Pa­tri­cia Cahill

Fig­ure skater who made her de­but at old Sports Cen­tre and com­peted in pairs went on to judge pro­fes­sional events

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Jac­ques Kelly jac­ques.kelly@balt­sun.com

Pa­tri­cia McVey Cahill, who judged pro­fes­sional fig­ure skat­ing events af­ter com­plet­ing her own ca­reer on the ice, died of can­cer Fri­day at Stella Maris Hospice. The Ti­mo­nium res­i­dent was 89. Born Pa­tri­cia McVey in Pitts­burgh, she was the daugh­ter of Wil­liam McVey, an ar­chi­tect who had been a mem­ber of the Univer­sity of Notre Dame ice hockey team, and Gertrude Meyer, a department store buyer.

The fam­ily moved to Bal­ti­more, and in 1945 she grad­u­ated from Tow­son Catholic High School.

She at­tended the old Mount St. Agnes Col­lege in Mount Wash­ing­ton, earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree at what is now Notre Dame of Maryland Univer­sity and took ad­di­tional cour­ses at the Re­nais­sance In­sti­tute.

Mrs. Cahill be­gan skat­ing as a child and joined the Bal­ti­more Fig­ure Skat­ing Club when she was a high school se­nior. She made her de­but at the old Sports Cen­tre on North Av­enue. A 1945 ar­ti­cle in The Bal­ti­more Sun noted at the time, “Miss Pat McVey proved a valu­able new mem­ber of the club with her first solo on the ice.”

She skated with fel­low Bal­ti­more res­i­dents Carl Lovett Jr. and John Raines and com­peted in pairs skat­ing at the Ice­land at Car­lin’s Park in Bal­ti­more, the Eastern Sec­tional Fig­ure Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships at the Skat­ing Club of Bos­ton and at the Ice Casino in Rye, N.Y., among other venues.

She met her fu­ture hus­band, Wil­liam Walsh Cahill Jr., while a high school stu­dent.

Mrs. Cahill be­came a U.S. Fig­ure Skat­ing As­so­ci­a­tion judge in 1950. Ac­cord­ing to the records of that or­ga­ni­za­tion, she was named a gold fig­ure test judge, gold sin­gles-pairs judge and a re­gional sin­gles-pairs com­pe­ti­tion judge.

“Pat Cahill was a beloved fig­ure in Bal­ti­more and also in the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional skat­ing community. She judged for years and years in our pro­fes­sion,” said Nathan Birch, a skat­ing chore­og­ra­pher.

“She was re­spected among her fel­low judges and she was part of the old guard of judges. Yet when the fig­ure skat­ing sys­tem changed, she sur­vived as a judge through its many sys­temic trends,” said Mr. Birch. “It was not an easy tran­si­tion, and she was fully able to change with the times.”

He said Mrs. Cahill had a wicked sense of hu­mor and a healthy laugh. “She was a so­cial per­son who loved life and loved her fam­ily and friends. She had a large per­son­al­ity. You knew she was there when you were in a room with her,” he said.

“She was an in­te­gral part of bring­ing the U.S. Fig­ure Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships to Bal­ti­more in 1989,” said Mr. Birch, not­ing the com­pe­ti­tion that was held at the old Civic Cen­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Fig­ure Skat­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion, Mrs. Cahill judged 1,680 events be­tween 1998 and 2011.

In 2015, the Fig­ure Skat­ing As­so­ci­a­tion hon­ored her for 60 years of dis­tin­guished ser­vice to the sport.

Mrs. Cahill had three daugh­ters and put them on skates al­most as soon as they could walk.

“She was the ul­ti­mate skat­ing mother,” said one daugh­ter, Kath­leen Cahill, an at­tor­ney who re­sides in Lutherville. “She shut­tled us be­tween rinks start­ing at 5 a.m. She de­signed and sewed our com­pe­ti­tion or show skat­ing dresses. She com­posed and spliced our per­for­mance mu­sic.

“She was al­ways find­ing the best coach for us,” her daugh­ter said. “She found us coaches in Lake Placid, Wilm­ing­ton, Philadel­phia, Toronto and the French Alps. My mother was a can-do lady.”

Af­ter her daugh­ters’ com­pet­i­tive ca­reers were over, Mrs. Cahill then be­came the skat­ing mother to a grand­daugh­ter, Cara McVey Mor­ris­sey, and drove her to skat­ing events and prac­tices as well.

Mrs. Cahill was an ac­com­plished bridge com­peti­tor. She en­joyed solv­ing New York Times crossword puz­zles and read­ing po­lice pro­ce­dural nov­els. She was also a fan of “Down­ton Abbey” and was a pet fancier.

She was a close friend and neigh­bor of the late Rep. He­len Delich Bent­ley. The two women walked their dogs to­gether.

“The friend­ship grew and en­dured un­til He­len’s re­cent death,” said her daugh­ter.

Mrs. Cahill was a mem­ber of the Ro­man Catholic Church of the Na­tiv­ity in Lutherville. She also at­tended ser­vices at the Carmelite Monastery.

A me­mo­rial has been es­tab­lished in her name at the Scott Hamil­ton Cares Foun­da­tion.

A funeral Mass will be of­fered at 10:30 a.m. Tues­day at the Stella Maris Chapel, 2300 Pot Spring Road in Ti­mo­nium.

In ad­di­tion to her daugh­ter and grand­daugh­ter, sur­vivors in­clude two other daugh­ters, Pa­tri­cia Denise Cahill and Tracey Po­letis, both of Tow­son and both fig­ure skat­ing pro­fes­sion­als; and three other grand­chil­dren. Her hus­band of 57 years, an at­tor­ney, died in 2007. Pa­tri­cia Cahill helped bring the U.S. Fig­ure Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships to Bal­ti­more in 1989.

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