enjoying the culture off-season. Kathy also spent time working and living in London as a litigator for Dechert Law firm, an experience which offered more opportunities to travel, sample new cultures, and make new friends.
Kathy attended North Andover High School, playing soccer and gaining many life-long friends. After high school graduation, Kathy attended Connecticut College and earned a degree in International Relations. Kathy’s education culminated in her earning a law degree from Northeastern University School of Law. In the summers between school, Kathy worked with a group home for the Northeast Arc- a job that intensified a deep empathy for others and a commitment to serving the community. To Kathy, this was more than a summer job-she remained friends with co-workers and continued to dedicate her time to those individuals with differing abilities by offering pro-bono legal services to this organization.
The third of four children, Kathy was born on April 4, 1968, in North Andover, Massachusetts, to Harold A. McElroy, Jr. (deceased) and Elena M. (Scuderi) McElroy. Her three siblings, John McElroy (and Julie) of North Andover, Stephen McElroy, MD (and Carla) of Boston and Barbara McElroy of Hingham were by her side throughout and during the last days of her long illness. Kathy will be missed by her extended family, including mother-in-law, Ofelia V. Lancaster of Swampscott, father-in-law Woodrow (and Cindy) Lancaster of Topsfield, brother-in-law, Alan (and Shawnette) Lancaster and nieces Mackenzie and Kaia of Georgetown, and sister-in-law, Lorrie A. Lancaster of South Carolina.
Kathy’s kindness and dedication to family were grounded in her own upbringing, and, in turn, becomes her everlasting gift to her two children. We will miss her laughter, wit, love, and unequivocal assessment of the world at large; fortunately, Max and Ryan will forever embody her love of family.
Service Information: The family held private services at Saint Michael Parish. Donations can be made to the Northeast Arc, 6 Southside Rd, Danvers, MA, 01923. For online condolences please visit www.contefuneralhomes.com