It seems like these days, half of my posts are tributes (actually, its true, though I have a few others mixed in), and today, unfortunately, will be another one. This one is for Kathy Putzier. Her sister Joan Meece shared the news on Facebook on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, so I presume the actual date was sometime around that, although details are still trickling in right now.
One irony, which I think perhaps Kathy would have appreciated, is the fact that another person also named Kathy Putzier who was also from the Twin Cities area passed away around the same time, although the other Kathy was 82 years old, so it definitely wasn't the same woman that the diabetes community knew and loved, as the Kathy Putzier we knew was just 63 years old.
Early d-bloggers knew Kathy first as "Minnesota Nice" (not a bad term based on my knowing her!) and her blog was known as "Purple Haze" (see http://kathy4762.blogspot.com/ for her archived posts). In 2012, Kathy decided to devote her time to other pursuits, so she decided to stop blogging, although I believe she remained pretty active on TuDiabetes, which was the place she decided to continue her online diabetes work.
Like me, Kathy was one of the earlier members of the d-blogging community as a person with Type 1 diabetes, and many in the Minneapolis area including Scott K. Johnson and others had met up her quite a few times. No doubt, their sense of loss is bigger than mine. But a few years ago, I went to Minneapolis for a long weekend (I think it was Memorial Day weekend), and Kathy and I were going to try and get together that weekend (I did get to reconnect that weekend with Allison Nimlos during that visit, which was great, but others like Scott Johnson were out-of-town that weekend). As things sometimes happen, when Kathy and I spoke on the phone, the timing just did not enable us to meet in person during that visit, as she had some family activities going on that weekend, too.
As a result, my memories of Kathy were mainly of her personality expressed online, which I think were a genuine representation of her as a person ("Minnesota Nice" was a good name, based on my phone conversations with her!). Kathy was also dealing with some kidney problems, although I don't know for certain if that was the cause of death for her, but as someone who was also diagnosed in the so-called "dark ages" of diabetes care a few years before me (she was diagnosed in 1973, I was diagnosed in 1976), so also she saw the evolution -- and in some cases, the de-volution, of diabetes care, just as I have over the years. We would sometimes reminisce about those days, which as I've blogged in the past, are not quite as terrible as many newcomers to the world of Type 1 diabetes have been taught to believe (catch my post at http://goo.gl/UQRIfK for more details).
|Kathy with World Diabetes Day postcard (I think!)|
|Kathy and some Minneapolis D-friends.|
|Kathy (second in on the left side) and the Minneapolis D crowd.|
|Kathy circa 1975. She looked pretty much the same in 2016!|
I'm sorry to hear about Kathy's passing, but just as I noted in my post a few weeks ago about Kitty, I know that today, Kathy is now in perfect health and can look down at her vast network of friends here on earth and smile at how many are missing her now. Kathy, I'm glad to have known you, even if it was mainly online!