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LT. GOV. Catherine Baker Knoll Taken by Cancer
By: Kent Courtney

Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll -- 1930-2008
A Life and Career That Defined Public Service

Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll was the kind of person you remember.  She had charisma.  Both of the times that I talked to Lt. Gov. Knoll, she spent her valuable time talking with me as an individual.  She had a way of connecting with you.

Pennsylvania mourns the passing of one of the strongest, most dedicated public servants in our great commonwealth’s history. Catherine Baker Knoll was sworn in on Jan. 21, 2003, as Pennsylvania’s 30th lieutenant governor; the first woman elected to the post.

A native of Allegheny County, Knoll devoted her life to public service, first as a school teacher and business woman and later advancing issues such as finance, transportation, housing, education, environmental work, human rights, small business development, and urban and rural revitalization efforts.

Knoll served eight distinguished years as Pennsylvania Treasurer. During her tenure, she implemented and maintained the highest standards of accountability and integrity. She also kept Pennsylvania ahead of the technology curve by building a high-tech investment center that saved Pennsylvania hundreds of millions of dollars through increased efficiency and returned nearly $2 billion in interest. She was particularly proud of her accomplishment of creating of TAP 529 Pennsylvania Tuition Account Program, which has since been renamed ‘nowU.’ 

As lieutenant governor, Knoll played a vital role in addressing a variety of issues of critical importance to the people of Pennsylvania. She was also instrumental in issues including emergency management, domestic preparedness, economic development and local government. She served as the president of the Senate and chairwoman of the Board of Pardons, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council, and the Local Government Advisory Committee.

Those who wish to express condolences to the Baker Knoll family are invited to sign a memorial book located in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg. An online memorial book is available at http://www.pa.gov.

The public will have the opportunity to pay respects to Catherine Baker Knoll on Nov. 21 and 22, when she will lie in repose in the Capitol Rotunda. The public may also pay respects on Nov. 23 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburgh. A Mass of Christian Burial will held at St. Paul’s at noon on Nov. 25. Interment will be private.

Even as she fought cancer in recent months, Catherine remained upbeat and dedicated to serving the commonwealth. She was a very passionate and exuberant advocate for many worthy causes. Her passing is a tremendous loss for the many people whose lives she touched.

Including mine.



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LT. GOV. Catherine Baker Knoll Taken by Cancer
By: Kent Courtney
   
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