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Katz Public Tribute

Art Museum to host celebration of life

1/17/2018, 9:50 a.m.
Loved ones, colleagues and admirers of the late Portland Mayor Vera Katz will have a chance to celebrate her life ...
Vera Katz

Loved ones, colleagues and admirers of the late Portland Mayor Vera Katz will have a chance to celebrate her life on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum.

Katz died on Dec. 11 at the age of 84 due to complications from leukemia and kidney failure. Elected in 1972 to the Oregon legislature, she became the state’s first woman speaker of the house and only the second in the nation to lead a state house of representatives, serving what was then a record three terms.

In 1993, she became Portland’s third woman mayor, leaving office in 2005 after three terms. Upon her retirement from 32 years in public life, The Washington Post’s David Broder saluted the “feisty” Katz as “one of the pioneers and pacesetters for the women’s movement, education reform, health care and urban planning.”

Because his mother was known to shy away from pomp and circumstance, Katz’s son, Jesse Katz, said the event will be an unpretentious and uplifting tribute.

“Mom always said that the most important thing to her was to make a difference,” said Jesse Katz, a Los Angeles author and journalist. “Based on the condolences I’ve received these past few weeks, I can see just how many lives she touched—how profoundly she inspired others to do more and be better.”

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations in Vera Katz’s honor be directed to Lan Su Chinese Garden, or your favorite local arts organization or public school foundation.