The Massachusetts Nurses Association and the nursing profession have lost a true champion and powerful advocate with the death last week of Kate Maker, RN, long time leader at the MNA, a powerful union activist and a passionate fighter for social justice. Below is Kate’s obituary from Sunday’s Worcester Telegram & Gazette, along with a tribute from her longtime friend and colleague, Kathy Logan. The date and time for a Memorial Service on August 5th are also included.
Sunday, August 1, 2004
Kathleen C. Maker, 50
WEBSTER – Kathleen C. Maker, age 50, of 120 Sutton Road, died Wednesday, July 28, 2004. She leaves her husband of 20 years, John F. Healey of Webster. She also leaves: 3 daughters, Sarah and Rebecca Maker, and Kelsey Healey-Maker, all in Webster; 2 sisters, Charlene Maker of Little Compton, RI and Janis Gay-Maker of Norfolk, VA; 2 grandchildren, Emily and Owen. She also leaves her mother, Esther Maker, of Charlton. She was born in Boston, daughter of Esther Porter Maker and the late John Maker.
In 1984, she received her Bachelors in Nursing from Fitchburg State College, and was employed as an RN at UMass Memorial Health Care’s University Campus, in Worcester.
Ms. Maker had a keen sense of social justice. From her high school years to the present, she participated in peace marches, rallies for reproductive freedom and union struggles. She supported and worked for progressive politicians and candidates, at every level.
Though she advocated for various social reforms and legislation, such as Universal Health Care, her primary focus as an activist was with the Massachusetts Nurses’ Association (MNA). She both organized and marched in informational pickets and strikes for nurses at several of the Worcester hospitals. She was particularly effective at explaining the connections between such issues as: safe staffing levels of nurses, and patient safety.
She was on the MNA’s Board of Directors, and served two terms as Chair of her Bargaining Unit at UMass. Memorial Health Care’s University Campus. For her efforts, in 1999, the MNA awarded her The Elaine Cooney Labor Relations Award.
A celebration of her life will be held on Thursday, August 5, 1:00 PM, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 90 Holden St., Worcester.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The MNA Scholarship Fund, 340 Turnpike Street, Canton, MA, 02021.
The Shaw-Majercik Funeral Home, 48 School St., Webster, MA is directing arrangements.