Wealthy couple who ‘lived their faith’ leaves $30 million to Catholic institutions

Kay and Robert McDevitt
Kay and Robert McDevitt


A wealthy couple who spent their lives in service to the Catholic community has left $30 million to Catholic institutions in Broome County, New York.

Robert and Catherine “Kay” McDevitt, who had no children, owned a funeral home in Binghamton, New York but made most of their wealth through IBM stocks.

The beneficiaries of their bequest include Seton Catholic Central High School, St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Binghamton, St. Patrick's Church in Binghamton and St. James Church in Johnson City.

A home for retired priests will also receive support from their gift, as will seminarians.

Kathleen Dwyer, principal of Seton Catholic, described the McDevitts to News Channel 10, saying "They certainly were not people who were showy, or I guess the common word would be flaunted, that kind of affluence. Which I think endeared them to people.”

Father John Donovan, Pastor of St. James Church, also expressed gratitude for the donation.

A statement from the Diocese of Syracuse called the McDevitts “quiet, yet prominent leaders” in their community and their Church. Robert served on boards of directors for organizations such as Broome County Catholic Charities and Lourdes Hospital Foundation, Inc.

Robert was installed with the Papal Honor as Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. Both he and his wife Kay were installed with the Papal Honors as a Knight and Lady of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

“Bob and Kay were deeply committed to their Catholic faith, each and every day,” said Bishop of Syracuse James M. Moynihan. “They lived simply and never wavered from their personal devotion to God. Through their generosity, the Diocese of Syracuse will share their lifelong dedication to the Faith.”

“They loved their Church, they lived their faith and have now left a lasting legacy to remember and emulate,” continued Bishop Moynihan. “The Diocese of Syracuse is forever grateful for their stewardship.”

Under the donors’ conditions, only the income from their gift will be used.

Robert McDevitt died last September while Catherine McDevitt died in April.

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