Deirdre A. McQuade passed away on Thursday, 21 April 2022 of metastatic breast cancer. Her 53 years were marked by a life overflowing with friendship, her Catholic faith, and creative inquiry in many forms.
Deirdre grew up in Morris County, New Jersey, and was a “lifer” at the Morristown-Beard School. She excelled in academics (with the exception of Greek) and went on to earn her AB in Philosophy at Bryn Mawr College in 1990, a MA in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, as well as a Master of Divinity from Notre Dame. Deirdre, already petite, shrunk a bit while at UND—the “leprechaun effect” from staying too long.
Her robust career advocating for women, the unborn, and vulnerable lives took form in many ways. To name only a few areas--Deirdre assisted women in crisis pregnancies, spoke to high school students about chastity, and eventually went on to work as the spokesperson for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Pro-Life Office. Deirdre was, in every way, pro-life. After leaving the USCCB she developed herself further by using a camera to capture thought and emotion in her photography work.
Dee, as she was called by family, jumped into the deep end of the pool of music, dance, Irish culture and hospitality. You could find her at one of the Washington, DC Irish pubs, playing her bodhran (drum) and eyeing the lads. She hosted lively gatherings at her homes over the years, all of which surely broke fire codes for Catholics-per-square-foot in her modest digs.
Survivors include her parents, Patrick and Genevieve McQuade, a sister, Pam (Don) Shannon and nieces, Isabelle and Kensington McLoone. It would be remiss not to mention her 99-year-old dog Matty and her many friends who could easily populate a town.
The family will receive visitors at Gasch’s Funeral Home in Hyattsville, Maryland on Sunday and Monday, May 1st and 2nd from 2 - 4 and 6 - 8 PM. Deirdre’s Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd at 11 AM at St Jerome’s Catholic Church in Hyattsville, MD.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to The Sisters of Life. sistersoflife.org/donate
Deirdre’s favorite color was yellow, the color of great hope. A smile, hug, or listening ear can also convey hope. Consider gifting these to a person in need as well.