Kathleen Kauffman

Kathleen Kauffman passed away on April 22, 2021 from complications due to ALS.  A graveside service will be held at Media Cemetery in August or early September 2021, once pandemic restrictions ease and we can gather comfortably after the service to celebrate her life.  Details will be posted on this web page.

Kathy was born in Swarthmore and raised in Media, Pennsylvania by her parents James and Agnes Kauffman, who preceded her in death.  She lived in her beautiful, old Lansdowne home for nearly 40 years and passed away there, just as the songbirds which take residence in the fragrant garden outside her windows were announcing the day.

Doyenne of Gladstone Manor, treasurer of the Gladstone Civic Association, and captain of her block, Kathy took a hands-on roll in all of the community’s welcoming events- tree lightings, public space clean ups, 4th of July cookouts.  Her friends and neighbors in Gladstone Manor were invaluable to Kathy.  While she battled ALS with her distinctive strength and optimism, she was often home alone during the pandemic.  The care and comfort they provided was heroic.

Kathy graduated from Widener University with a BS in Finance, Phi Beta Kappa.  From the late 1960s until the early 2000s, she worked for several companies, including FMC Corporation, IU International Corporation and Harper Collins Publishing, where her position as Vice President of Finance meant she had to take the 6:30 AM train from 30th Street Station Philadelphia to New York for nearly 10 years.  Before retiring altogether in 2016, she worked part-time for 14 years at Gadsden, Schneider & Woodward LLP, a trust and estate law firm in Wayne, PA.

From the time she was in her early 20s until 2019, Kathy could be found on summer weekends and vacations in Avalon, NJ, sharing rentals and hanging out on decks around the Princeton Canal, with her closest and most beloved friends to this day.

Passionate about many kinds of music, Kathy leaves behind a room lined with vinyl and CDs.  She also enjoyed live concerts, and one early highlight was seeing David Bowie at the Tower Theater in 1974.  Her love of music never waned.  During retirement, she often hopped the regional SEPTA line into Philly for many of WXPN’s free World Cafe concerts at noon.  Indeed, it was listening to Van Morrison, Sam Cooke, Roxy Music, Jason Mraz and an eclectic mix of current and classic artists that helped Kathy get through the roughest days of having ALS.

Please remember Kathy when you hear one of her all-time favorites: Van Morrison’s ‘Into the Mystic’.  Imagine it cranking in her car on a humid summer Friday evening, as she made her way through the dark back roads of the South Jersey Pine Barrens, heading for Avalon.

We were born before the wind

Also younger than the sun

Ere the bonnie boat was won

As we sailed into the mystic

Hark, now hear the sailors cry

Smell the sea and feel the sky

Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that foghorn blows

I will be coming home

And when the foghorn blows

I want to hear it

I don’t have to fear it and I want to rock your gypsy soul

Just like way back in the days of old

And magnificently we will flow into the mystic

Kathy is survived by her devoted sisters and their husbands:  Kristine and Frank Grahek and Nanette and Michael Giles, and their children – the nieces and nephews whom she adored and doted on:  Jocelyn Gross, Joey Gross, Warren Gross, Jaime Grahek, Lowie Giles and Will Giles.  She had cousins, extended family and friends whom she loved immensely and enthusiastically, in Gladstone Manor and Lansdowne, across the greater Philadelphia region, in Wilmington, DE, Brooklyn, NY and Los Angeles, CA.

If you would like to send a gift to remember Kathy, please consider these three organizations:

Kathy and her family would like to express their deepest appreciation to ALS Association’s Greater Philadelphia Chapter and to the Neurology and ALS Program at Penn Medicine.  Thank you for bringing us into your communities and for the many ways you supported Kathy and our family over the past two years.

We are grateful to WXPN for the delight it brought Kathy for decades.  You rocked her gypsy soul and continuously introduced her to new music and artists, to which she sang and danced until the end, until the early spring morning when she flowed magnificently into the mystic.

Bicycle Facilities

Bicycle FacilitiesLansdowne Borough was awarded technical assistance from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s (“DVRPC”) Safe Routes to Transit Program. The program is a competitive technical assistance program periodically offered to municipalities in Greater Philadelphia that are interested in enhancing pedestrian and bicycle access to transit stations. As part of this program, DVRPC facilitated a meeting with representatives from Lansdowne Borough and Delaware County on April 8, 2019 to discuss pedestrian and bicycle access issues and opportunities around SEPTA’s Lansdowne Regional Rail Station.


In 2014 the Borough conducted a walkshed analysis as part of the 2012 Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI). In the study, Lansdowne Central Business District Walk-Shed Improvements, one of the recommendations outlined was a design at the
intersection of Lansdowne Avenue and Scottdale Road to construct a bump out on the southern corner of Scottdale Road in conjunction with a striped crosswalk to make the pedestrian experience more comfortable. Also, though advocacy of the Borough, Lansdowne Station was one of three stations surveyed as part of DVRPC’s Delaware County Bike-to-Transit Survey project. One outcome of the project is a set of recommendations for bicycle facilities that can be used to access the station. These recommendations were discussed in the session (see map below). The most pertinent recommendation is a bike lane on Lansdowne Avenue from Madison Avenue to the municipal border. Because this bike lane would increase multimodal access and serve as a traffic calming strategy, it was discussed in detail during the session. Additionally, SEPTA plans to add bike parking to the north side of the station to support bicycle access. It is with this preliminary work that the Borough is actively seeking (August 2019) Bicycle Facility design experts to develop a plan and documentation for installing facilities concurrent with the PennDOT resurfacing of Lansdowne Avenue project in the second half of 2020. The Borough will seek grant funding to support the planning and implementation of this work.

Gateway Slope

Gateway SlopeIn 2016 and 2017 Lansdowne Borough was awarded two grants that will support the development of a pedestrian trail as an extension of the Hoffman Park trail. The new trail extension known as Gateway Slope will connect to the existing trail at the South East corner of Scottdale and Baltimore Avenue and extend eastward, up the slope to Eldon Road. The project will allow for the disbandment of the existing sidewalk that is inadequate and dangerously close to the automobile traffic that flows up Baltimore Avenue. The two awards for the project amount to $600,000 one from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnership Program C2P2 in the amount of $300,000 and another from the Commonwealth Financing Authority Multimodal Transportation Fund in the amount of $300,000 awarded. The design and engineering of this project was completed in July of 2018 and the project is nearing the end of the PennDOT permitting process. Construction is expected to commence in the Fall of 2019.