Kathleen A. McDonough ’19 died on November 25, 2023, in Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey.
(The following was provided by Asbury Park Press in November 28, 2023:)
Kathleen (Katie) McDonough, 27, of Spring Lake Heights passed away peacefully on Saturday morning, November 25, 2023. Her twin sister, Maria, was by her side, holding her hand. Born on October 4, 1996, Katie grew up in Lawrenceville and Pennington, NJ, along with Maria and older sister Megan. After college in Maine, Katie lived in Yardley, PA, and Vail, CO, before settling in Park City, UT. In November 2022, she returned to her family home by the beach that she so loved. From there, Katie confronted her exceptionally rare brain and spine cancer with a laser-focused hope for a future while also embracing the present. Her spirited, optimistic, and gracious manner during the last year inspired family, friends, coworkers, medical team members, caregivers, and strangers; it will never be forgotten.
Katie graduated from George School in Newtown, PA, and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. After college, she joined Bloomberg LP’s global data group in Princeton, NJ, before remote working as a data engineer for Qventis, Inc. of Los Altos, CA, and volunteer ski patrolling at Powder Mountain, UT.
Katie’s interests and skills were broad and deep. A computer science and government studies double major in college, Katie also spent many hours in Bowdoin’s art studio, was a member of its ski team and outing club and developed a passion for craft beers. She embraced complex and challenging things with ease. Katie loved the outdoors, from hanging off of a mountain out west to chillin’ on the beach in New Jersey. She cared deeply… about a sustainable earth, its people, their leaders, world events and the future of our country. But most of all, she cared about others.
Never was this more on display than during the last year, after Katie’s cancer diagnosis came out of nowhere. (She went to the ER a day after she had skied in the morning, rock-climbed in the afternoon and donned a Halloween costume at night.) In ways large and small, to friends and strangers, Katie’s “cancer year” was spent giving more than she was receiving. That’s saying something because she received so much… from family and friends who personified selflessness to the utterly remarkable “team Katie” at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City that leaned so intensely into Katie’s treatment, sustaining her hope and scouring the globe for answers that don’t yet exist, but might someday. All the while, Katie remarked about her good fortune to have access to world class health care, excellent employer-provided insurance to pay for it, and a village of family and friends to support her during this tumultuous and scary time.
Katie is the beloved daughter of Peter and Christine McDonough, and the sister of Megan Bonomo of Ewing, NJ, and Maria McDonough of Bocas del Toro, Panama, and Spring Lake, NJ. She also is survived by Megan’s terrific husband, Thomas Bonomo, and her cherished nephew, Tommy, both of Ewing NJ; her maternal grandmother, Anita Gassert of Little Silver, NJ, who she adored; and innumerable aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends who meant so much to her.