White Emerson Mortuary
13304 Philadelphia St.
Whittier, CA 90601
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Nordbak Catherine

1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Nordbak Catherine Obituary
Catherine "Katie"
Kelly Nordbak
June 14, 1928- May 17, 2017
Katie Nordbak went to be with our Lord on May 17, 2017, after a massive stroke on May 15. Katie grew up in Cumberland Maryland. She graduated from Catholic Girls Central High School in 1946 and was a member of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Cumberland. Katie was the first of her family to attend college, sponsored and encouraged by her aunt Catherine. She received both her BA in Political Science and History and her MA in Sociology and Education from University of Maryland. She was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority and Alpha Delta honorary fraternity. She was also on the university's judicial board, President of Women's Student Government, a member of the executive council of the Student Government Association and was a delegate to the Association of Women Students Convention at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Katie was married to Kurt Paul Lauscher, a native of Czechoslovakia, on 2-20-1954 in Silver Spring, MD. There was an amicable divorce in 1971. Kurt passed away on 5-15-1996. Katie later married John A. Nordbak, a native of Denmark and an architect in Downey, on 2-15-1973. John passed away on 2-2-1981. Katie moved from Cumberland to Silver Spring, Maryland when she married Kurt Lauscher. In Maryland, Katie was employed as a child welfare worker in Allegany County. They later moved to San Francisco, where Ann was born. The next stop was Los Angeles for a time and then out to the suburbs in La Mirada just before Kelly was born. The Lauscher family's La Mirada neighborhood in the 1960s was filled with other young families with children about the same age. Everyone knew each other; kids played at everyone's house and just came home when the street lights came on. Katie stayed at home with her children and volunteered for a plethora of organizations in various positions: La Mirada Y.M.C.A; local and area Coordinating Councils; Rio Hondo United Way; Region III United Way; La Mirada Youth Activities Committee; United Crusade; Cerritos Planning Palaver, La Mirada Teen Center, Norwalk-La Mirada Board of Realtors Public Relations Committee, West Anaheim Community Hospital Auxiliary, Rio Hondo Mental Health Council, La Mirada Y Wives, and the Long Beach Girl Scout Council. She was awarded the Honorary Life Membership in the P.T.A, and acknowledged by California Parks and Recreation District. Katie was recognized as La Mirada Citizen of the year in 1971. Katie served 22 years as a Trustee on the Cerritos College Board. She was initially appointed to the Board, then elected and re-elected for her tenure serving the interests of students in the College District. She was also elected by the college trustees throughout California to the Board of Directors for the California Community College Trustees. Katie sold real estate for a time with Ed Spitalnick Realty in La Mirada. She then began her 26 year career with Orange County. She began as an eligibility worker for Medi-Cal nursing home spots and gradually worked her way into the Courts, first clerking then advancing into management. She retired as Director of Criminal Operations at age 72 and was recognized as an Orange County Woman of Achievement. Katie was a big proponent of higher education and encouraged her children and grandchildren to complete their degrees and get a saleable skill. Katie had had an active social life and many dear friends with whom she spent time playing Bunco, Bingo and Mexican Train dominoes. She went on many of the trips offered through the Gadabouts and was especially lucky in her trips to casinos. Katie was very devoted to her collection of cats she cared for over the years. She would be very happy to know her granddaughter Kimberly is going to be taking her two remaining cats into her care. She was a current member of Beatitudes of Our Lord Parish in La Mirada, and a former member of St. Paul of the Cross Church in La Mirada. In her retirement years, she enjoyed going to the La Mirada Activity Center for daily weekday lunches and fellowship, volunteering with the La Mirada Friends of the Library and participating in the La Mirada Ebell Club. Katie is survived by her two daughters from her first marriage, Helen Ann Brogden of San Clemente, CA and Kelly Klein/(Michael) of Tualatin, OR and her stepson, Lance Nordbak/(Lisa), from her second marriage. She is also survived by three grandchildren from her daughters, Kaitlyn Brogden, Kimberly Klein and Kirsten Klein and three grandchildren from Lance and Lisa Nordbak, Dane /(Melanie), Kelsey and Haley Nordbak. Katie was recently able to attend the joyful wedding of Dane and Melanie on April 29 in San Luis Obispo. Katie and her daughter Ann built a 5 day trip around the wedding, enjoying time in Solvang, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. Her older sister, Rose Marie Peterson, her nephews Dave and Robert, who all live in Florida, niece Julie Ferris of Cumberland, MD, and niece Rosalie Abate of Langhorne, PA, also survive her. She was a very generous and accomplished woman who was an inspiration to her family and all who knew her. She was the embodiment of unconditional love and will be greatly missed. A Vigil/Eulogy/Rosary (no viewing) will be held Thursday June 8, 7pm, at White Emerson Mortuary chapel in Whittier at 13304 E. Philadelphia. A funeral Mass will be on Friday, June 9 at 10:30 am at Beatitudes of our Lord, 13013 S. Santa Gertrudes in La Mirada, followed by a brief interment of ashes at Olive Lawn cemetery, 13926 La Mirada Blvd, La Mirada. Immediately following interment (around 12:30 pm until 3:30 pm), there will be a Celebration of Life at Los Coyotes Country Club, 8888 Los Coyotes Dr. in Buena Park. Details and directions available on Katie's obituary page at http://www.whiteemerson.com/ In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Good Sam Pantry through Beatitudes Parish in La Mirada or to the La Mirada Ebell Club, toward the Catherine Nordbak Memorial Scholarship, PO Box 73, La Mirada, CA 90638.
Published in Whittier Daily News on June 4, 2017
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