Memories of a Friend

Once in a lifetime, if you are lucky, you’ll find a friend who is coming from exactly the same place that you are. I was uniquely blessed to find this rare match with Barbara – both friend and cousin – and I do, and will continue, to miss her sorely.

Her approach to life was mildly skeptical, quietly humorous, and overwhelmingly human. We shared similar passions; a love of books, clothes, travel and eating (though not necessarily cooking) great food.

She was a constant inspiration to me in how she dealt with the events, both good and bad, of a rich, full life. She realized that unless we take time, soon there is no time.

My final meeting with her almost didn’t happen. She called on a Thursday and wanted to make a date for brunch on Sunday with our husbands. At that point I was buried with work and family obligations, and we were leaving on a trip the next day. It was so tempting to say “when we get home.” Thankfully, I didn’t. We had one of those magical times when the food is divine, the conversation wonderful and the warmth and joy of being together overwhelming.

After that Sunday, her health worsened, and there was no time. I like to think that Sunday was her last, great lesson to me.

Kitty Phelan ‘54 is a public relations and marketing professional from Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Thomas E. McGinty

Thomas E. McGinty, the 2001 Fidelia Award recipient and a Life Member of the Board of Trustees passed away on February 13, 2007.

McGinty served as a member of the Board of Advisors and the Board of Trustees from 1975 through 2001. He served on the Audit, Building and Grounds, Finance and Nominating Committees. He played a key role in the construction of the Joseph H. Keller Center in 1987 and in renovation projects involving the Clara Fritzsche Library and Performing Arts Center.

In addition to his service to Notre Dame, McGinty provided assistance to teachers and elementary, middle and high schools through grants given by the McGinty Family Foundation. The foundation was created by McGinty in 1989 in honor of his parents Alice and Patrick. He also served on the boards of Gesu Catholic Church in University Heights, the Cleveland Skating Club, the Union Club and the Wilderness Country Club in Naples, Florida.

McGinty is survived by his wife of 56 years, June, his three sons, five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, three sisters and brother.


May 20
11:30 AM
Monday May 20, 11:30am
Softball Field
E.g., 06/19/19
E.g., 06/19/19