With her brilliant smile and unassuming nature, Kathryn (Kate) Breaux has been a part of Mission Hospice since our very beginnings in 1979. Good friends with our co-founder Mac Nash, Kate was an early supporter of the organization – and along with her husband Dick, she is to this day one of our most generous, dedicated donors.
Kate’s commitment to our work earned her the 2016 Lotus Award, presented at our Anniversary Celebration in January. The Mission Hospice Lotus Award was created in 2005 to recognize individuals who have shown outstanding support of the organization.
Over the years, Kate has found so many ways to support the work of Mission Hospice. She served two long stints on our Board of Directors, including a term as Board Chair in 2005.
“Kate is just a special, delightful person,” says Board Chair Judy DiPaolo. “She does things in a very quiet and understated way, and she is very committed. Kate has recruited a number of great board members, and she and Dick have been exceptionally giving of both their time and their resources.” For many years, Kate served as the chair of the Lotus Award committee, and she was surprised and flattered to be on the other side of the table. Lotus Award committee chair Mary Chigos called Kate “an obvious candidate for the award.”
“Kate has helped lead Mission Hospice through years of growth and change,” says Mary, “and she was among the first supporters of our hospice house c
Having spent much of her life focusing on young people, as a teacher and a mother, Kate was initially hesitant to get involved in Mission Hospice. When she was asked to join the board, Kate says, “I thought, well – life is my life – not death. But then I realized that death is as much of a part of life as birth is. We’re ushering people in and out of the world – and this work is as necessary as helping parents and children grow.”
Kate says that all of her work with Mission Hospice has been immensely rewarding. “The people I have met at Mission Hospice have so enriched my life,” she says. She particularly enjoyed working with our Director of Spiritual Care, Rev. Linda Siddall, to reach out to faith-based groups, a project that led her to a role on the board of St. James Community Foundation, which supports underserved middle school students in San Mateo.
“Hospice has really helped me with my outlook on life,” Kate says. “It sounds clichéd, but I feel that I’ve taken away much more than I’ve given. Isn’t that always the way,” she continues. “You get involved in something to help others, and the good comes back to you.”