Frances Katz had an amazing ability to make things happen and to solve problems, her husband of 32 years said.
“She was passionate about her family and her work, taking great pride in both,” Allan Katz said. “She mentored many people and touched many lives."
Working in the food industry 55 years, Katz knew the heads of most food companies. After retiring as vice president of research at American Maize, Katz, 76, of Crown Point, was president of Superior Intelligence Publications and director of publications for both the American Society of Agronomy and the Institute of Food Technologists.
When American Maize's owner decided to build an oyster hatchery on a Connecticut island, the oysters wouldn’t spawn, Allan Katz said. Frances Katz solved the problem with bubblers.
“It worked and now he had 400 million oysters to sell,” Allan Katz said.
Katz called her contacts, and soon the oysters were sold to Campbell’s Soup and the shells to General Nutrition for use in vitamin supplements.
A Mensa member, Katz earned her MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of Indianapolis.
The couple met at a Chicago Boys Club board meeting that he chaired. Both worked at the Hancock Building, where they ran into each other on an elevator the following day.
“We went for coffee, and the rest is history,” Katz said.
Katz’ hobbies were reading and writing. The couple enjoyed boating, were Chicago Yacht Club members and took cruises to many countries.
A polio survivor, Katz was a major donor to the Worldwide Rotary Polio Eradication Campaign, “which has stamped out one of most horrific diseases in history,” Allan Katz said.