In Memory

Kathy Johnson (Broderick)

Kathy Johnson (Broderick)

Kathryn Kim Johnson Broderick was born in Seoul, Korea on October 10, 1953.  She was the eldest of five children born to Matsue and Kenneth Johnson, who met and married during the Korean War. 

After the war, the Johnson family, which then consisted of her mom, dad, Kathy, and little sister Julie, moved to the United States.  They stayed in Wisconsin with Grandma Jay for a time, and then moved west to California, living in South Pasadena, Newport Beach, Lake Tahoe, Mill Valley, and their second home at "the back ranch" in Calistoga.  Kathy graduated from South Pasadena High School and San Francisco State University, where she received her master's degree in social work.  She put herself through college waitressing at icons of Bay Area dining such as Washington Square Bar and Grill, San Rafael Joe's, and the Trident, where she met her future husband, Richard Broderick.

Dick thought she was the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen.  He fell in love with her when she tripped and did a somersault but didn't spill the steaks she was serving.  It was 11:30 p.m. and the kitchen was closed, so there was no replacing the steaks.  Dick and Kathy remained together since their first date, and will have been married for 29 years in a few days.

Kathy volunteered in Marin City for Operation Give a Damn, which through St. Andrews Church mentored youth in the community.  She began work at the County of Marin as an Affirmative Action Specialist supporting the Marin County Human Rights Commission.  She moved up through the professional ranks of the Human Resources Department, and was known for her excellent service to departments, helping them with their most challenging and complex personnel issues.  She later became Human Resources Manager for the Marin Municipal Water District, and retired from there in 2007.

Kathy passed to heavenly rest Thursday morning, October 29, 2009.  She was 56 years old.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Matsue and Ken, and her former stepmother Carol, who gave her the love of music and the courage to sing Patsy Cline's "Crazy" with reckless abandon.  Kathy was a beautiful, thoughtful, highly intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate friend, colleague, neighbor, wife, daughter, sister, and aunt.  There has never been anyone even remotely like her. 

She is survived by her husband Dick; sisters Julie, Kandie, Marcella, and Jennifer (JJ); brother Ken; her extended family including Margie, Shadiah, and Sabah; dear nieces and nephews; and many professional colleagues and friends.  Her sweet and generous spirit, her warm heart, her integrity, her courage, and her ability to speak and do what really mattered, will be deeply missed.

San Francisco Chronicle, November 7, 2009