Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sad News

Sorry to announce this way, but this is to pass the news as quickly as we can without too many phone calls. Kath sadly died on the morning of Thursday 5th May, in Accident and Emergency at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. She was very breathless in the night and we called an ambulance. The initial diagnosis was that she had a chest infection, which they thought would be fine to treat with intravenous antibiotics, but she went downhill very quickly and passed away at about 10:45am. Pete and I were both with her at the time. It was very quick and she did not have unnecessary prolonged suffering or pain. There will be a post mortem which the GP thinks will show that the cancer had spread and that was what the main cause of death rather than a chest infection.

I will post details of funeral once we have made arrangements. You can imagine we are naturally pretty shocked, since she had been reasonably well, although not as well as people might have thought from her upbeat blog. We cannot make any firm arrangements until after the result of the post mortem which will likely be late next week.

It seems fitting that Kath should pass away on election day and having cast her vote already by postal ballot. She would have been very pleased with the results in Manchester. Thanks to Cllr Hughes for his tribute to Kath - Newly-elected Gorton North Labour Councillor John Hughes added: “I am dedicating this victory to former Labour councillor Kath Fry who died of cancer yesterday.” (see here - last paragraph) and Councillor Peter Cookson for the same (according to Twitter).

Being Kath's children we'll be up front and ask you not to send any flowers or other gifts of condolence (well cakes are OK) but we plan to ask for donations instead to go to Friends of Ghyll Head, which was a cause very close to her heart. I have enabled comments for people with Gmail accounts on the blog, so we are happy if you wish to leave messages here.


  1. My darling Karen, I am so sorry to hear this news, I have read your mum's blog regularly and always thought what a remarkable women she is and I see where you get your inner strength from.
    I send my love to you and your brother during this difficult time.Nats

  2. So sorry to hear that Kath has passed away. She was a grand colleague and cared a lot about her students, often going to a great deal of trouble to keep them on track.

    It's such a shame she had to go so soon but I'm really glad she got to cast her vote before she left.

    Joan Bailey

  3. Susan Press Calder valley CLPMay 9, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    I had no idea Kath was ill. I saw her a year ago at the count (which I cover every year for the Press Association) and was wandering around last Thursday looking for her - I had just passed the Whalley Range count when I saw Coun Neil Swanwick who informed me Kath had died that very day.It was a dreadful shock.
    I first knew Kath back in the 1980s when I was on the City labour Party briefly, then as a journalist covering MCC for the Metro and MEN.
    In recent years, I worked with kath politically in save The Labour Party and other organisations on the left.
    Cancer is a cruel disease - and Kath was such a fighter. Thoughts to you, Kath's family, and hope to make it to the funeral. Kath would have been delighted at Thursday's result. Susan Press

  4. Hi Karen, so sorry to hear of Kath's passing. She was my local councillor for many years when I grew up in Whalley Range, she and Tony Lloyd were friends to my family back in the early 90's and inspired me to get involved in community campaigning and politics. Here's a photo I've uploaded of all the Whalley Range councillors together with Tony along with my Brother in 1996 after our long campaign to 'save manley park'. Love and thoughts to you at this difficult time, Kath will live on in so many ways - especially in the hearts of the families she stood up for.

    Warmest Wishes, David Henry

  5. Bodies and health are all fragile in the end. It is Kath's spirit and positive outlook that lives on in the many people she touched. Missed for so many reasons. Love to Karen and Pete xx
    Tamany and the Bakers (children of her cousin Peter)

  6. On behalf of Manchester Trades Council, I'd like to add how saddened we are at the news of losing Kath. It seems only last week we were working together with Kath, one of comprehensive education's finest advocates, in the local Anti Academies Alliance. Kath's commitment, sharp intelligence and humour sustained us then as our memories of her will sustain us in future.

  7. Kath was a really great friend and comrade, who believed in me and encouraged me to get more involved in the Labour Party. I will always be grateful for the confidence she had in me.
    I knew Kath was ill, but like others I couldn't believe that she wouldn't pull through since she never gave up the fight.
    I will try my best to make the funeral.
    Jenny Lennox.