Kathleen “Kay” Marie Sullivan Groom, 76, of Killington passed away at home on Christmas morning Dec.25, 2018
Kay was born April 24, 1942 to Eugene and Dorothy Sullivan of Chicopee, Massachusetts. She was raised in Chicopee and attended and graduated from Holy Name Girls Academy in 1959. In her teenage years, Kay discovered an innate talent for and love of the theater and subsequently attended Boston University on a full scholarship as a drama major of the Fine Arts class of ’62.
Kay flourished at BU and developed her gift as an actress. She performed principal roles in “Here Come the Clowns,” “Dr. Faustus,” Joan of Arc, and most famously “The Lark.” Kay’s “Lark” performance was unparalleled. It was written that Kate was “ a luminous presence on stage. Sensitive and humorous but with an intense sense of purpose.”
Kay, whose stage name was “ Kate Sullivan,” went on to perform many roles as a professional actress in summer stock throughout the Northeast, including the Provincetown Playhouse in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Kate performed at the Martinique Theater in New York City for the New York Repertoire Theater production of BAAL. She performed opposite James Earl Jones in “Othello” in Joe Papp’s Shakespeare in Central Park, as well as “Coriolanis” performed at the same venue. Kate Sullivan also starred in several PBS television historical documentaries, and was known for her series of commercials for Nescafe coffee throughout the 1970s.
Kay drifted away from her true passion in the 1980s and developed a prestigious 36-year career in the direct marketing industry, working with several large firms in the industry and retiring from Datamann Inc. in 2015. Fortunately for Kate and her audience she went back to performing onstage in her later years with major roles in “Steel Magnolias,” “A Memory,” “Rant and a Prayer,” “The Vagina Monologues” and “The Full Monty” all performed at the Paramount Theater in Rutland. Every performance by Kate received standing ovations.
Kay held a deep love of her Irish heritage and developed a working knowledge of Gaelic. She loved to read and made many dear friends at the Killington Library, Middlebury College Museum of Art, and the Vermont Country Store. In her retirement Kay became active in the Killington Senior Group and leaves behind many dear friends. She also became a RABID fan of Mill River Football and her attendance record at games was without blemish.
Kay is survived by her brother, Marty Sullivan, of West Springfield Massachusetts, and her sons; Samuel J. Groom II of Killington, Patrick Groom of Greeley, Colorado, and Christopher Groom of New York, New York. Kay is also survived by her three beloved grandchildren; Samuel J. Groom III, Sebastian Groom and Fiona Groom.
A memorial service celebration of life is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 at the Rutland Methodist Church at 60 Strongs Avenue, Rutland from 5-7 p.m.
A Catholic funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at the Sacred Heart Church, 387 Chestnut Street, Springfield, Massachusetts, at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kay’s honor to the Rutland Methodist Church, the Paramount Theater, Mill River Friends of Football or Killington Library.