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Kathy Pufahl  


Inducted: 2005 - Contributor

Last Residence: Mattituck, N.Y.

Lived: December 17, 1958 - October 13, 2003                


Kathy Pufahl played a crucial role in the 1980s and early 1990s in organizing and overseeing the administrative responsibilities of the UPA. She oversaw the UPA Championship Series and other tournaments, organized the women’s college division, co-wrote the first update to the Ninth Edition rules, and made sure the UPA Newsletter was published and distributed. She was the second women’s national director of the UPA from 1985-88 the first Managing Director of the UPA from 1988-90, setting up and running the first official UPA headquarters in an office near her home on the North Shore of Long Island. In 1981, she helped start one of the first women’s Ultimate teams, Housewives in Rochester, N.Y., and later played with Andromeda in Washington, D.C. and the New York City women’s teams. On the field, she was a steady player who always got open, who was impossible to cover, and who threw exceedingly strategically and accurately. Outside of her Ultimate involvement, she was the foremost grower of hard-to-find annual plants in the world and was dubbed "Queen of Containers" by Horticulture Magazine. Kathy was stricken with cancer and died in October 2003. The annual "Spirit of the Game Award" for the women’s division at the UPA Championship was introduced in her honor in 2004.

Playing Career  |  US Nationals  |  Contributions & Service  |  Other Accomplishments  |  Personal Life

Playing Career 

Founded and captained some of the first women’s teams:

  • Rochester Housewives, Rochester, N.Y. in the early 1980s
  • Andromeda, Washington, D.C. in 1983 and 1984
  • Survival and various other NYC Women’s teams from 1985-1991 US

US National Championship Tournaments

Name    City    Year    Venue    Placing
Andromeda   Washington, D.C.   1983   New Orleans, LA   Third
Andromeda   Washington, D.C.   1984   New Orleans, LA   Pool

Contributions and Service

  • Second women’s national director of UPA (1985-88)
  • First Managing Director of the UPA
  • Set up and ran first official UPA headquarters in an office near her home on the North Shore of Long Island
  • Started teams, recruited players, organized tournaments, supervised production of UPA Newsletters
  • Organized women’s college division
  • Co-authored first update to Ninth Edition rules. Co-authored first UPA Tournament Organizers Handbook
  • Played crucial role in 1980-90s in developing and overseeing administrative responsibilities of the UPA

    Kathy Pufahl Cande was a major giver during her 44 years here on earth, applying energy and creativity to the many good things she built. On the Ultimate field, she earned a reputation as one of the star women players of her era with savvy skills, fitness and great spirit.

    Early on, Kath’s roles in the world of Ultimate were as a tournament organizer (co-organizing the first Easterns in 1984), a recruiter of new players and a builder of early powerhouse women’s teams in both Washington, D.C., and New York. In the mid-1980s when the UPA was only a few years old, Kath stepped up to fill some major gaps. She took personal responsibility to ensure that the UPA Newsletter, the lifeline of communication to the members, continued to be published. She wrote, edited and even mailed the newsletters herself.

    Kathy was the UPA’s second women’s national director and helped to get the College Women’s Division off the ground. She performed so many functions within the UPA that a special position of managing director was specifically created for her. There probably isn’t a single individual who played a more pivotal role in establishing the early infrastructure of the UPA.

    Quite simply, Kathy was the glue that held the UPA together and she did it with that distinctively big, bright smile on her face. When she lost the battle against cancer in the fall of 2003, the sport of Ultimate lost a great light. She was an inspiration to everyone who worked with her off the field or competed with (or against) her on the field.




Other Accomplishments

• Set standard as a mom with children on the sidelines in 1980s

• Chosen by her peers as the standard bearer for the women’s Sprit of the Game award — ‘Kathy Pufahl Cande Spirit of the Game Award’ that was debuted at 2004 Nationals


Personal Life 

Kathy is survived by husband Kevin Cande and two children. Kathy was the CEO/Owner of Beds & Borders, the foremost grower of hard-to-find annual plants in the world. Kath was the type of person who radiated energy. When she wasn’t running or diving on an Ultimate field, she was channeling her competitive intensity into getting stuff done. She had a can-do attitude and confidence in her own abilities that didn’t leave room for letting things slide. She committed the time, energy and smarts necessary to make sure that the things she valued got taken care of—her family, her friends and teammates, her business and her sport.




  • 2020

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  • 2004