Kathleen Peterson Hogan was born Oct. 16, 1938 in Montclair, New Jersey. She grew up in Bloomfield, NJ, where she lived with her parents, Howard and Anne Peterson, and her sister, Nancy.
When she was 13, her family relocated to Pasadena, CA. She went to both Pasadena and John Muir High Schools, where she was voted to have the best sense of humor. After graduation, she worked as a sales clerk in a number of Pasadena department stores. She took technical drawing classes at Pasadena City College at a time when it wasn’t a popular field for women. Despite her pioneering aspirations, she did not pursue this field.
Instead, she applied for a position in the steno pool at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and was hired. Over the next 14 years, she supported JPL’s early rocket exploration programs as a very successful executive secretary.
She only left this beloved position because she fell in love with a sailor named Tim Hogan. Neither Kathy’s family (“Great, just what we needed, another mechanic!”) nor Tim’s (“What do you want with that hussy?”) initially approved of the match. Yet over the course of their ensuing 50 years of marriage, they and their families learned the solid rightness of the union.
While Tim worked, Kathy spent her days with her daughters, Kerry Lynn and Laurie Lynn, helping them grow up. She provided everything from magic carpet rides on beach towels to backyard tea parties and filmed incriminating videos of her children “washing” their clothes in the mud. She actively participated in the PTA and was leader of Girl Scout Brownie Troop 1301. Later, she’d create Kerry and Laurie days (shopping, lunch, and/or a movie) and occasionally slip her daughters five bucks for gas. The end result is two beautiful, educated women who are well equipped to face the challenges of life.
When her girls were old enough, she went back into the work pool as an exacting executive secretary in several industries until she retired. She began volunteering at the US Department of Wildlife’s Eagle Repository and knitting a whole bunch of beautiful blankets. It was during this time that she began to exhibit symptoms of dementia, which was later diagnosed as Alzheimer’s.
The last several years of her life she was cared for by her devoted husband. Her condition deteriorated such that she required home hospice care. She died peacefully at home in the arms of her daughters on July 17, 2023.
In her prime, she had an evil eye that would stop you in your tracks and she did the NY times crossword puzzle in pen. She loved reading, watching TV, and playing games. Today, she is deeply missed and will be loved forever.