Katherine A. Degnan died Thursday, January 25, 2024 in Rochester, at the age of 89. She was the youngest of seven children born to Michael Bernard and Ellen (Nelly) Ronan Degnan. Kate attended Lewiston Public Schools, graduating as a salutatorian, and completed a degree in English from the College of St. Teresa in Winona. She continued her education, obtaining a Library Science Degree from Columbia University. Kate then began a long career with the US Government. She started her library experience at the Library of Congress, before receiving a masters degree in librarian studies. She then went on to the Central Intelligence Agency, where she spent most of her career. Katherine (known as Kate to her family, Kathy to friends and colleagues in Washington, DC) enjoyed all that Washington had to offer, including the arts, an abundance of historic and scenic sites, and many friends she got to know over the years. She was active in the CST Alumnae Association, DC chapter; the National Democratic Women’s Club, and took classes with the Smithsonian Institution. She acquired experience in languages, including French and Russian.
Katherine enjoyed traveling, both domestically and internationally. She enjoyed several trips to various locations in Europe, and with her sister Jeanne, enjoyed many cruises. Kate and Jeanne took several cruises to Alaska, where they compared the benefits of different ships and cruise formats as they took advantage of all Alaska can offer.
Kate welcomed her sister Jeanne to Washington during their retirement, and both returned to Minnesota in 2009, settling in Rochester to be near family. In Rochester, Kate was active in 125 Live, was a Regular at the Rochester Public Library, and enjoyed local Farmer’s Markets. She sought out local arts programs throughout southeastern Minnesota.
Kate leaves four nieces; Nancy Degnan of Santa Cruz, CA, Mary Louise (Richard) Harrity of Hudson, MA, Charity (Brian) Floen of Rochester, and Margaret (Mark) Daly of Minnetonka, a nephew, John Rowan of Yorba Linda, CA, four great-nieces, and seven great-nephews; and three great-great nieces, and one great-great nephew. She was predeceased by her parents her siblings: sisters Bernardine Rowan, Sr. M. Ronan (Rosemary), Patrice, and Nora Jeanne; and her two brothers, Ronan and Charles. She is also predeceased by a nephew, Michael B. Degnan, a niece, Ellen Degnan Reeves, and her cousins.
A Celebration of Life will be scheduled in the spring, with burial in St. Rose of Lima Cemetery, Lewiston.