Richard Hanley Katerndahl
Dear family - I had the honor to work with Dick when he served on the General Plan 2020 Steering Committee. He was a voice for people who didn't have a voice, who spoke with experience, reason and a view to the future. I enjoyed getting to know Dick, and admired his desire to help make San Rafael a better place over time. I wish you all comfort as you mourn the loss of a remarkable and generous gentleman.
The consummate gentlemen, and the rock our family was built on. Brave and unflappable even in the face of adversity. Faced down fear and the very real possibility of death in the Pacific theatre of World War 2. Lived through the chaos of war which I'm sure only partially prepared him for his next real challenge, raising 7 strong willed children. I can only imagine the dynamic in that household but I'm certain there was no shortage of love and joy. It was my greatest fortune to be able to glimpse that familial closeness every Sunday at 31 Roberts Avenue for the majority of my childhood. The only regret being that I didn't get a chance to build what I know would have been a very special relationship with my grandma Estella. From the stories I've collected throughout my life of her from various sources, Grandpa Dick being her strongest proponent, I feel as if I know her and her love still emanates strongly through this family. Grandpa always kept her memory alive and I could tell he missed her greatly. His wait is over now and I know they're sharing a long overdue embrace as we sit here honoring his memory today. Grandma's passing was his ultimate test and ,as strong as he was, he couldn't have withstood it without the love and support of his family. His amazing children, my mother and aunt and uncles, pulled closer together and honored the legacy of love Estella had established and continued the rare and beautiful tradition of gathering every week just to be with each other.
Grandpa Dick had a great deal of wisdom to pass on to his children and grandchildren. His dapper dress, his disciplined lifestyle, his devout faith, his respect of women, and his strong love and devotion to his family have all resonated with me deeply. I'm not sure any of us will reach the incredible standard he has set but we are all obliged to try, and be the better for it. As a young child it was possible to misconstrue grandpa's apparent disciplined nature for sternness or unapproachability. This notion immediately dissolved when grandpa would crack a smile and start playing pincher bug with us. The absurdity of it was enough to keep us grand kids giggling for hours. Seeing this grown man in a full suit get in a moving box and slide down a set of stairs with us in Uncle Carl's first house in Tiburon really captured grandpa's fun loving attitude and his unconditional love for his grand kids. Truly anything to see us happy. It's what he did. He gave selflessly of himself and all he needed was a good book and a quiet spot to read. I imagine he'd make a great roommate.
As I write this tribute to the greatest gentleman I've ever known I'm realizing that nothing that can be written or spoken can truly capture what it is that made him so great. All one must do to realize his greatness is look out in the crowd today and see what he has left behind. Amazing individuals that love him more than they can effectively communicate. Everyone here has their own special connection to Dick and I know they'll carry it with them forever as I will. I will be forever grateful for my time with him and I promise I'll always do my best to make him proud. I love you Grandpa Dick. I can hear his response already. "I love you too Ducky."
Mr. Katerndahl was a gentleman and a scholar. A stand-up person and someone who constantly was entertaining visitors. Always laughing and charming. We will miss him very much.
Prayers to all of you.
Your Father lived a very love filled, long life.
Siempre lo recordaremos con mucho cariño, un hombre con gran calidad humana,excelente esposo padre y abuelo. Ahora está con Dios. Bendiciones para toda su familia. Victor Manuel y Gloria Garcia Mena