Monday, September 19, 2011

Kate Schulte 1951-2011

Some people simply radiate goodness... you can even get drunk and barf on their nice rug and they say ohhh, that is nothing. When you reconnect with them years later, they never mention the rug, and instead tell you how wonderful you are. They impart their special magic to all of those around them. These are very rare, beautiful souls on this earth.

We have lost one.

Goodbye, dearest Kate.


SCHULTE, Kate "Kathaleen Beth" Schulte, beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend, left our company on September 15 from an apparent heart attack at the age of 60. Kate was born in Wichita, KS, and settled in Columbus, OH, in 1975. Her earliest work for justice was with farmworker organizers and the Columbus Tenants Union. In 1984, she met her swoon-unit, Michael Vander Does, on a memorable trip to the Kentucky Derby. Allen Ginsberg was a guest at their engagement party in July 1985 and they married a few months later. She loved and cared for her stepdaughters, Nicole and Naima Vander Does, as if they were her own. She loved to travel. The Yucatan, Italy, and New Orleans were favorite destinations. She attended 17 Jazzfests, seven Kentucky Derbies, and too many ComFests to count. She was a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Law, after which she became a well-known civil rights attorney. Perhaps her proudest legal work was on the Brunet firefighter sex discrimination case. A remembrance will be held at Ray's Living Room, 17 Brickel St., Columbus, OH, on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 6 p.m., for her family and friends to celebrate her beautiful life.

From: Columbus Dispatch

I got on a bus once, drug-addled, and Kate was there. I meandered on back to sit next to her... I didn't even ASK if I could sit there. I told her I was all messed up on drugs.

"Well, you don't look like it!" she whispered, conspiratorially. And then she started telling me about her law book. I remember that it sounded very cool and interesting.

She reminded me, "Isn't this your stop?" She was right! Without Kate, would have ended up in Worthington or somewhere.

What I remembered, when I heard the news of her passing, was her warm, bright smile that day, when I sat next to her. She made even some silly druggie feel like the most important human being in the world.

So many people recall the warm, inclusive smile, and how it made them feel.


Yippies regularly crashed parties given by various important liberals and lawyers, which we loved to do. Go ahead, try to throw your poor lefty relations out of the party! (Sometimes they did.) We will talk trash about you and call you rich!

It was a game: "Do you think they'll let us in?"

But not at Kate's party: "Oh, that's fine, I love the Yippies. Somebody has to bring some controversy, don't they?!" (Was that a dig at the boring liberals?) She warmly invited us in, plied us with cheese and wine and introduced us to the well-heeled Democrats. She seemed to enjoy knowing scruffy anarchists, and also seemed to quietly enjoy ruffling those rich liberals a bit.

Official Yippie verdict on Kate: What a great person!


On Facebook, I told her, you know you are old when you are friending the people you used to babysit. She loved that. And it was via Facebook that I reconnected with a beautiful soul, and then lost her, in a year's time. And ohhhh my, it does hurt.

I've written about the modern phenomenon of experiencing death so up-close and personal via Facebook, and how it is now turning into a common occurrence. I hope this grief will not also become commonplace, but then again, perhaps it will serve to make us treasure every minute that much more.

As Kate would have done.


Blue Heron said...

Beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. Thank you for sharing.

D. said...

My condolences--she sounds like a Grand Ol' Girl, and she'll be deeply missed.

Anonymous said...

She was one hell of a WOMAN!

John Powers said...

My condolences.

Your observations about facing death close up via Facebook as something new is important. And in so many other ways people all around are experiencing loss; it's a depression and disasters abound.

Kate Schulte's lesson to treasure every minute with those we've connected is essential to getting along in a sad time. Her example of kindness perhaps is most important. We must make connections because without dear ones our lives become adrift.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss, d--JM

Diane Wiley said...

Whatever you had to say, however you said it, Kate would listen and then, sometimes tell you you were brilliant and sometimes that you were full of shit. And that she loved you anyway. That was only one of the things I loved about her.

JoJo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoJo said...

Sorry, that deletion was mine..I made a boo boo

She sounds like a wonderful lady! And she passed away too young too. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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Mama Moretti said...

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