Katharine D. Kane

BSSCA Treasurer 1983-2013

Our cherished Treasurer, Kathy Kane, passed away on October 13, 2013. It is with deepest sorrow and a sense of profound loss that we contemplate our jumelage activities without Kathy.


She became the Treasurer in 1983 when the BSSCA was founded and in that crucial role has been central to all of our accomplishments. Kathy provided constant inspiration, indomitable support and the wisest of counsel in every aspect of the BSSCA activities.


Dear Kathy, our mentor and revered friend, Adieu.


Mary Louise


Kind Words for Kathy from Around The World

Francis HIRN, Président d’Alsace/Etats-Unis, Président du Comité de Jumelage Boston/Strasbourg
De retour de voyage professionnel j’apprends à l’instant la terrible nouvelle. Nous sommes tous tristes et en deuil.

Kathy était tellement impliquée dans l’amitié entre nos deux villes que nous ne pouvons que ressentir très cruellement son départ pour un monde meilleur.

Nous pleurons son décès et nous nous associons à la douleur de ses proches et de tous ceux qui l’ont aimée et estimée.

Lors de l’une de nos prochaines réunions à Strasbourg, nous évoquerons son souvenir et inviterons tous nos amis à prier pour elle et à honorer sa mémoire.

Katy était une très grande dame elle restera dans nos cœurs !

Avec ma profonde compassion,
Francis HIRN




From Andrew Clutz at Alsace International
On behalf of my colleagues at Alsace International, I would like to express our condolences for Kathy’s passing.  Over the many years she has been highly instrumental in maintaining and expanding key relationships between the city of Strasbourg and Boston, which of course has extended well beyond the city limits into Massachusetts and Alsace as a whole. 

Please extend our condolences from the Alsace Team.  She will be fondly remembered!  My colleagues in Alsace will be saddened by this news.


Andrew Clutz
Director, Business Development



Antoine Gaugler

J'apprends avec consternation et une profonde tristesse le décès de Kathy Kane, trésorière du BSSCA. 

A vous, la présidente de ce Comité, à Ann Collier, sa présidente d'honneur et à Lia Poorvu, qui furent avec elle les piliers fondateurs de la Boston Strasbourg Sister City Association, dans le souvenir enfin de Madeleine Apffel, j'exprime ma sympathie sincère devant cette perte pour le Comité dans son ensemble.

Le hasard veut que nous avons, à l'année près, la même ancienneté, dans la même fonction, au sein des structures de l'amitié franco-américaine dans nos villes respectives.

La visite à Boston en 1985 de la délégation accompagnant notre regretté maire Marcel Rudloff m'a donné l'occasion d'apprécier la première fois la rectitude du caractère, autant que la générosité de l'engagement, de Kathy Kane.

Avec reconnaissance à Kathy Kane,
Antoine Gaugler



Kathy's Obituary as it appeared The Boston Globe
October 14, 2013

KANE, Katharine D. (Daniels) of Boston on Sunday, October 13, 2013. Wife of the late Louis Isaac Kane. Mother of Holliday Kane Rayfield and her husband Frederick John Rayfield III of Fayston, VT, Jennifer Kane of Brooklyn, NY and Joseph Daniels Kane of Ogunguit, ME. Grandmother of Rikki Tracy, Sophie A. Rayfield and Miranda L. Rayfield. Sister-in-law of Ann Kane Collier and her husband Marvin Collier of Boston. Aunt of Samuel Collier, Jonathan Collier and Charles Collier.

Please read Emma Stickgold's chronicle of Kathy's life from The Boston Globe, published on October 15, 2013

Katharine D. Kane, first woman to serve as Boston's deputy mayor

‘She believed passionately in the quality of life for the Boston neighborhoods before that was trendy.’  MICHAEL WASSERMAN, who worked in Mrs. Kane’s office

Through her work leading the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and as the leader of major commemorative celebrations, Katharine D. Kane added pizzazz to Boston and its neighborhoods.

At the Office of Cultural Affairs, Mrs. Kane helped launch a program that brought the arts to Boston neighborhoods.

The success she achieved garnering private donations to supplement public funding for arts programs made her Mayor Kevin H. White’s choice to head up the US bicentennial celebrations in Boston in 1976, which took years of planning. She reprised that role in 1980 when Boston celebrated its 350th anniversary.

By then, she had achieved a milestone of her own when White appointed her deputy mayor in 1975. She was the first woman to hold the post in a city that nearly four decades later has yet to elect a woman to be mayor.

“She was a trendsetter,” said Barney Frank, a former US representative who previously served in White’s administration. The job she held then, he added, was the most important ever by a woman in city government.

