FRANCES KATHERINE WOODS died Thursday, May 25, in a single-car automobile accident along New Idria Road in southern San Benito County. She was 60 years old. Woods was known and loved for her sharp wit and commitment to social justice. She also pushed the EPA to clean up an abandoned mercury mine in New Idria that polluted local waterways.
She will be missed by countless friends and her beloved cats and dogs whom she cared for deeply.
Woods, known as “Kate” by friends and family, was a longtime resident of San Benito County and had great affection for the natural beauty and wildlife here. Born and raised in San Jose, she moved to the Panoche Valley to escape what she called the “rat race” of San Jose. Woods was a renowned and respected mariachi player, and a pioneer as one of the first female mariachi players to perform in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In typical selfless and giving fashion she had left her home near New Idria to give two stranded motorists a ride to the Panoche road junction. Unfortunately on her way back she was involved in a single car accident and passed away.
We are truly devastated that Kate has left us in such a tragic and unfortunate way. We hope to raise funding to cover her final expenses and to help her family.
- Jessika Satori
- Steve Perry
- James Gilmore
- Holly Cornetto
- Nicole Gerardin
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