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Katie Nack Memorial Service

Remarks of Mayor Bill Bogaard
March 29, 2008


A large crowd gathered at All Saints Church on March 29 to celebrate the life and accomplishments of former Pasadena Mayor Katie Nack. A pioneer who gave Pasadena a great name for compassion and caring, she was memorialized by Marge Wyatt, Mayor Bogaard and members of her family. The Mayor’s remarks follow.

Normally, when I step to a podium, my first words are “I’m delighted to be here”, and I mean it. But I’m not happy to be here today. I, like all of you, want Katie Nack to continue to be a part of Pasadena.

I talked with Claire and with our daughter Michele (who has been friends with Barbara for almost all of their lives) and they want Katie to be a part of this community.

I talked with two close friends of Katie’s – Betty Ho and Judy Kent – and they too want Katie to continue to be a part of Pasadena.

But of course, Claire and I would not be any other place at this moment in time; and I am truly honored to have this opportunity to offer some thoughts about the great person we celebrate today.

I think of Katie as pioneer who became powerful and successful, but who was most of all a patient and loving person. There was never a time when I saw her lose her poise.

Katie was a pioneer. She was a math major called to study aeronautical engineering during World War II and, as Marge Wyatt noted, she was only the fifth female architect to be licensed in California.

Under the constraints imposed by the war, she traveled by Harley-Davidson and throughout her life, she proceeded to take on challenges for the first time when her set of values prompted her to fix things and to make the world a better place.

Katie was powerful and successful in Pasadena. She was regularly called to positions of leadership and she fulfilled those responsibilities, and all of her responsibilities, with an effectiveness that was truly impressive.

But above all, Katie was a patient and loving person. She certainly never got impressed with herself. When she was displaced from the aircraft factory after the war, she took a job as a tracer in an architectural firm. Her comment a few years ago was, “A tracer doesn’t design, doesn’t do anything, you make the drawings look pretty.”

She and Don had three children but really raised six, including Don’s children from a prior marriage. For Katie, her responsibilities as a parent were primary.

But she brought the same patient and loving concern to all of her work in the community. Katie will always be known for her commitment to children, to seniors, and to persons with disabilities. In her quiet way, – on the Planning Commission, on the Board of Education, the City Council, and many community organizations—those were her priorities.

Taking it all together, Katie Nack gave Pasadena a great name for compassion and caring—for never forgetting persons in need—and her actions were always directed to meeting those needs not only for persons in her own family and her own circle, but for the entire community as well.

There is a lot of history today in the sanctuary of All Saints. I see so many persons who have worked hard, many for several decades, to make Pasadena a better place. We’re all saddened and we want Katie Nack to be a part of this community.

Katie Nack – a pioneer, who over her lifetime was powerful and successful, but who above all was a patient and loving person. Let us all agree that we will make her a part of Pasadena for all the rest of its history by remembering her priorities – helping persons who have special needs – and by rededicating ourselves to meeting these needs in every way we can.

Long live Katie Nack! 

Posted: 3/29/2008 09:00:00 AM