Kitty Kneessi celebrates 100th birthday

Kitty Kneessi’s 100th birthday on July 9 was celebrated early at the Woman’s Club of St. Michaels’ June luncheon.

ST. MICHAELS — Kitty Kneessi will celebrate a special birthday on July 9 — her 100th.

As a longtime member of the Woman’s Club of St. Michaels, Kneessi was feted at the club’s annual luncheon recently at the Miles River Yacht Club.

Catherine Rose de Thierry was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Nicknamed Kitty, her dream was to be a dancer, and after high school, she was invited to join the dance line for the Fox Theater, at that time the premier entertainment venue in downtown Washington.

When the dance troupe moved to New York, she decided not to go and continued dancing with a partner.

In 1941, she married Robert Kneessi and gave up professional dancing for a more traditional career of wife and mother. A few years later, she went to work as a keypunch operator for the Census Bureau, which led to a job as head of the data processing department for foreign funds at the Treasury Department.

She left that job to raise two sons, but when the boys were launched, she went to work at the computer department in the library at the University of Maryland, where she later became department head.

After she and her husband retired, they moved to Florida for the winters and Fenwick Island, Del., during the summer. In the late 1980s, she and Bob moved to St. Michaels, where she joined the Woman’s Club of St. Michaels. An avid bridge player and gardener, Kneessi, now widowed, enjoys continuing friendships with club members at weekly bridge games.

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