Mother, teacher, Schenectady Patroon Kay Canty dies; Son Michael Canty killed 9/11 at WTC

Kay Canty talks about 9/11 and her son, Michael Canty, in August 2021.
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Kay Canty talks about 9/11 and her son, Michael Canty, in August 2021.

SCHENECTADY — Mother, retired Schenectady teacher and Schenectady Patroon Kay Canty passed away this week, according to her obituary.

Canty was 84.

A mother of nine children, Kay Canty worked as a teacher in the Schenectady City School District, but she and her husband Ed Canty also turned their focus on community service after her son Michael Canty was killed in the World Trade Center in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

After Michael Canty’s death, the couple started the annual Michael Canty Family Fun Run in 2003 to benefit graduates of Schenectady High School and honor their fallen son. The race ran for a decade.

Kay and Ed Canty’s work then earned them both Schenectady’s highest honor in 2011, named Schenectady Patroons by Mayor Gary McCarthy ahead of the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Ed Canty passed in March 2021 at the age of 88.

“There are no two individuals that I can think of that deserve this award more,” the mayor said upon bestowing the honor ahead of the 2011 run. “They have taken just such a tragic situation and built it into this great event that has such a positive impact on this community.”

Michael Canty, 30, worked on the 92nd floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center, the building struck first by hijacked American Airlines Flight 11.

The memorial race ran for a decade, evolving into a golf tournament that ran for another three years.

Michael was the seventh of her and Ed’s nine children. Kay and Ed Canty were married for 60 years.

Kay Canty was remembered in her obituary as someone who was “curious and inquisitive and could strike up a conversation with anyone. She appreciated kind acts, genuine people, and a good sense of humor,” her obituary read.

In September 2021, as the 20th anniversary of her son’s death and the attacks approached, Kay Canty indicated she had found times of peace — and spiritual reflection — in the two decades that had passed.

“It is still with you every day,” Kay Canty said then. “It gets less hurtful and more positive … You never get over it.”

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michael Canty Memorial Fund, 20 Church Ave., Ballston Spa, NY, 12020.

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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