KACI Kathleen Mary Critchley died on August 16, 2018 at Bristol Hospital with her third bout of pneumonia with family and caregivers at her side singing. She was born January 29, 1961 in Hartford, Connecticut to Elizabeth (McLaughlin) and James J. Critchley. She was their ninth child.
Kaci was educated in the Bristol School system for children with special needs until the age of 18. She was born at just the right time for this public education benefit.
She then held several positions within the Bristol ARC system of services including waitressing, nursery help, candy making and other activities at the Jerome Avenue facility. Her last day job was at BARC's Lake Avenue center. She was unable to continue that for the last year.
Kaci lived at home with her parents, Bet (Elizabeth) and Jim Critchely until her late 20s when she entered Summercrest – the first group home in Bristol. In the early 70s Kaci’s parents were instrumental in founding and organizing BARC, the group then called the Bristol Association of Retarded Citizens, now Bristol Adult Resource Center, Inc serving people with all disabilities. James Crirchley served as a Board member for BARC.
Kaci was a Special Olympic athlete mainly coached by her mother, Bet Critchley. She excelled in cross country skiing and swimming earning multiple gold medals. Yes, and a few silver. Her caregivers at her group home carried the torch in Kaci’s participation after her mother’s death in 2002.
After Summercrest Kaci lived in a group home at Huntington Woods and more recently the one at 94 Boy Street in Bristol. Loved by family and her many devoted caregivers through the years, Kaci’s heart was singing.
Kaci is survived by her sisters Anne Sapio of VT, Geraldine Critchley of Washington D.C., Cecelia Oler of NY; brothers James Critchley of MA, Donald Critchley of Torrington, Mark Critchley of CT and several nieces and nephews. She is pre-deceased by her sisters Mary Critchley and Eileen Diamond.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either : BARC at https://www.bristolarc.org/make-a-donation.html or mailed to Mary Etter, Director Bristol Adult Resource Center, 195 Maltby Street PO Box 726 Bristol, CT 06011-0726 or the CT Special Olympics at https://give.specialolympics.org/page/contribute/connecticut ,by phone at 1-800-380-3071 or mailed to Beau Dougherty, President Special Olympics Connecticut
2666 State Street, Suite #1 Hamden, CT 06517-2232.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Matthew Church in Forestville, CT at noon, SAT. August 25, 2018. A reception at the church following Mass. All are welcome. Private burial at St Joseph Cemetery in Plainville.