Cover photo for Kathleen "Kaiki" Tolan's Obituary
Kathleen "Kaiki" Tolan Profile Photo
1963 Kathleen 2016

Kathleen "Kaiki" Tolan

May 3, 1963 — December 4, 2016

Kathleen Mary Tolan, "Kaiki', of the Bronx, NY passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of December 4, 2016. She was 53 years old. Beloved daughter of Patricia and James Tolan of Pelham Manor and Quogue, NY, Kathleen was born on May 3, 1963 in the Bronx, NY and raised in a large loving household in Pelham Manor, NY. Kathleen was a 1981 graduate of the Ursuline School, New Rochelle, NY, and a 1985 graduate of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She received her Master's Degree in Education from Teacher's College, Columbia University, NY.
Kathleen was an unrivaled champion of children. She dedicated her life to education. A passionate believer in the right of all children to have access to the power of literacy, she was a tireless advocate for those she taught. To those who knew her she was a brilliant, powerful, and generous teacher.
As Senior Deputy Director of the Reading and Writing Project at Teachers College, Columbia University, Kathleen created curriculum methods to help children read, think deeply, and write to allow their voices to be heard in the world.
Kathleen was a mentor and inspiration to teachers, students, friends and family in her 30 years as an educator. The world and thousands of children have lost an educational giant.
Kathleen gave her life to everybody; she was a champion of the underdog, and a defender of the defenseless.
During her distinguished career, Kathleen co-authored numerous books on the art of teaching, reading, and writing.

Kathleen is survived by her beloved parents Patricia and James Tolan; Sisters: Margaret and Patricia (John) Cunningham; brothers: James (Laird) and Matthew (Melanie).
She will be lovingly remembered by her treasured nieces and nephews: Kristin, James, Keary, Courtney, Kevin, Katie, Jenny, Tommy, Hannah, Julia, Celia, Jamie, Morgan, Owen, Brady, Christopher and Annie.
A celebration of Kathleen's life will take place at Pelham Funeral Home, 64 Lincoln Ave, Pelham, NY on Thursday, December 8th from 3:00 to 8:00 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, December 9th at 10:00 AM at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 559 Pelham Manor Road, Pelham Manor, NY.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to The Kathleen Tolan Memorial Fund at Teachers College, Columbia University.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathleen "Kaiki" Tolan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 8, 2016

3:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Friday, December 9, 2016

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church

599 Pelham Manor Rd, Pelham Manor, NY 10803

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