Kathy Pelta passed away in her sleep, from the relentless progress of Alzheimer’s on September 19, 2013. She was 84 years old.

On graduation from college in San Diego she enrolled in grad school at UC Berkeley where she was perusing a Ph.D. in English literature. When she heard about opportunities to “see the world” with the U.S. State Department, she collected her M.S. degree and signed up for the state department foreign service. She was assigned to the Allied High Commission for Germany (HICOG). She went to Washington for a blitz course in German and state department protocol and was, in due course, shipped off to Bonn which was then the capital of West Germany.

Kathy was assigned as secretary U.S. administration. She lived in an apartment in the German community and had a ball for three years. As a young single girl she was needed for every social function and there were many. She met everyone in our colony and many of the top leaders from the German government. When her three-year obligation was up she and two friends from the state department cashed in their first-class tickets home and proceeded to go puddle jumping around the world, stopping at places where you couldn’t go without an armed escort today. Three months later they were back in the U.S. where she signed on at the Voice of America and moved to Washington, D.C for two years.

Eventually Kathy moved to the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, CA, where she was working when she met her husband, Edmond. They were married in 1957 and adopted two children. Kathy then undertook a career as a writer, mostly of children’s books. She published about 20 works of fiction and non-fiction. She was also a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle travel page. In her spare time Kathy studied piano, cello, trombone, and recorder. She was also a private pilot and an accomplished cook and an artist. Her friends have said that her smile could charm the birds out of the trees. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends all over the world.