Cover photo for Catherine Allegra's Obituary
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Catherine Allegra

d. March 11, 2024

Catherine Allegra

Catherine “Cathy” Arlene Allegra passed peacefully on March 11, 2024. She was 94.

She was born on September 19, 1929, in Quincy, MA to Mary Jane and Francis Donnellan, Sr. As a child, Cathy was artistic and won an award for her art in high school. One of her treasured possessions when she was young was a book of children’s poetry by Robert Louis Stevenson that she received from a friend on her fourth birthday. As a teenager, she lived for a time with a neighbor who she remembered fondly for her kindness. As a young woman, she worked as a bookkeeper at Pneumatic Scales in North Quincy before starting a family. She lived near a gas station and car repair shop in Weymouth where she met her husband, Charlie, when he worked on her car. They were married on Cathy’s birthday in 1959 at St. Albert’s Church in Weymouth. They had three children. Years later, Cathy and Charlie joined other parishioners who protested the proposed closing of St. Albert’s by occupying the church until the archdiocese allowed it to remain open.

Cathy excelled at and loved many things. After her children were grown, she enjoyed working at Sears in the housewares section. She was a prodigious baker, producing multiple types of Christmas cookies each year for neighbors and extended family. Her husband and children would anticipate seasonal favorites such as her popular squash rolls and pies at Thanksgiving, her blueberry buckle in the summer, and her cookies year-round. When she baked, her husband would often try and sneak into the kitchen to steal a sample on the cooling racks and would inevitably be shooed away without being able to sample a morsel. She was also an excellent seamstress, making her wedding dress and the dresses of her bridesmaids. She loved music and singing, and for a time joined the church choir. Though professing that liturgical music was her favorite, she also loved classical music and Broadway musicals, such as The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady. 

She tended a yearly vegetable garden, sharing a love of gardening with her older daughter. For years they planted zinnias and other bright flowers each spring so that the front and back yards popped with color, attracting bees and the occasional hummingbird. When riding in a car with her husband or others she would often point out trees and flowers as they were driving by; she was especially fond of azalea bushes. She also had a love of reading, and in the evenings, she would be found sitting by a lamp in the corner of the living room with The Patriot Ledger and one of the family cats snoozing next to her. She instilled that love of reading in her youngest daughter, taking her on weekly trips as a child to Tufts Library. She was mindful of eating healthy (save for the baked goods), ensuring that her husband and children ate a low fat, low sodium, high fiber diet. Her granddaughters, who affectionately nicknamed her “Naner,” would tease her that they always had to eat their vegetables. She cared about conservation, eschewing a clothes dryer for a clothesline. She was proud that when the electricity bill arrived, it would regularly show that her home was number one in the neighborhood for energy conservation. She was an avid walker, enjoying spending time in nearby Great Esker Park or Webb Memorial State Park. Anyone who walked with her expected a very brisk pace.

Later in life, she and her husband Charlie liked to visit Plymouth to walk near the water, have a fish lunch (she always insisted on the haddock or cod) followed by an ice cream at Peaceful Meadows, often frozen pudding or grapenut. They would also drive to Hull Gut and sometimes feed breadcrumbs to the seagulls. During the last decade of her life, she continued her love of walking, still outpacing her children and grandchildren into her nineties. She enjoyed reading biographies gifted by her son, who would often eat Tuesday night dinners with her. She was always happy that she could ensure he was eating well. Family, friends, and neighbors will remember her as a kind person who was curious about the world, always inquiring about how people were doing, and ready to share encouraging and caring words.

She is predeceased by her husband, Charles Allegra; and three brothers, Francis, Jr., Edward, and Lloyd Donnellan. She is survived by daughter Sharon Allegra and her husband Michael Ellis; son Mark Allegra; daughter Ann Allegra and her husband Dusty Horwitt; a sister, Joanne Mattei; and three grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. 

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to greet the family during the visiting hours on Sunday from 2-5 PM in the McDonald Keohane Funeral Home EAST WEYMOUTH at 3 Charles Street (corner of Charles & Middle Street). Burial will be private at Fairmount Cemetery in Weymouth. See for directions and online condolences. Memorial donations can be made to the Weymouth Food Pantry or Doctors Without Borders.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Catherine Allegra, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visiting Hours

Sunday, March 17, 2024

2:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

McDonald KeohaneFuneral Home - East

3 Charles Street, Weymouth, MA 02189

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