Los Altos woman aboard fallen flight 587

The Associated Press
Thursday November 15, 2001

LOS ALTOS — A Los Altos investment banker was aboard American Airlines Flight 587, which crashed into a residential New York City neighborhood Monday, destroying homes and killing all 260 passengers and crew. 

Family and friends are mourning the death of Kathleen Williams, 54, who had taken the Dominican Republic-bound flight to bring equipment to a new medical facility there. 

Cousin Christine England said Williams often worked in Latin America trying to improve the lives of impoverished people. England said Williams was planning to travel to Guatemala when she learned funding had been approved for the Dominican project, prompting her to shift her destination. 

“She told her very best friend on Sunday that this was the happiest time of her life, to be able to go and just affect the lives of so many people,” England said. “She drew people in, she made people feel included, and welcome, and loved, and she will be very missed.” 

Friends called Williams a passionate and dedicated person who was quick to help people down on their luck. Williams raised thousands of dollars with her church congregation to send as flood relief for victims of Hurricane Mitch, and volunteered at her church. 

“She made a difference in our life here in this church,” said friend Lynne McCoy. 

Williams often took her goodwill efforts abroad. She spoke French, Spanish and Portuguese and helped establish Bank of America branches in Latin America. 

“She was true blue,” said her mother, Beverly Tucker. “She was more than a daughter. She was incredible.” 

Williams also was involved in her own community and served as president of the board of trustees at Palo Alto’s Castilleja School, where her 16-year-old daughter, Emily, attends. 

Williams also is survived by her husband, Keith, and three brothers.