Kathleen McGlone Stewart, 68, of Chapel Hill, N.C., died just after midnight on Jan. 28, 2019, after a long, heroic battle with pancreatic cancer.
Born on May 5, 1950, in Nyack, N.Y., Kathy graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1969, and attended Hunter College in New York City, where she was editor of the college newspaper. In the mid-1970s, Kathy traveled to Martha’s Vineyard with a friend, and soon found herself living in a Volkswagen bus off Lambert’s Cove Road. She soon met and married Island resident Michael Stewart, and together they had two children, Jesse and Carolina, before moving off-Island in 1979.
Settling into a life in the Berkshires, Kathy assisted husband Michael with his business, Green River Records, a mail-order auction house specializing in 78 rpm records from all over the world. In the early 1990s, the family relocated to Polk County, N.C., where they continued the record business. In addition, Kathy took a job as a docent at the Carl Sandburg House in Hendersonville, N.C., where she was able to share her love of literature with the public.
Despite a challenging life due to debilitating bipolar disorder, Kathy took great pleasure in art, literature, music, nature, and especially cats, and enjoyed taking walks, exploring museums, and attending concerts. She was committed to lifelong learning, and took many classes over the years in computing and visual arts. An avid swimmer, Kathy spent time as a lifeguard, and once even jumped into an abandoned swimming pool to rescue her young daughter from drowning.
After the sudden and unexpected passing of her husband in 2007 from a heart attack, Kathy relocated to Chapel Hill, N.C., where she lived out her remaining years under the care of her son Jesse. With the help of UNC Hospice, Kathy was able to spend her final days in her son’s home, with her daughter and son by her side as she left this world.
The family would like to thank the UNC Chapel Hill Cancer Center for their skillful and devoted care, as well as XDS and the UNC ACT team, whose life-changing Assertive Community Treatment model allowed Kathy to live independently.
Kathy is survived by her two children, Jesse Stewart of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Carolina Cooney of West Tisbury; her brothers Ted McGlone and Tim Goldman, both of New York; and her beloved grandchildren, Dashiell and Dexter Cooney, of West Tisbury.
In hopes of furthering the advancement of science and the study of pancreatic cancer, Kathy’s body was donated to the UNC Medical School. A celebration of Kathy’s life and spirit will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at pancan.org or to the Best Friends Animal Society at bestfriends.org.
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