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Norma F. Satten

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Norma F. Satten Obituary
SAN FRANCISCO, CA- Norma passed away in San Francisco after a brief illness on June 14, 2010, at age 87 years. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Joseph Satten; her children Neal, Debby and Sara Satten; her daughter-in-law, Rona Cordish Satten, and her grandchildren, Susanna Satten, Matthew Satten and Cory Edelson. Norma was born in 1922 in Brooklyn, NY. Her first degree was in Economics from Brooklyn College, where she graduated Magna cum Laude. She then obtained a Masters in City Planning from MIT. She met Joseph Satten in 1941 and married him in 1945. Norma and Joe lived in Topeka from 1948 until 1971, where Joe trained as a psychiatrist and later was on the staff of the Menninger Clinic. During this time, their children were born and grew up in Topeka. Norma was a loving wife, mother and grandmother and the matriarch of her extended family. Throughout her life, Norma worked towards Tikkun Olam, a Hebrew phrase that means "to improve the world." Her career had many firsts: while in Kansas, she helped set up Topeka's first City Planning Department. She then became the state's first Director of Health Planning. In 1971, she and Joe moved to San Francisco, where she continued her work in area-wide health planning. In 1982, in the midst of the AIDS epidemic, she was the Director of Support Services for San Francisco Home Health and Hospice, and then became the Director of Development for the Visiting Nurses Association of San Francisco. She was most proud of the work she did in establishing the Coming Home Hospice, the first residential hospice for people with cancer and AIDS. Her pioneering advocacy efforts in no way diminished after she retired in 1992. She developed a volunteer career for a variety of long-term care services for the frail and needy. She was described as the unofficial "mother of long-term care" in San Francisco. She held leadership roles in many organizations, including Stepping Stone (formerly North & South of Market Adult Day Health Center), Planning for Elders, the Mayor's Long Term Care Coordinating Council, the Laguna Honda Hospital Community Advisory Group, the In Home Health Task Force and the Community Living Campaign. Norma was active in the Topeka and San Francisco Jewish communities, including the Sisterhood of Temple Emanu-El, the Jewish Family and Children's Services (JFCS) and the National Council of Jewish Women. In 2009, she co-founded the Jewish Coalition to End Human Trafficking, which became a city-wide effort. She received awards for her community work from Planning for Elders, the National Council of Jewish Women, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, and the city of San Francisco. Memorial services were held on Friday, June 18th at 1:00 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, Lake and Arguello Streets in San Francisco. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Jewish and Family Children's Services Norma & Joseph Satten Endowment Fund for families and children, 2150 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115. Norma F. Satten

Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on June 21, 2010
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