Kathleen (Kady) B. Rachford, 89, was born the daughter of Margaret Evans on March 2, 1932, at Misericordia Hospital in Chicago and was named Elizabeth Evans. She was in an orphanage until age 1, when her adoptive father fell in love with her even though they were looking for a boy. Kady was lovingly adopted by Stanley J. and Kathryn Hayes and was re-named Kathleen Bridget Hayes. Kady passed away peacefully on April 8, 2021. She is preceded in death by her parents; her loving husband, Fred; son, Danny; granddaughter, Danielle; her niece, Carol (Jeff) Kessler; and sister-in-law, Virginia (Robert) Rachford.
Kady grew up in Chicago. In 1949, she graduated from Saint Gabriel Commercial High School and was then employed as a secretary. Kady married Frederic E. Rachford in July of 1952. Kady was also one of the early leaders in La Leche League International, which formed in 1956, in Franklin Park, Ill. The pioneering founders and leaders offered support to women on many child-related topics – everything from pre-natal issues to natural childbirth and breastfeeding. Later in life she went on to receive a Bachelor of Religious Arts in pastoral counseling in December of 1998 from Evangelical Episcopal University. She was ordained as a deacon at the Baptist Church, served as a Eucharistic minister at Holy Apostles, and also established an Addictions Counseling Service in Woodstock. As anyone that knew Kady will tell you, she didn’t need a degree to do what she did naturally – share the love of her Lord, lend an ear, offer support and wise council, and true to her nature, she was ready with a hug (usually many) and a shoulder to cry on if needed.
Kady and Fred began their married life in Riverside, Calif., where Fred was in the service at Edwards Air Force Base. After a few years they moved back to Chicago, then moved on to Roselle, Ill., and finally settled in Woodstock, where together they lovingly raised nine children in the house on Fremont Street popularly known as the Groundhog Day House.
Kady made it such a welcoming house; always more than nine children running around as Kady opened her home to all her children’s friends and kids from the neighborhood. Prayer meetings and bible studies were also held at the house for many years. Kady and Fred were avid supporters of the local Woodstock businesses and restaurants and a longtime favorite was Angelo’s Restaurant on the Square. Kady celebrated her 80th birthday by taking in a skydiving adventure with her son, Tim, and beloved granddaughter, Danielle. Many members of her family were happy to stay on the ground and cheer her on. Her husband, Fred, a retired airline pilot, jokingly questioned why anyone would jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Kady loved every second of the jump.
She moved into an independent living apartment at the Fountains in Crystal Lake in 2013. She loved her dogs and was happily able to bring Molly, her wheaten terrier, with her. When Molly passed, she got Buddy, a rambunctious black poodle. The two were best buds and inseparable. Over the years she made many devoted friends, and she deeply cherished all the wonderful, caring, and supportive Fountains and InHome Personal Services staff. They were all like a second family to her.
Kady is survived by her children, Tom (Julie) Rachford, Pegg (Gene) Stoddard, Kitty (Armond) Dinverno, Tim (Chris) Rachford, Tricia Rachford, Marty (Jenn) Rachford, Mike (Gayle) Rachford, and Lori Wipf; 16 treasured grandchildren and 19 cherished great-grandchildren, all of whom have many happy memories and will miss their Grams very much; her brothers and sisters-in-law, George and Marilyn Rachford, Robert Rachford, and Peter and Emma Carlino.
Services will be held Friday, April 16, at The Church of Holy Apostles, 5211 Bull Valley Road, McHenry, Ill., 60050. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. followed by a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Interment will follow in the Oakland Cemetery in Woodstock.
Please be reminded to social distance as much as possible and that masks are required.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite local animal shelter in memory of Kady.
For more information, contact the Schneider, Leucht, Merwin and Cooney Funeral Home at 815-338-1710, or visit slmcfh.com.