Sharon Marlene Katz (41) died in New York City on Wednesday, September 4th, after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. Sharon was a kind, sweet, gentle person with tremendous inner strength who loved her friends and family dearly and was beloved by all. She had a powerful intellect and work ethic which she used to help others, especially those less fortunate than herself. In her work as an LCSW, she made a positive, sometimes life changing difference in so many young peoples' lives. She had an extraordinary gift of communication with no barriers. Her kindness, her commitment to service, her excellence and her ability to experience and share joy and fun touched everyone that knew her. She inspired her colleagues with her creativity, love and respect. Her courage and strength in the face of serious illness was a gift to all. She was an involved, loyal, loving and devoted daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Sharon is the beloved daughter of Dr. Evan Katz (Irene Warner) and Michele Levin (Dr. Thomas Naidich) and cherished sister of Dr. Debbie Katz (Barry Hunter), David (Lesley) Pincus, Stacey Katz (Braham Dembar) and Anthony (Robyn) Katz. Sharon was a devoted aunt to Sam, Julia and Russell Hunter, Jessie, Josh and Anna Pincus, Allie and Jacob Dembar and Andrew and Rebecca Katz. She was step-sister to Karen Warner, Sandy Naidich, Don Levan, Shelley Margolis and Jarett Levan. Sharon was pre-deceased by her beloved sister Amy Katz Pincus (d. 2000) and step-mother Terri Levan Katz (d. 1999). Sharon was born and raised in Miami. She attended elementary school at Temple Beth Am Day School and middle and high school at Ransom Everglades where she graduated as valedictorian in 1989. Sharon's academic excellence continued at Yale University where she received her B.S. in Psychology, summa cum laude in 1993. She worked at the Yale Child Study Center before receiving her Master's in Social Work from Barry University in 2001. She then moved to Lexington, KY where she worked at the University of Kentucky Center on Trauma and Children. She moved back to Miami in 2006 and spent the last six years as Program Director and then Director of Supervision and Research at Casa Valentina, an organization which provides housing, guidance, medical care and educational and psychosocial support for youth who have aged out of foster care. In 2011, Sharon received an award from the Miami-Dade Community Based Care Alliance for her "unfaltering commitment and support of the youth in the foster care community and for ensuring that they are prepared for their successful transition to adulthood." We are grateful for the superb care and compassion given to Sharon by the Palliative Care Team at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Funeral services will be held Sunday at 12:30 PM at Temple Beth Sholom, 4144 Chase Avenue, Miami Beach, with internment to follow at Mt. Nebo Cemetery, 5505 N.W. 3rd St., Miami. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Mount Sinai Breast Health Resource Program, c/o Andrea Geduld (Andrea.firstname.lastname@example.org), 16 E. 98 St., # 1B, NY, NY 10029 or to Casa Valentina (www.casavalentina.org
for online donation) or by mail to 2990 S.W. 35th Ave., Miami, FL 33133.