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Margaret H. Katz

November 23, 1948 October 25, 2012
Margaret H. Katz
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Obituary for Margaret H. Katz

Katz, Margaret H., was born to John F. and Lucille (Morsch) Higgins on November 23, 1948 in Cortland, New York. As her father was Irish and her mother German, it might be said that Margaret’s passion for life and a bit of temper came from her father and her mother contributed to her work ethic and just a touch of stubbornness. Margaret grew up in Wayland, New York, just across the road from the dairy farm owned and operated by her grandparents and uncle. This area is in the Finger Lakes area region of upstate New York which she loved all of her life. Her love and caring for and about animals began in this time and place as well. Margaret attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School through 8th grade, changing to Wayland High School and graduating in 1966. She attended college at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, receiving her B. A. in French and graduating in 1970. She was fluent in French and German and chose to attend Graduate School at Tulane University in New Orleans. There, in 1970, she met a fellow from New York City, Stephen J. Katz, who was also inthe graduate French program, and fell in love. Before their marriage on August 9, 1971, while Steve was earning money in New York City so they might start their life together, Margaret’s independent spirit took her to France for a summer tour with only $200 in her pocket. The very first night on French soil in the region of Calais, Margaret was picked up by the gendarmes as she was hitchhiking in northern and placed in a paddy wagon. After determining she was just an American student, they delivered her to a convent for the evening. She made her way to Paris where she met two other Americans who knew no French and the rest of the tour was spent in relative safety of a trio with Margaret as translator and interpreter. She managed to frugally stretch her $200 with the occasional treat of a patisserie, but vowing on her return never to touch another drop of yogurt. After their marriage, Margaret and Steve, first were teaching assistants at Tulane and after her graduation in 1973, taught at Louisiana State University at Eunice where Margaret taught German while Steve taught French. After teaching, Margaret secured a position at the Historic New Orleans Collections, where she began her training in conservation and preservation of materials. Her next position was with the Special Collections Department of Tulane University Library. During these early years of marriage, Margaret remembered a book she’d read as a child about an Airedale dog. So their first Airedale, Bruce, became a part of their family. Vacations were spent in the Tetons in Wyoming and soon the lure of the West began to call. They began to look for jobs and Margaret received the first job offer in the Denver area with Stearns-Roger Inc., working as a Wang processor. They moved to Denver in 1980 and soon Margaret began working for Amax, a large mining firm, on a special cooperative pilot project concerning nickel exploration and development in New Caledonia in coordination with a french company. Margaret served as liaison between Amax and its french counterpart, COFFREMI. But she was now missing the library work she had formerly really enjoyed. In 1992, Margaret accepted work as conservator and preservationist at the Arthur Lakes Library, Colorado School of Mines, in Golden, Colorado. Margaret was an artist in her work. She was extremely organized, paid great attention to detail, and made the old, tattered, and torn documents, maps, and books nearly new again. She was a well-known conservator in the state and worked on unique items such as fabric, photographs, and metal items. She truly loved her work. Margaret was passionate about life. Her face lit up when talking to people about interests or experiences they shared. Sometimes a little Irish temper would make itself known but all was soon fine again. She was a large personality in a very small package. In 1995, Margaret and Steve began vacationing in France, returning each year to explore new areas and visit friends they had made, particularly in southern France. Margaret was developing a deep interest in an American Military Cemetery in Draguignan and the governing board was thrilled with her participation. Steve and Margaret made great friends with some folks in this her favorite area, the Var and in her favorite town Les Arcs-sur-Argens. Margaret was talented, not only in her life’s work but also in her interests and hobbies. Plants inside and outside thrived with her attention. She did needlework and beautiful sewing, thereby adding to her love of beautiful clothes. She enjoyed making a house a home for her beloved Steve and the newly remodeled kitchen was her joy. Several Airedales found sanctuary in Margaret’s and Steve’s home. The last dog, Nina, passed away shortly before Margaret became ill. Margaret fought a valiant fight with cancer. She was diagnosed in January, 2012 with esophageal cancer and she gave very little quarter to this enemy. Margaret and Steve went to France in March, returning to do more rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Library staff were at first amazed that she could return to work with so very little time off after a treatment but soon began to feel all was right if the light was on in Margaret’s lab. Steve was very devoted to Margaret, caring for her personal needs as the cancer continued to advance. After a hospital stay, Margaret entered Collier Hospice on October 22, 2012, and passed away with Steve at her side on October 25. To know Margaret was to experience joie de vivre – a hearty enjoyment of life, exultation of spirit. She will be missed but not forgotten.

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Previous Events

Visitation

Wednesday

31

Oct

5:00 PM 10/31/2012 5:00:00 PM
St. Joseph Catholic Church

969 Ulysses Street
Golden, CO 80401

St. Joseph Catholic Church
969 Ulysses Street Golden 80401 CO
United States

Service

Wednesday

31

Oct

6:00 PM 10/31/2012 6:00:00 PM
St. Joseph Catholic Church

969 Ulysses Street
Golden, CO 80401

St. Joseph Catholic Church
969 Ulysses Street Golden 80401 CO
United States

Service

Thursday

1

Nov

10:00 AM 11/1/2012 10:00:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church

969 Ulysses Street
Golden, CO 80401

St. Joseph Catholic Church
969 Ulysses Street Golden 80401 CO
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Golden Cemetery Final Resting Place

755 Ulysses Street
Golden, CO 80401

755 Ulysses Street Golden 80401 CO
United States

Memorial Contribution

Collier Hospice

3210 Lutheran Parkway
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

American Cancer Society Denver Office

2255 South Oneida Street
Denver, CO 80224
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