Kathleen Ann (Huey) Berger, doting mother of eight and vanilla buttercream frosted cake connoisseur, passed away peacefully May 20, 2020, in South Weymouth, Mass., after a brief illness. She was 73.
She leaves behind a bevy of kids who absolutely adored her, including five sons, Aaron, Matthew (Jennifer), Benjamin, Jonah (Andrea), and Jake; and three daughters, Sarah (J.R.) Kennie, Alexandra, and Hayley Sweeney. She had six grandkids – Adam, Delaney, Merrick, Carter, Amory, and Dalston. Kathleen also leaves two brothers, Scott (Gloria) Huey and Kevin (Eva) Huey, and her “Sissy” Colleen (Ed) Rish, along with five nephews and one niece.
Kathleen was born in Dayton, Ohio, to Ronald Sherman Huey and Helen Louise Wade. She graduated from Fairmont East High School in Kettering, Ohio. Although she occasionally told her kids how she felt slighted for not being crowned homecoming queen, she was popular and active in high school. Her trademark long, flowing blond hair was hard to miss (we’re confident that everyone noticed), and it was something she always loved about her appearance. She was a debutante (or majorette, if you asked her without Colleen around) in the school’s marching corps and editor of the school newspaper and junior prom magazine. She studied journalism at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, where she met her former husband of 19 years, Dennis.
Kathleen was as funny, warm and kind as she was altruistic. She put her kids first in everything she did, which is why she moved them to the picturesque town of Cohasset in the late 1980s. Kathleen loved Cohasset and being near the ocean. With that many kids to monitor, she somehow found time to attend nearly every sporting event and school related activity. She was also very welcoming to her kids’ friends and those who radiated to her home from around the neighborhood. She would snap into mothering mode no matter who came through the door to make sure everyone was cared for and fed. And they were always welcomed back. Kathleen talked about adoption for a long time, so in 1992 and again in 1996, she took two separate trips to Russia, with no other family members in tow, to adopt Alexandra and Hayley.
Kathleen had a passion for writing and reading – especially James Patterson books. When she returned from her trips to Russia, she wrote lengthy recaps of her experiences that were featured in adoption publications. Through the years she also had a variety of freelance articles published in the likes of The New York Times and Chicago Tribune, and she wrote for Profiles Magazine in Connecticut. She also had a stint working at an advertising agency in Chicago. Kathleen loved antiquing and buying anything old that had a story, which was evident if you walked through the homes she lived in. She truly appreciated old homes – especially Victorians. Her classic 1877 Victorian in Mount Kisco, N.Y., was featured prominently in the 1981 film, “Ragtime.”
Kathleen had a knack for taking road trips and staying in hotels with her kids to “get away,” which was funny because there was no getting away from that many kids ever, no matter how big the hotel room. When she did relax, she watched her two favorite soaps, “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” (She always said that she didn’t love the latter but it came on right after “Y&R” and was only 30 minutes long.) And chances are she had a Tab or Diet Coke in her hand while she watched the soaps, because diet soda was her drink of choice. Another Kathleen staple was Barry Manilow, whom she listened to for as long as anyone can remember. One of her favorite Barry songs was “Weekend in New England.” While her music tastes ran the gamut of 1980s and ‘90s power ballads from the likes of Foreigner, Air Supply and Meatloaf, no one came remotely close to Barry.
It’s apropos to finish with Kathleen’s love of sweets – particularly vanilla buttercream frosted cake. She would travel off the map to find the perfect cake. Two of her all-time favorite bakeries were White’s in Hingham, Mass., and Pakula’s in Spring Valley, N.Y. Her tremendous sweet tooth also reveled in chocolate covered creams from Esther Price in Ohio and Hanna Krause’s in New Jersey. She really hated vegetables and was very vocal about that, even if you could eventually get her to agree that she liked beets, green beans, corn and a very small list of others.
A private service for Kathleen is scheduled at a later date. Cake will be served.
To send flowers to Kathleen's family, please visit our floral store.