Kathy McTaggart, a child and family counselor with strong ties to the Santa Monica community, died on Nov. 8. She was 69.
The cause was cancer, her family said.
"She fought a long, hard, battle for nearly three years. She was fierce 'till the end, never giving in to the inevitable; never whining or complaining," said her sister Ellie Downes.
McTaggart's 16-year career with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District began in 1990. She worked in Educational Services as a School and Community Partnership Coordinator with assignments throughout the district.
She graduated valedictorian of the Suffern, N.Y. High School in 1961. At Smith College, she had graduated magna cum laude, earning two Bachelor of Arts degrees in social work and art history before earning three masters in art history, special education, and counseling psychology. Prior to settling in Santa Monica, she had worked in Hong Kong, Indonesia and New York, according Santa Monica-Malibu Unified spokeswoman Sara Wahrenbrock.
"She was actively involved in city and county social service and youth serving networks and had extensive knowledge of community resources for youth and families.
In 1988, she was honored as the YWCA Woman of the Year and was also a member of the Police Activities League Board of Directors.
She is survived by her sons, Brian McTaggart (Regina) of Long Beach; Michael McTaggart of Culver City; sister Eleanor Downes of Tampa; and her long time partner, Andrew Liberman of Santa Monica.