Nonotuck Resource Associates will be appearing at Lee’s Founders Weekend Celebration this Saturday, September 16, raising money for our Gift Giving Fund in Memory of Kitty Kelly-Curtin and Danny MacDonald.
We lost one of our fearless leaders, Kitty Kelly-Curtin, this July to an aggressive form of Breast Cancer. Kitty was a resident of Lee all her life and loved the Town of Lee with all her heart. Kitty came to work for Nonotuck as a part-time R.N. and eventually led to her becoming the Vice President of Operations after trailblazing a path into our Adult Family Care (AFC) program and growing the program over time to assist over 800 families throughout the State.
Throughout her life, Kitty loved consignment shops and “digging for treasures.” Kitty’s love for consignment shops and hidden treasures inspired her to have her own consignment shops in town through the years. She was well-known by many who would frequent her shops but maybe most well-known because of her companion, Danny.
Kitty was Shared Living Provider for Daniel “Danny” MacDonald for 26 amazing years. They met while Kitty was employed as a Registered Nurse at Dan’s state-operated residential program in Stockbridge, after he spent 50 years housed at Belchertown State School. Their bond began in that setting and then blossomed; they soon opted to research a different model through the Department of Developmental Services called Shared Living. After much planning, Danny moved in with Kitty and her two young sons, and none of them ever looked back.
Danny loved to “people watch” and was a local celebrity in Lee, known for sitting outside of her shop and walking through the streets. Everyone knew his name and he was welcomed into his community with open arms by all who met him. Kitty and Danny were the very best of friends. Their devotion and admiration for each other was wholehearted; they were inseparable. Their relationship was one based on a mutuality of love and respect.
They were celebrated and awarded an Honor at the State House in Boston in March of 2019 for “Highlighting the Department’s Initiatives Supporting Those Aging with IDD,” and were also celebrated a week later, here in Berkshire County for the impact they had on each other’s lives. At that time, they had celebrated their 23rd year of being together.
Danny predeceased Kitty in late December of 2021 at the age of 89 years young. He was the oldest person in the state to have passed away with a diagnosis of Autism. Kitty always put Danny’s needs first and vice versa. Kitty visited his gravesite daily after his passing and cherished every moment she had with him up until he took his last breath.
“This relationship was the greatest example of the transformative power of shared living. Danny’s life was a dream, Kitty’s life was filled with happiness and love, Kitty’s two children grew up loving Danny, Kitty’s friends came to appreciate the gifts Danny brought to their community, and Kitty’s life partner earned Danny love as a good friend and that feeling was mutual. Five lives transformed by the love created and birthed through shared living,” says Nonotuck President/CEO George H. Fleischner.
Kitty’s most recent consignment shop was called IMoD Consignment Boutique, located on Rt. 102 originally and then the corner of High and Park Street. IMoD was chosen as the name- “In Memory of Dan.” Nonotuck is honoring both of these important lives by giving away the remainder of the clothes from IMoD, in exchange for a voluntary donation to our Gift Fund in memory of Danny and Kitty. May they both rest in peace.
Learn how Nonotuck developed a love-based ideology of care. We started our shared living program as an alternative to group homes for people with disabilities. Instead, Shared Living creates genuine life transformation for people with disabilities, as well as families and communities. The true power of caregiving is found through hospitality, authenticity, and love.