Remembering A Friend . . .

The following is a tribute and a reflection by Gary Cooke, the Administrator at the Cedar Hills Facility in Jacksonville, FL, on the life of Kitty Mulloney, a former Respiratory Therapist at that location who committed suicide on August 27, 2011.

Please continue to pray for her and for her family.

Kitty Mulloney was the person that helped us launch our Respiratory Therapy Program at Signature HealthCARE of Jacksonville.  I remember meeting her for the first time during an interview, she had a “quiet strength” about her, that was also engulfed in gentleness.  As I got to know her better, I found out she was a woman of many interests and had a insatiable curiosity.

If something was mentioned in a Tuesday Department Head Meeting, she would almost always go home and “google” our discussion and leave something on my desk or make a point to talk to me the next day.  As a 20 year Marine Corp Vet, Kitty certainly lived the term semper fidelis or “always faithful.”

One example of her compassion and faithfulness was when she volunteered a Saturday of her time to take our residents on a special trip to Tampa, Florida.  While she was there with the residents she happened to remember I collected Hard Rock Cafe Pins, and took time out of her busy day to get my a pin from the HRC in Tampa (photo 1).  However, Kitty, when not doing her respiratory treatments, would always be doing something to bring joy to one of our residents daily, by playing cards with them, taking them for a walk, or assisting them with BINGO.

The Scriptures speak over and over again, about being faithful in “little things” before God bestows greater responsibility.  This has caused me to reflect on how am I doing with the “little things” in my life?  How many times do I walk by a resident or stakeholder that could use a hug or a smile?

The second quality about Kitty I admired was her “gentle candidness…”

Proverbs 27:6 speaks of “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” What this means to me, that gentle reproofs from a friend if they are said in our best interest are a good thing.  Kitty would be the person to speak up and talk about things from a different angle, or say “have we considered this…”  That takes lots of courage…and again an example of her faithfulness.  She cared enough about what we were trying to do that she would speak up!

In our culture of avoiding “nay-sayers” we do need to remember the value of “faithful wounds of a friend” as well as we consider all the changes we are all experiencing.

Yes, sadly, there is a reason I have referred to Kitty in “past tense,” for some reason she decided to end her life.  As I spoke with her brother and sister, we are left with more questions than answers, as it just doesn’t make sense to any of us that knew her.

But from the grave I learn another lesson from Kitty…let’s all take the time to listen to one another and bear each others burdens (Galatians 6), we never know how God can use our light to help someone that is hurting.

Please pray for Kitty’s family who is hurting from the loss, Kitty leaves behind 4 children and siblings that are searching for answers and comfort.

The link below is to her obituary at

Gary S. Cooke, Administrator,
Signature HealthCare of Jacksonville

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