Kitty Bliss Haspel passed away Monday, November 21, 2022 in Sutter Creek, CA at the age of 70 years old. She was born in New Orleans, LA on February 7, 1952, a daughter of the late Dorothy (Council) and Sidney Lanier Bliss.
Kitty’s life revolved around nature, books, dogs, service and creativity – not necessarily in that order. Kitty believed in education, having attained a masters in English literature from San Francisco State University, a masters in social welfare from University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in Psychology from the Wright Institute. She often said that her greatest successes as a psychotherapist to incarcerated youth at the California Youth authority where she worked for many years, first at Preston and, when that closed, in Stockton, occurred when she inspired youth to take their education seriously. Realizing another person had great faith in them sometimes inspired them to strive for better things for themselves.
Kitty combined her love for education and dogs in another way by training her beloved dog Grommit to be a therapy dog who served at our Jackson Public Library for several years as the “Library Dog” to whom the kids would come and read. The kids loved Grommit and not only read to him, but drew pictures of him and had pictures taken with him when he would show up in costume.
Kitty also wrote a two volume, not yet published, novel about a dog and an incarcerated youth, who transformed each other through mutual respect and love. The story is told alternately through the eyes of the dog and the young man. She strived to illustrate the transformative power of love and hopes it will be an inspiration to others.
Her master’s thesis was written about the author Isaak Dinesen, one of her favorite authors. She also deeply admired Jack London, who she thought knew dogs better than anyone, and Willa Cather, whose depictions of frontier life were, in her eyes, unparalleled masterpieces.
She loved nature and was delighted to live in the foothills for the past 23 years (being a Bay Area transplant) with access to such great hiking in the high country. One of her favorite walks begins at the far end of the parking lot at the little Kirkwood restaurant on Highway 88.
Kitty passed away peacefully at her home with her husband Tom by her side on November 21, 2022.
Anyone who wishes to honor Kitty’s memory would do her great honor by contributing to A-Pal Humane Society in her name at pawspartners.org/donate.html. Also, if there are those interested in reading her novel, please express such interest to: THaspel@aol.com.
She was deeply loved and will be sorely missed.
Kitty is survived by her husband Thomas Haspel of Sutter Creek, CA; a brother, Williamson Bliss of New Orleans, LA. Preceded in death by parents.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting danerimortuary.com and signing the guest book.