Kathleen McDonnell Valentine of Wynnewood, PA, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, September 6, 2020 surrounded by her family. She was 70.
Kathleen had become a well known, long-time pillar of the Lower Merion and Narberth community. She began her career as an attorney after having earned an undergraduate degree from Drexel University in Business Administration and a Law degree from Villanova University while raising two children. She entered private practice licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey when she joined the firm of her mentor, J. Taney Willcox, Jr., in Narberth in 1979. As her practice grew, she developed a reputation as a specialist in Wills, Trusts and Estates and Domestic Relations.
Through the late 1980’s and 1990’s Kathleen and the late Mayor of Narberth, Dennis Sharkey, spearheaded a revival of Narberth that transformed the town to one of the top 10 most desirable places to live in PA.
Kathleen was elected three times to Narberth Borough Council, serving as its President for four of those years. She also was President of the Narberth Borough Association during which time she was the recipient of the March of Dimes Woman of the Year award.
In 2001, Kathleen was appointed by Governor Tom Ridge to serve as District Justice in Lower Merion and Narberth. In 2003 and 2009, she was re-elected to her Judgeship for additional six-year terms.
Over the years, she has served on the boards of the Lower Merion-Narberth Watershed Commission, the Republican Women of the Main Line, the Narberth Planning Commission, the Montgomery County Borough’s Association, Lifelinks, and the Narberth Civic Association. She served as the President of the Montgomery County Special Court Judges Association, as the Solicitor for ElderNet of Lower Merion-Narberth, and she was on the board of New Horizons Senior Center. On Tuesday mornings, Kathleen could be found at New Horizons Senior Center in Narberth, or PALM in Ardmore, providing free legal assistance.
A beloved wife, mother and grandmother, Kathleen is survived by her devoted husband of 50 years, Matt, two loving children, Moira and Matt, and adoring grandchildren, Kate and Caroline. Beloved sister of Maureen Hicks, Neil McDonnell and Patrick McDonnell.
Her service will include a viewing from 9:00 to 10:30 A.M.and mass at 11:00 A.M., on Saturday, September 12, 2020, both following social distancing protocol, at Saint Margaret’s church in Narberth. The service can be accessed live via Zoom at www.saintmarg.org
Donations in her memory may be made to Saint Margaret of Antioch Parish, 208 N. Narberth Ave, Narberth, PA 19072.
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