'Pioneer for women' Magill dead at 69

'Pioneer for women' Magill dead at 69

PAWTUCKET – Kathleen Magill, a Pawtucket resident who previously served as the city's first councilwoman, died on Wednesday, April 2, after a brief and unexpected illness.

Born and raised in Providence and a graduate of St. Xavier Academy, she was "a pioneer for women in Rhode Island politics during the 1980s," according to her obituary. She dedicated most of her professional life to serving, especially in Pawtucket. She made history in 1979 when she was elected Pawtucket's first female member of the City Council, serving for eight years. She was the first and only woman to campaign for the office of mayor in the city of Pawtucket and, according to her family, "will always be remembered for her integrity, loyalty and tenacity in a challenging political climate."

Magill, who would have turned 70 on April 27, was a member of the Pawtucket Second Ward Committee from 1979 until she died. She was a founding member of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, serving the committee in many roles for 29 years. From 1988 through 2007, she worked for the state. She worked in the Department of Attorney General and later in the Joint Committee on Legislative Services, where she retired. She was an active member of the Pawtucket Purchasing Board and previously served on the city’s Planning and Redevelopment Agency.

Magill's funeral was Saturday, April 5, from the Manning Heffern Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian burial was held at St. Teresa Church on Newport Avenue.