Cover photo for Catherine Mary Tully's Obituary
Catherine Mary Tully Profile Photo
1955 Catherine 2020

Catherine Mary Tully

February 10, 1955 — March 31, 2020

Tully, Catherine

Castleton-on-Hudson,NY- Catherine Mary Monica Tully, 65, died Tuesday morning after a six-year fight against ovarian cancer.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Cate came to America with her parents, Francis and Pauline Tully, when she was six years old and they began their immigrant story in a tenement in Jamaica, Queens. After moving to Queens Village, Cate graduated from the former Dominican Commercial High School, an all-girls Catholic high school. Like other smart and ambitious young women, she continued her education far beyond the secretarial classes at Dominican, graduating cum laude from Queens College in 1978 and later achieving her law degree from St. John’s Law School in 1985. Cate was awarded the American Jurisprudence Award (Estate Administration) and was class Vice President.
Her involvement in local politics led to her appointment as Counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the New York State Assembly in 1985 and soon after she began working as a legislative representative for New York City Mayor Ed Koch on legislation affecting the judiciary, criminal laws, banking, corporations and commerce. She left that position in 1988 after she married and moved to Castleton-on-Hudson. For the next 11 years, Cate was Counsel to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, responsible for constitutional analysis of all bills and amendments comprising the New York State Budget. Many late nights spent negotiating the budget became more challenging after the birth of her two children.
Between 1999 and 2002, Cate thoroughly enjoyed working for then-Assembly Counsel William Collins along with her colleagues in the Majority Counsel’s Office where she served as Home Rule Counsel to the Assembly and was a Senior Associate Counsel on a variety of budgetary and legislative initiatives. Cate left the Legislature in 2003 to work as Senior Counsel for the Dormitory Authority and, following a brief retirement, Cate went to work for the Business Council of New York State.
As a Director of Government Affairs, Cate represented financial services, banks and insurance companies in New York State. Shortly after starting work in 2014, Cate was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and immediately the staff of the Business Council – its President and CEO Heather Briccetti, Vice President Ken Pokalsky and Cate’s colleagues Darren Suarez and Lev Ginsburg – rallied around her, sustaining Cate through the first of many chemotherapies.
Cate was a parishioner, member of the choir and a Eucharistic Minister at Sacred Heart Catholic Church where she served on several committees and coordinated the Giving Tree to benefit families in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood of Schenectady. Her other charitable activities included her membership in 100 Women Who Care and volunteering at St. Margaret’s Center in Guilderland, along with support for The Anchor in Castleton-on-Hudson and other charities in the Albany area.
As she did as a child, Cate participated in Irish step dancing competitions with the Farrell School of Irish Dance. Cate was also a runner for decades, joining the running group at Fleet Feet and eventually becoming a coach and mentor for new runners. During her fight with cancer, Cate was a regular participant in the weight lifting programs at TrainHD and the YMCA.
Cate enjoyed visiting her family in Ireland and England (she was the oldest of 33 cousins) along with many trips across the United States with family and friends. Each year those trips included Gloucester, Ma. where she loved Good Harbor Beach.
She was present at every sporting and school event and music performance even with her busy work schedule. You could always look into the audience and find her smiling and cheering for her kids.
Cate is survived by her husband, Jon Sorensen, her son, Dylan, daughter Siobhán, Dylan’s wife, Carrie, Catherine’s brother, Francis, her godmother, Rosaleen Tighe, her Aunt Anna, Uncle John and the rest of the O’Hare family, along with many other aunts, uncles and cousins around the world.
Because we cannot be together to grieve at this time, the family is planning a celebration of life in Catherine’s honor in the future. Those wishing to remember Catherine in a special way may make a contribution to Women’s Cancer Care Associates of St. Peter’s Hospital or the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Cate’s family would like to express our gratitude for the expert care provided by Dr. Patrick Timmins III at WCCA and Dr. Khanh Do at Dana Farber along with their staffs and kind nurses.

Ray Funeral Service, Inc.
59 Seaman Ave.
Castleton, NY 12033

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