Mary Catharine Mulvihill, 94, passed away on Saturday, June 8, 2019. She had been residing at Maris Grove Retirement Community in Glen Mills, Pa., since 2008. Prior to Maris Grove, Mary Catharine and her husband, John J. Mulvihill, had lived, flourished and raised their family together for 53 years in Swarthmore, Pa.
Mary Catharine Berger was the daughter of the late Clyde Dolson Berger and Mary C. Kohler Berger, formerly of Gettysburg. Mary Catharine was born on Nov. 15, 1924, in Baltimore, Md.
The Berger family included Mary Catharine, her parents, and her three brothers, John E. (Jack), Joseph and Jesse Berger. In 1938, Mary Catharine and her brothers were members of the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps, which performed at the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the lighting of the Peace Light Memorial. The Berger family resided in Gettysburg at 339 Carlisle Street until 1951.
Mary Catharine Berger was a 1942 graduate of Gettysburg High School. She attended Gettysburg College as a freshman and then transferred to Penn State University, where she graduated in October of 1945 with a bachelor of science degree in medical technology.
Mary Catharine returned to Gettysburg in 1947 as a registered medical technician to continue her career and profession. She served as head technician in the Clinical Hospital Labs of Annie M. Warner, Chambersburg and Hanover Hospitals until 1952.
After moving to Philadelphia in 1952, Mary Catharine received her masters degree in microbiology from the University of Pennsylvania in June of 1954. She participated as a research assistant in the pioneering stages of cancer research. She continued to be involved, informed and knowledgeable in the sciences, and specifically microbiology, during her entire life. She returned to work at Delmont Labs in Swarthmore from 1984 to 1994.
Mary Catharine Berger and Bertram L. Larkin (of Gettysburg and Gettysburg College ‘51) were married in December of 1947 after his return from World War II and service in the Navy. In August of 1952, Bert died suddenly after contracting Bulbar Polio.
In May of 1955, Mary Catharine Larkin and John J. Mulvihill (of Philadelphia and Gettysburg College ‘51) were married. Their long and devoted life together continued until John’s passing in 2009.
During her lifetime in Swarthmore, Mary Catharine Mulvihill was actively dedicated to the life of the community. She devoted her time, skills and enthusiasm to support family, friends and educational opportunities for all – both in academics and in sports.
Mary Catharine’s father, who had trained under Capt. Dwight D. Eisenhower as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Tank Corps at Camp Colt in Gettysburg (1917-1918), was also a part of the WWI Expeditionary Forces in France from 1918-1919. He had participated as a high-diver in the Inter-Allied Games in France in 1919. Inspired by his talents and legacy, Mary Catharine was a life-long enthusiast of swimming and gave much time and energy to coaching, teaching and officiating young swimmers and divers. She was a PIAA official for swimming, diving and track and field events for southeast PA secondary schools and colleges as well as the annual PA State Championships at Shippensburg University. She was also a member of the Philadelphia Board of Women’s Sports.
Mary Catharine Mulvihill held up for her family a lifetime of respect for learning both through continuing education and thoughtful observation. She encouraged all in her family to contribute their talents to enhance the world around them wherever possible.
Mary Catharine Mulvihill was preceded in death by her half-brother, Clyde Cochran Berger (Wichita, Kan.); her three brothers, John E., Joseph and Jesse Berger; and her sister, Emma Jane Berger, who died in infancy.
She is survived by her four children, Marianne Larkin (James Simpson) of Gettysburg and Seattle, Dr. Beth Mulvihill of Grants, N.M., Nancy Mulvihill (Clyde Boardwine) of Grants, N.M., and John C.B. Mulvihill (Sara) of Somers, Conn.; nine grandchildren, Taron and Alana Crouthamel, Brian and Meaghan Novi, Catharine Embrey, and Patrick, Kelsey, Hannah and Connor Mulvihill; and one great-grandchild, Alexis Crouthamel.
The family is deeply thankful to all the caring staff of Maris Grove, Rose Court and Willow Tree Hospice for their warmth, kindness and compassionate attention given to Mary Catharine.
Online remembrances can be shared at the Founds Funeral Home website, foundsfuneralhome.com.
Contributions in memory of Mary Catharine Mulvihill may be made to The Maris Grove Office of Philanthropy, 200 Maris Grove Way, Glen Mills, PA 19342.
Personal notes to the family by mail may be sent to: The Mulvihill Family, c/o Marianne Larkin, P.O. Box 3023, Gettysburg, PA 17325.
The service honoring Mary Catharine’s life will be held on Friday, June 14, 2019, at 10 a.m. at Maris Grove Retirement Community Chapel at Maris Grove, Glen Mills, Pa. Interment will be private.