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SAN CLEMENTE | Community News Focus

Ex-Mayor Karoline Koester Dies

September 25, 1996|JULIE FATE SULLIVAN

Karoline Koester, former mayor and one of the city's best-known government watchdogs, died Sunday after a brief illness. She was 69.

Koester, a 26-year resident, served on the City Council between 1979 and 1986, and as mayor in 1980.

She later became an active watchdog of city government, attending nearly every City Council and Planning Commission meeting, regularly reviewing city expenditures and keeping a close eye on major city-initiated projects.

As recently as July, Koester had taken out papers to run for City Council in the November election, but she never returned them.

"She served the city well," Mayor Steve Apodaca said. "She served as a voice for certain groups in San Clemente.

"She was never mean-spirited. She always maintained her professionalism and dignity whenever she appeared before the council. We'll miss seeing Karoline."

The news came as a surprise to many residents. Koester died at Columbia San Clemente Hospital and Medical Center, less than a week after being admitted, longtime friend Dottie Flynn said. The cause of death has not been released.

"Everybody who knew her well was very shocked," Flynn said, adding that Koester had told close friends within the past week that she had cancer.

"We strongly believed she was an honest and upright woman and had no interest other than the good of the city at heart," Flynn said.

Koester is survived by two cousins, Carl Gordon and Adelaide Gordon, both of Granada Hills; and two nieces, Jorgine Stannard of Santa Monica and Marilyn Rougier of Victoria, British Columbia, according to spokesmen at Ray Family San Clemente Mortuary.

A visitation will be Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the mortuary. Plans for services on Friday are pending.

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