In Memory of





Obituary for Kathleen M. "Kay" Johnson

Kathleen “Kay” M. Johnson, died at age 89, on the evening of March 14th, surrounded by family. A longtime resident of Millbrook, NY and Stuart, Florida, Kay passed away while in residence at Woodland Pond at New Paltz. She was born Nov. 2, 1931 in Brooklyn, NY to parents Kathryn and Hugh Merrins. Kay was predeceased by her first husband John P. O’Shea, their daughter, Patrice O’Shea, and Kay's husband Thomas A. Johnson.

Kay was a vivacious and accomplished woman who lived a full life, both personally and professionally. She had a captivating smile and was as glamorous as she was down to earth. Kay was inquisitive and loved learning and exploring. She became an RN at age 20, and later, in 1960, earned a BS degree in Nursing from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also obtained a Master’s degree in Psychology from Marist College in 1980. For many years, she worked as a School Nurse Teacher in Dutchess County. After that, Kay enjoyed her role as a Psychologist for New York State.

In addition to her family and her work, Kay joyfully pursued many interests. She was an avid athlete and competitor, participating in snow skiing, water skiing, tennis, golf, and croquet. Kay loved music, dancing, and the arts. She appreciated the challenge of watercolor painting and drawing with colored pencils. She had a beautiful singing voice and sang in community chorus, and delighted those around her whenever she sang around the house. Kay volunteered with organizations, including the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie. She and her husband, Tom Johnson, were active volunteers for the National Horse Show.

As a New York and Florida Master Gardener, Kay was never far from her exquisite garden at her home in Millbrook, NY. She loved all things to do with the gardening, including the hard work. Her love extended to educating others about the importance of conservation. She was devoted to her work with the Millbrook Garden Club, and to the many dear friends she made through her long involvement with the organization. Kay also served as president of the Millbrook Garden Club from 1993 to 1995 and as Garden Club of America Horticulture Judge for many years. The Millbrook Garden Club recognizes Kay with a special award in her name: the Kay Johnson Horticultural Sweepstakes Award. She enjoyed travelling the world, including visiting her roots in Ireland, where she obtained dual citizenship.

Kay was much loved and will be missed by her family and friends.

Kay is survived by her sister, Patricia Collier, her son Stephen O’Shea, her daughter Kerry O’Shea Quinto, and her son-in-law Daniel Quinto. She is also survived by her two loving grandsons Reese Quinto and John Austen Quinto, and her two adoring granddaughters Gabriela O’Shea and Laurel Quinto, and step-daughters Suzanne Conklin and Sara Duff, as well as much loved nieces and nephews.

Kay and her family are grateful to the nurses, aides, and staff of Woodland Pond Health Center for the compassionate and professional care they provided. Their efforts are deeply appreciated.

A private burial is planned at the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made, in Kay’s memory, to conservation efforts, such as The Nature Conservancy, to child advocacy organizations, such as The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, or to the Millbrook Garden Club, or any 501(c)(3) gardening organization of your choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Wm. G. Miller & Son FH, Inc If you wish to send an online condolence please visit our website at