Katherine Noel Brosnahan

December 24, 1962June 5, 2018

Kate Spade

Katherine Noel Brosnahan, 55, passed away June 5, 2018 at her home in New York City. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 3:00 p.m., Thursday, June 21, 2018 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Catholic Church, 3333 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri 64111. In lieu of flowers, kindly direct donations to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or to Wayside Waifs, Kansas City’s largest no-kill animal shelter and pet adoption campus.

Katy was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She attended Notre Dame de Sion grade school and graduated from St. Teresa’s Academy in 1980. She went on to attend the University of Kansas and graduated from the Arizona State University School of Journalism in 1986. After graduation, she moved to New York where she found employment at Mademoiselle Magazine as an assistant fashion accessories editor, eventually working her way up to Senior Fashion Editor. In 1993, identifying an unexploited market niche, her creative talent and inspiration resulted in the founding of her first company, introducing the world to Kate Spade. In 1996, she received the Rising Talent award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Katy then received the CFDA Accessories Designer of the Year in 1998. In 1999, Neiman Marcus became an influential partner and investor in the burgeoning Kate Spade enterprise, accelerating its growth and expansion. In 2007, Kate Spade was acquired by Liz Claiborne, boosting national and international growth and prominence of the Kate Spade brand and product lines. Katy left the business following the sale. In 2012 Liz Claiborne became known as Fifth & Pacific which was later changed to Kate Spade & Company in 2014. The brand was then acquired by Coach in 2017 where it remains today. In 2016 she and two of the original partners from Kate Spade launched a new brand and venture, Frances Valentine, named after her daughter.

To most of the world, she was Kate Spade, the beautiful embodiment of her brand and a glamorous cultural icon. Everyone knows of her global fame as a fashion designer responsible for the wildly popular and successful products that still capture the hearts and fancies of women everywhere. Many women today recount their first experiences with the Kate Spade brand and the inspiration they drew from its namesake.

However, there was so much more to Katy and her life. Those who knew her personally can share stories of a phenomenally loving, giving, humble, warm and affectionate woman who tragically left this world far too soon. Katy’s determination was matched only by her generosity. Loyal almost to a fault, Katy could be counted on to support her friends and family in times of trouble without question or judgment. Her sense of humor was one of her most enduring and charming qualities. Her quick and infectious laugh still resonates in the minds of all who knew her. Katy was always perceptive. She always aspired to put the best interests of others ahead of her own. Katy will always be remembered lovingly for her conscientiousness and empathy. She loved animals. She was a devoted wife, mother, daughter and sister. Katy was kind beyond words to describe. She will be dearly missed by those who knew her and by the millions she inspired.

Katy was preceded in death by her mother, June Mullen Brosnahan in 2010. She is survived by her husband, Andrew Spade; her daughter Frances Beatrix Spade; her father, Frank Brosnahan and his wife, Sandy Palmer Brosnahan; four sisters, Michele Brosnahan, Ann Brosnahan DiVita (Nicholas), Reta Brosnahan Saffo (Karl), Eve Brosnahan (Kent); a brother, Earl Brosnahan, III (Carol); seven nieces and nephews, as well as her mother-in-law Judith Todd and two brothers-in-law Brian and David.


  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
  • Wayside Waifs


  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Thursday, June 21, 2018


Katherine Noel Brosnahan

have a memory or condolence to add?

George Aceves

June 5, 2021

My dear Katherine, I hope you still enjoy your life in the heaven and now my father also has gone bless you.

Jennie Walton(sally Eidson Walton’s daughter)

June 22, 2018

I am so very sorry for your loss. My Mother Sally Eidson Walton, went to school with Kate’s Mother June. Your family is in my prayers. God bless you all in your time of grief.

Jennie Walton

June 22, 2018

Words cannot express the great loss your family is feeling right now. I’m sure you probably don’t remember me or know who I am. My dear Mother knew your Mother June Brosnahan, when they were roomates at Ward Bellmont College. I think my Mother would have wanted to send her condolences too. My Mothers name was Sally Eidson Walton. I remember Eve and I think I met her and all of you once. God bless you all, Jennie Walton and Family. Kate will be greatly missed and my prayers are with you and all of the Brosnahan family.

Heather Antetomaso

June 22, 2018


You were such an inspiration to all. You were so loved you were an amazing designer you will definitely be missed but your name will still carry on. Fly high Kate 🦋🦋🦋

Terry Tarara

June 21, 2018

🦋. Fly high.

Linda Gillespie (Ousley)

June 21, 2018

I was shocked when I learned KATY was KATE but my heart absolutely SANK when I learned WHO KATE WAS, because we were very BEST friends from early grade school at Borderstar elementary school. I NEVER KNEW SHE BECAME THE ICONIC KATE SPADE, I moved to OPKS after 3rd grade. While living on Greenway terrace, I lived there with my Grandparents the Ratcliiffs until then and attending Borderstar we were inseparable, never stopped talking, yes that could be a problem according to teachers🤣🤣🤣, her smile, personality were infectious and would light up the room! Playing, going to the pool filled summers. I stayed the night at your home a few times, oh what fun we had. I remember Eve and Katy’s Mom but sorrily no other family. Eve, this picture would be close to what I looked like then. May Gods gracious love and healing envelop your precious family and dearest Katy, peace be with you, we were truly two little peas in a pod💜🌺💜🌺

LeAnn Kazan

June 20, 2018

I was shocked to learn of Kate's death. She was a wonderful women with awesome success. I was born in Kansas city and have lived in Arizona since 1986. She will be dearly missed. I love her bags. Love and Prayers to her daughter. She loved you. She was struggling with her own illness. Treasure the memories.

Jane Kadis

June 20, 2018

I am so deeply saddened by the death of Kate spade, one of my favorite designers. I will be wearing a beautiful pink dress she designed this Saturday to my daughters bridal shower, I have so many of her designs. I get so many compliments when I wear her pink handbag. I loved her! My heart goes out to her daughter and extended family. May you Rest In Peace sweet lady, and my our lord give your family the strength and comfort to go on.
Sincerely, jane kadis

Lisa Smith

June 20, 2018

Iam so deeply saddened by this beautiful and blessed woman. My prayers go out to her daughter, husband, dad and siblings. Every time i have a bag over my shoulder or wear a pair of shoes, either kate spade or frances valentine , i will say a prayer for you all. Much love
Lisa Cappuccilli Smith

JB McNamara

June 20, 2018

May her daughter be comforted and inspired by her accomplished mother. My prayer go to the teen who has lost her Mother. Lord, give her strength. 💔💔💔