November 13, 2008 —State Senator Wayne D. Fontana today released this statement regarding the death of Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll.  Senator Fontana was honored to serve as the Lt. Governor’s State Senator and represent her as she was a resident of the 42nd District.

My heart, and those of many Pennsylvanians, hurts today as we mourn the loss of Catherine Baker Knoll.  Catherine was more than a colleague to me.  I considered her a good friend and will greatly miss her humor, passion, commitment and caring.

Catherine was a dedicated public servant.  I will always remember and admire her commitment to the citizens of Pennsylvania and her passion for the political life she surely loved.  Catherine led the way for women in political office and was proud of her role as the Commonwealth’s first female Lieutenant Governor.  That position allowed her to continue advocating for support of women candidates and to encourage women that she met that they too could make a difference and had a voice.

Catherine embraced everything Pittsburgh.  She was Pittsburgh.  A true daughter of McKees Rocks, she still made her home there and never forgot that she came from that small steel-town community.  She never stopped caring and she never stopped working – a lesson from her hometown.

William Penn once said, “They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.”  That is most certainly the case with Catherine, as she loved far beyond this world.

I extend my deepest sympathies to Catherine’s family and friends as they go through this difficult time.  They are in my thoughts and prayers and we share their grief in the passing of this beautiful lady.