Sad News: Passing Of Past KCWC President Cathey Leitch

Cathey Leitch

It is with profound sadness and genuine shock that I am moved to write of the rapid passing from a rare cancer of past KCWC President, Cathey Leitch.

Cathey was President of KCWC for two terms when our membership was at its height, after previous service on the Board and as an Activity Leader in the early 2000s. Responsible for the formation of many initiatives and activity areas not least British History as well as Antiques and Design, she was a well known and respected figure to many members. Her intellectual curiosity about the connections between American and British history led her to research and write a book “Discovering American History in England”. She travelled promoting the publication speaking to many international organisations from the English Speaking Union to the Georgian Group to, naturally, KCWC.

A Wellesley graduate in the 1960s, Cathey was a long advocate of women’s education. She never ceased to learn herself channeling her keen intellect into everything from restoring an historic Kensington Square property, once owned by John Stuart Mill, to learning about the cultures she discovered sailing the world with her beloved husband, Joe. Indeed her travel photos and diaries were a marvelous insight she generously shared with friends. She was an active member of the Kensington Square Gardens and often gave KCWC’s Treblemakers access to the private square for their concerts. A supporter of the Prince’s Trust, Cathey and Joe were dedicated to several charities. Leaving London, they relocated to Jersey where Joe continued to sail and Cathey again immersed herself in local culture and history. She next lived on Beacon Hill in Boston but was living in Charleston, South Carolina at the time of her death expecting to return to a flat long owned in Kensington.

She is survived by her husband, her three daughters, a son-in-law and two cherished grandchildren. Her many KCWC and London friends will miss her intellectual zeal, commitment to service, and devoted friendship.

Cathey, may you rest in peace.

Mary Narvell / Past President





  1. Ellen Shapiro on September 25, 2023 at 7:37 pm

    What a loss for us all and especially her family. Cathey was the brightest among us / in so many ways. She introduced me to KCWC 21 years ago. She’ll be greatly missed
    Ellen Shapiro

    • Claudia Marchetti on September 30, 2023 at 8:02 pm

      Dear Ellen,
      Thank you for sharing your memories of Cathey. She was the first KCWC member I met all those years ago, as I entered the basement lecture room at the Carlton Club to attend my very first Western Art Survey lecture. She made me feel very welcome. All her KCWC friends will miss her indeed.
      Web Manager

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