von HARTZ--Kathy Hughes. 86, who died peacefully surrounded by family on October 2nd, got the most from life. Traveler - 89 countries including North Korea and Iran. Hitchhiker - all over Europe, Cairo to Cape Town and back. Renovator of buildings in the East Village, world-class bargain hunter, knitter of baby sweaters she gave out freely. Bungee jumper and risk taker. A teacher, she was fluent in Spanish and spoke four other languages. An avid birder she roamed Central Park. She bicycled all over the city before bike lanes existed. She was an activist, pacifist and community organizer. After surviving esophageal cancer, she battled MSA, a neurological disorder and left on her own terms. She is survived by her husband of 58 years John, (they married in Gibraltar with two Bobbies as witnesses); her two children Maria and William, son-in-law Jay, grandchildren Katie and Nicky and two sisters, Gretchen Sandback of San Diego, CA and Sarah Pappas of Sarasota, FL. Forever the optimist, as she lay dying she said, "Now I'm going to see all the places I've never seen."
Published in New York Times on Nov. 22, 2020.