Kathy was a sparkle on this earth that is hard to describe unless you knew her. She was a beautiful soul who brought light into every room. When she went shopping, or out for anything, she always managed to make a new friend along the way. She was open and honest and loving. She talked to total strangers about anything just to be nice, because that’s who Kathy was.
Born in Lompoc and then moving down to San Diego, Kathy received her esthetician’s license and worked at the Nordstrom in Fashion Valley. In 1990, she moved to Santa Barbara, continuing to work for Nordstrom here. It was at this time that she began working as a shoe sales representative for Paul Green and Teresia. Fashion was her life, both professionally and for fun.
She lived in Santa Barbara for about 10 years and then had to move with her family to Carlsbad. She didn’t want to leave her friends and family here, but she soon made many friends there, too. In 2000, she opened her own shoe boutique in La Jolla called Sole Desire. She sold high-quality shoes and was very successful, but everything changed when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001.
Kathy’s life was a challenge, but she managed to keep moving forward. She lived life to the fullest, and after the diagnosis, began to fight for her life. She did everything she could to spend more time with her children and friends. She wore tiny silver boxing glove charms around her neck to remind her to continue fighting.
She was always there for her friends, giving advice and listening to what we had to say. No matter how poorly she felt, she always had time to ask how you were. In our last conversation, two weeks before her death, she told me of a shopping spree she went on at a Nordstrom’s sale. She was speaking very slowly, and then changed the subject and said, “I needed to tell you before I go that I bought purple shoes.” She began to describe them, along with an entire outfit she bought with them. Knowing that she might not ever be able to wear any of it, it made me smile to think that she got one last chance to shop-something she loved to do almost more than anything.
On another occasion, about two years ago, she was talking to me on the phone while driving up to Lompoc with her kids to visit her family. I asked her if she would be able to stop by, and she said she wasn’t sure and asked me what I was doing right then. I answered that I was in the garage getting something out of my car, and she said, “Well, turn around.” There she was in the driveway, sitting in her car laughing.
We talked on the phone every day for an hour or two. We shared our struggles with each other, and would always laugh and figure out things together. Every time we talked, she would end the conversation by saying, “Okay, little buddy, talk to you in a little bit, okay?” The last time I talked to her she didn’t say that, only that she was tired and had to go. A week later she had passed on and became one of God’s angels.
In this remarkable woman I found friendship that can never be replaced. I miss her every day and will never forget her, and I know she is watching everyone she loved. We look back now, celebrate her life, and learn from her words: “Live your life to the fullest and never take anything for granted, because it can all change in one day!” We will miss you, Kathy.