Katherine Worth Altaffer

Areas of Achievement: 
Home Making

Honored By

Honored by: Altaffer Family
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Leaf Tile, Large

Kate loves reading, learning and her family. Her life has been guided by a deep sense of responsibility toward the human condition. Born in 1929 to an old Quaker family, she grew up in Delaware. In 1945, for health reasons, she came to Tucson to attend Potter School for Girls. After graduation from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, she returned to Tucson to make it her permanent home. In 1953 she married attorney Dabney Altaffer (born in Tucson, raised in Europe) who later became general counsel for the Tohono O'odham nation. She has two sons, William and Thomas, who benefited by being the major focus of her love and attention, a focus that is now lavishly bestowed upon her grandchildren, Alex and Katherine. She was a strong supporter of the Tucson Community School and Greenfields School, which her sons attended. She feels blessed by her sons' wives, Colette and Pam, and by closeness to her three brothers and sister-in-law. Pursuing her love of reading, she studied at the University of Arizona toward a Masters Degree in English. Her interest in others led her to establish the Re-Evaluation Counseling Community in Tucson. Before going into private practice, she obtained a Masters Degree in Counseling and Guidance from the U of A.

Always hopeful for community betterment, she was active in Pima Friends Meeting, helped establish the American Friends Service Committee in Arizona and served on its board. She was a board member of the Tucson Visiting Nurses Association and the Tucson Museum of Art. She helped establish the Friends of the Tucson Public Library, which had its first annual book sale in her courtyard. Kate was a friend and neighbor of Margaret Sanger and always had a strong concern about population and equal rights for women. She is currently a volunteer with the Carondolet Hospice, a patron of the Southwest Ventilation Program and UMC, and, drawing on these and personal experiences, remains a strong advocate for the elderly and persons with disabilities. The joy she finds in her many friends, books, and learning keeps her one of the most informed, interesting and engaged members of our community.