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Katharine M. McNally

January 21, 1933 ~ September 28, 2018 (age 85)
Obituary Image

Katharine M. McNally

Ontario: Katharine (Katie) Merk McNally passed away on September 28, after a valiant battle with cancer. Born in Cambridge, MA in 1933, she was the daughter of two distinguished scholars of American history.  Her father taught at Harvard University, and her mother taught at Northeastern University. Katie studied at the Longy School of Music and Radcliffe College (Cambridge, MA), from which she graduated with honors. She taught music for two years at Westbrook Junior College in Portland, ME.

First married to Robert Freeman in 1957, she was the devoted mother of two children, John and Betsy. In 1977, she married Jim McNally, with whom she founded Camelot Yachts in Ontario, NY.  

Katie was an avid musician, playing both the piano and cello, as well as an accomplished singer. She performed with the Rochester Oratorio Society and at the Finger Lakes Choral Festival.  She also sang in the choir at Webster Presbyterian Church. She was a dedicated member of Mu Phi Epsilon’s Rochester, NY chapter, a co-ed international professional musical fraternity, as well as a member of the Town of Ontario’s Historical & Landmark Preservation Society. She supported local projects of Habitat for Humanity.  But most of all, she loved taking photographs, which she fervently shared with family and friends. 

She is survived by her younger brother Frederick Merk of Groton, MA; by her children: John Freeman and his wife Amy of Webster, NY and Elizabeth Poon and her husband Fu of Southborough, MA; and by her four grandchildren: Morgan and Connor Freeman, Benjamin and Nicholas Poon.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2:00 p.m. at Webster Presbyterian Church, 550 Webster Road, Webster, NY. A burial ceremony with family members will be held on Saturday, October 20, 12:00 p.m. in Winchester, MA. In memory of Katie, contributions may be made to the Rochester Oratorio Society, Inc., 1050 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607. You may mail a check, call (585) 473-2234, or give online at www.ROSsings.org (click “Support ROS” from the home page). Please put “Katie McNally” in the memo line. 


Donations may be made to:

Rochester Oratorio Society
1050 East Ave., Rochester NY 14607
Tel: 1-585-473-2234
Web: http://www.ROSsings.org

Please put "Katie McNally" in the memo line of written checks.


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