Mrs. Kane, who later started a consulting firm, became a chaplain at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and led religion courses for the Beacon Hill Seminars, died of complications from lung cancer Sunday in her home in Boston. She was 78.

Though slight and soft-spoken, Mrs. Kane was known and respected for her deft, fearless approach to dealing with City Hall’s power brokers.

“She was a visionary,” said Michael Wasserman, who worked in her office. “She believed passionately in the quality of life for the Boston neighborhoods before that was trendy.”

Mrs. Kane served as a state representative before moving to White’s administration and the city’s new Office of Cultural Affairs, which launched Summer thing, a program that brought the arts to various Boston neighborhoods.

After White died last year, Fred Salvucci, a transportation adviser to White and a former state transportation secretary, wrote in the Globe that Mrs. Kane’s “brilliant citywide celebration of performing arts, spoke volumes. Performances of opera in city parks, boxing matches in city squares, rock music, and art said that all the left-out neighborhoods and social groups matter, and the city cared about us!”

Mrs. Kane “was a major player in the White administration and a deputymayor, which she certainly deserved,” said Herbert Gleason, who served as corporation counsel for the city of Boston under White.

“She was effervescent, cheerful, and happy in the way that worked to her advantage,” Frank said.

Mrs. Kane kept her assistants busy as calls came in from constituents all over Boston requesting things such as a mobile stage or chairs for an event. She signed “KDK” on notes she left for employees. Those who didn’ t return a phone call might receive a note upon which she drew a frowning face, former colleagues recalled. “She was a phenomenal manager who gave very young people enormous opportunities,” Wasserman said. “She gave us responsibility beyond anything we deserved and held us responsible for how we performed.”

Mrs. Kane, Gleason said, “had very set ideas about where she was going and how she was going to get there, and she would very much appreciate your help in getting there.”

He added that “she was always on the run. She always looked as if she had something terribly important just ahead of her, and she did.”

Born in Indianapolis, Katharine Daniels moved to New England to attend Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut.

She attended Smith College, graduating in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

She landed an internship at the White House and received security clearance to work at the CIA, where she was assigned to the China desk. She later recalled with amusement that while there, she observed that the United States received much of its information about China from the British Foreign Office and the media.

While working for the government, she met Louis I. Kane, who was stationed at the Pentagon, and they married in 1957. Mr. Kane, who later served as chief executive of Au Bon Pain, died in 2000.

In the 1960s, young liberals met at Mrs. Kane’s Chestnut Street home on Beacon Hill and a young Barney Frank took notes at the gatherings. Those attending called themselves the Democratic Study Group and met Mondays after the Legislature adjourned to discuss how to bring their ideas to fruition.

Mrs. Kane served as president of Boston chapter of the League ofWomen Voters in the early 1960s until she ran for a House seat in the state Legislature, representing a district that spanned the North End and Chinatown.

“She went door to door all over the district, much of the time alone, and by gosh, she got one of the seats,” Gleason said.

After White named her deputy mayor, Mrs. Kane told the Globe in December 1975 that her campaigning experience “makes a difference in how the mayor sees me.”

“It can be very useful to have had to go from door to door asking for votes,” she added. “It can be humbling and hopefully it teaches you to be responsive.”

When redistricting changed her district in a way that made reelection seemed less likely, she moved to White’s administration.

The programs she helped launch through her City Hall work “were so beyond what Boston was accustomed to,” Gleason said.

The Beacon Hill Times reported that during a 1980 ceremony held in her honor, White praised her efforts to bring Boston to life through the arts, quipping that “no mayor had ever received as much acclaim from programs in which he personally had put in so little effort.”

Through the years Mrs. Kane was a member of many boards and committees involved with the arts, participating on some until just weeks before her death. She also traveled frequently and was an avid bridge player who achieved the rank of life master.

After leaving City Hall in the mid-1980s, she started and ran a consulting firm, Katharine Kane Inc., for a dozen years, helping to organize events.

In the 1990s, she returned to school, graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 1998 with a master’s of divinity and two years later with a master’s in theology. She then went to work as a chaplain at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“Things got repetitive,” she told the Beacon Hill Times in 2004. “I needed something new.”

Mrs. Kane leaves two daughters, Holliday Kane Rayfield of Fayston, Vt., and Jennifer of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a son, Joseph of Ogunquit, Maine; and three grandchildren.

Burial will be in Adath Jeshurun Cemetery in West Roxbury.

Because Mrs. Kane often worked behind the scenes, she “rarely got the recognition that her accomplishments warranted,” Wasserman said.

“She was upbeat, cheerful, and very principled,” Frank said.

Mrs. Kane, he added, was “very idealistic and knew how to bring out the best in people. She generated a lot of enthusiasm and good feelings.”

Mrs. Kane read a newspaper put out by a journalism workshop.