Judge Kathleen Akao was the presiding judge at some of my sons court appearances. She always gave everyone a chance to speak, ask questions and to make sure everyone was on the same page...Such a loss to the whole community and to your family..God bless you all and I know she is smiling down on all of us from heaven! Sincerely, Vicki Grilli(parent)
Kathy, your life will forever be an inspiration to me. I will speak of you and of the goals you achieved to my daughter as she grows, to encourage her to set her sights high. Kris, any day, any time, we are here for you. We love you.
Our thoughts extend to all who knew Kathy. She was a woman of many talents and exceptional grace. God bless her.
I was shocked and immensely saddened by Kathy's sudden death. I send my heartfelt sympathies and condolences to her family. I've known Kathy since I interned at the Asian Law Alliance in San Jose the summer before law school. Kathy was an inspiration to me, so caring and devoted to the needs of those who were less fortunate. I'll remember her for her dedication to the APLSA at SCU and her delicious chicken salad at our annual dinners (I still have the recipe)! She was our "mother hen." She has been an enthusiastic and consistent supporter of the Asian Pacific Bar Assoc. of Silicon Valley since its inception, always available to contribute her time at a moment's notice. Most of all, I'll cherish and remember Kathy as a good friend, a mentor, a role model, and an overall great person. I will miss her very much.
The shock of Kathy's passing does not seem to subside. As a judge, she was fair, respectful and dignified; as community leader, she was caring, compassionate, visionary; as a friend, she was always interested in what you had to say and always greated you with a warm smile. Kathy was a classy lady, who could light up the room with her presence. She will be sorely missed.
Kris, you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult and unfortunate time.
My Warmth goes out to the family. Your in my prayers.
Judge Akao and Family: How you wereloved, admired, and respected. I did not know you but I read of your passing with sadness. You touched a lot of lives in your time here. May we all who share your profession do justice , and as one writer said, love mercy, and walk humbly as you did. I will honor your memory by striving to do this always. Respectfully, Commissioner Stephany Joy, Sonoma County Court in Santa Rosa.
we are all very saddened,my heartgoes out to her family,god bless you all,through this time of sorrow.
I was so saddened to learn of Kathy's passing. I first met Kathy when she volunteered to work with the Asian Law Alliance when she was at SJSU. I was priviledged to know her as she went on to law school, than work as a staff attorney for the ALA and develop into a very fine lawyer and judge. But mostly I will remember Kathy for her personal warmth, giving nature and friendship. Kathy, you will be missed and always remembered.
I was fortunate enough to be a clerk in Santa Clara County Public Defender office (Summer 1981) when Kathleen was the lead clerk. Her sense of humor and her professionalism, mixed with a sincere compassion for people, were memorable. In Fall 1996, after I learned that she had risen to Superior Court in Santa Cruz, I commented to her how remarkable her career had been, through the County Counsel office and other service organizations. In her characteristic modesty, she just sort of giggled and said, "Yes, it has been fun." I will truly miss one of the great luminaries of the Central Coast..
During my year on Prop 36 I often had to appear before Judge Akao for regular progress reviews. She always showed genuine personal concern and seemed to actually care about my recovery. She played a big part in my successful completion of Prop 36 three years ago and remaining clean and sober ever since.
When I first met Judge Akao, it was in dependency drug court with my daughter. What a wonderful lady she was. I was impressed by how she cared so much for the children and the parents in her courtroom. She treated everyone with respect and dignity. It was wonderful to see her be so supportive to the parents and the struggles they faced. She was very genuine and had a big heart. She was one of a kind and she will be missed in our community. Her passing is very sad. My condolences to the family.
A dear friend who loved to eat great food and drink excellent wine. Kathy, we will miss you on our yearly girls only trip. We will think of you often in the years to come.
Kathleen and her family lived next door to us in San Jose, and I was deeply saddened to hear of her passing over the weekend. Our thoughts and prayers and with her family and her son Kris.
Fiona, from the Newell family
Dearest Akao Family ( Kimiko, Brett )...Shock and sadness to hear the news of your Auntie's passing. I immediately thought of your Mom, and remember talking to her after your Auntie's husband passed away. They are all together, now a greater force from heaven shining their love and light on you all...I was fortunate enough to meet Judge Akao, and found her to be a pillar of great justice and caring. Please know I send my love to you...we are still in the same place in Aptos, if you ever want to stop by...
I've known Kathy since her days as a highly respected deputy county counsel. While still in practice in Santa Cruz, I had the pleasure of appearing before her a number of times. She was always pleasant, patient, prepared, efficient--in short, everything one could want in a judge. We remained friends even after I moved to the Sierra foothills, and always had time for a chat when we saw each other on my trips back to Santa Cruz. This is a sad loss not only for her family and the legal community, but for all of Santa Cruz. My deepest condolences go to her family. She was a remarkable lady indeed.
I was shocked and saddened to hear yesterday of Judge Akao's passing. She presided over one of my trials 3 weeks ago which involved a very sad family situation.Judge Akao was very gentle and compassionate, yet firm when dealing with the witnesses and the issues. She was always very fair and professional in all the hearings that I did before her, and I will miss her warmth and presence. My condolences to her family.
Judge Akao will be missed by many. As a former Foster Parent in Santa Cruz County, I saw first hand how many children and families she helped. God Bless Leslie Maunu and Family
Judge Akao was a friend and an inspiration for her smile, kind word and caring attitude. One man said to me, "she was powerful because she did not care about the power of her position." She epitomized the phrase "do justice, love mercy, walk humbly..."
Judge Akao was an inspiration to me. During my days of working at juvenile hall I had the privledge of attending several of her hearings. I was aways amazed at her composure and genuine presence while deliberating in a sometimes hostile, intense enviornment. She was a unique human being that will surely be missed.
Kathy, The years at Santa Clara University Law School were hard and challengening for many of us. But you always managed to see the positive side of our struggle and your optimism and encourgagement was a great source of comfort to those of us fortunate to know you. Over the years, your optimism and compassion have never waivered. I hope your family finds comfort in this.
Kathy served as an inspiration to me as a working mother with integrity rising to the highest ranks of her profession. She so gracefully balanced her dedication to her family and the community as a model for us all to follow. Her memory will forever be included in all of the marriages she officiated and her kindness and smile will live on in the face of our dear friend. We love you.
Judge Akao was greatly admired and respected. I first met her when she was a new judge and attended the Judicial College where I was an instructor. I followed her career and always enjoyed seeing her at judicial functions. She will be missed in the Judicial community.
Reading this article, I am touched and proud of the accomplishments of a woman and a minority, and one that was caring and fair. She must have been a "very special" person. I feel a sadness and personal loss even though I did not know this person.
I ONLY KNEW JUDGE AKAO FROM APPEARING AS A WITNESS IN HER COURT ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS. HOWEVER, SHE WAS TO ME, A MODEL OF WHAT ALL JUDGES SHOULD STRIVE TO BE. SHE WILL BE GREALY MISSED BY ALL.
We will miss your great smile and wit.You gave me inspiration & hope.
God Bless you and your family in this time of sadness.