Lillian McNamara, who served as secretary to U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin, died Saturday in Mercy Hospital after a long illness. She was 94.
A longtime musician and piano player, she was also a great devotee of the Kennedys, collecting hundreds of books and articles on the famous political family.
A 1931 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy, she later studied court stenography at a business school. She worked for Catholic Charities and for the Federal Labor Board before taking a secretarial job at the U.S. attorney's office in 1935.
From 1967 until her retirement in 1980, she worked in federal court as the secretary to Curtin. During her tenure with the judge, she worked on many major cases -- including the Attica prison uprising and the Buffalo schools desegregation case.
During that time, she also had the opportunity to meet and speak in depth with one of her heroes -- the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
Mrs. McNamara was a busy volunteer at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, where, over the decades, she served as a Cub Scout den mother and as a member of the Lawn Fete Committee, Mothers Club, Altar and Rosary Society and other church committees.
Her favorite movie was "The Sound of Music," which she viewed dozens of times at movie theaters and on video and DVD.
Her husband of 52 years, John "Jack" McNamara, died in 1998.
She is survived by three sons, John III, Daniel and Francis.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in St. Martin of Tours Church, 1140 Abbott Road.