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Catherine Hensel, Montebello's First Woman Mayor, Dies at 75

September 03, 1987

MONTEBELLO — Former mayor Catherine P. Hensel died of cancer on Aug. 26. She was 75.

Hensel was elected to the Montebello City Council in 1976. She became the city's first woman mayor and served in that position twice. She was also appointed by Sen. David A. Roberti (D-Los Angeles) to the State Advisory Highway Transportation Committee.

She voluntarily stepped down from the Montebello City Council in December, 1985, in order to pursue community and church activities.

Hensel was the first woman to be legally inducted into the Rotary Club and the first chairwoman of the East Los Angeles/Montebello YMCA Board of Managers. She was past president of the Montebello Toastmistress Club, the East Los Angeles Rotary Anns and the Montebello Soroptimist Club. She was also a member of St. Benedict's Altar Society, Catholic Daughters, Montebello Women's Club and the Southland Art Assn.

A charter member of the Beverly Community Hospital Foundation Board, Hensel was second vice president of the board at the time of her death. The hospital's new maternity center, now under construction, will be named the Hensel Maternity Center in her honor as a result of a $1-million endowment made by Hensel and her husband, George.

On Aug. 24, the City Council voted unanimously to name the youth center in Montebello Park the Catherine P. Hensel Youth Center.

In addition to her husband, Hensel is survived by her brother, Charles Pizer of Pocatello, Ida.; her daughters, Ann Mullenax of Pocatello and Cinnia Easley of Redlands; a son, Jan Cinders of San Marcos, Tex.; stepchildren Vernon Hensel of San Gabriel and Colleen Hensel of Montebello; 20 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

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