March 24, 2020
Kathleen Walls Reardon
Kathleen Walls Reardon passed away at Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer’s Care on March 24, 2020 following a long battle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Ms. Reardon who was 67 was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, lived in Ithaca, NY and Memphis, TN before moving with her family to Quincy, MA five years ago.
Ms. Walls Reardon was the daughter of Patrick and Nora (nee Sheehan) Walls of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She is survived by her husband, Ken Reardon of Quincy, MA; her sister and brother-in-law Nancy and John DeSena of Irvine, CA; her sister and brother-in-law Noreen and John Tyburczy of Levittown, NY; her sister-in-laws, Kathleen Reardon and Susan Roberts of Lexington, MA and her brother and sister-in-law, Kevin and Eunchu Reardon of Lexington, KY.
A New York State Regents Scholar, Ms. Walls Reardon earned her BA in Psychology from Hunter College of CUNY and a Master in Industrial and Labor Relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before pursuing advanced studies in organizational behavior at Cornell University.
Ms. Walls Reardon was a highly respected human resources manager who devoted her professional career to supporting those working in the international development, children and family services, and higher education sectors. As Deputy Director of Human Resources for Catholic Relief Services, Ms. Walls Reardon redesigned CRS’s labor policies to reflect the social justice and pro-family values of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Statement on Justice and Economy.
As Director of Human Resources for Covenant House in Times Square she played a central role in reorganizing the agency’s pension and retirement program to insure its solvency. Finally, as Director of Human Resources for the Cornell University Law School she successfully implemented policies to insure great pay equity for women and non-faculty staff.
An early feminist, who was proud to having been an inaugural subscriber of Ms. Magazine, Ms. Walls Reardon was a lifelong peace and human rights activist. In the late 1960’s she volunteered for the successful campaign of Allard Lowenstein (D-Brooklyn) an early peace candidate for U.S. Congress. In the 1970s, she worked for numerous peace, disarmament, and alternative energy causes. In the 1980s, she contributed to the successful effort to save NYC’s Essex Street Market. In the 1990s, she provided management training and technical assistance to social service agencies in East St. Louis, Illinois. In 2006, she co-edited the post-Katrina recovery plan for New Orleans’ 9th Ward.
During her time in Memphis, Ms. Walls Reardon was an active member of Saint Patrick Church and a devoted volunteer with Saint Patrick Community Outreach Center. A project especially close to her was the Green Machine Mobile Market that brought fresh fruits and vegetables to eighteen different food deserts in Memphis neighborhoods.
A devoted daughter, sister, and wife who brought caring and compassion to all those she came into contact with, a highly skilled human resources professional who advanced the work of human rights organizations, and a strong voice for civil, human, and gender rights; Ms. Walls Reardon’s life is being celebrated by family, friends, and neighbors as well as generations of Cornell, Illinois, Memphis, and Catania students and faculty who shared meals and hospitality at her home.
Services were held privately for Kathy.
Normally, the funeral is an opportunity for the community to gather in support of one another. Although we could not gather together with Kathy’s family at this time, friends may still offer their support by sharing a special memory or message by clicking the link above.
In lieu of flowers, Kathy’s family is encouraging contributions to Catholic Relief Services at CRS, 228 W. Lexington Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201-3443.