Class of 2005

Kathy Pufahl


Kathy Pufahl

Hometown: Mattituck, NY

Born: 1958
Died: 2003 (Age 44)

Career Information



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.

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.

Contributions & Service

  • Set standard as a mom with children on the sidelines in 1980s
  • First Managing Director of the UPA
  • 1980s-1990s: Played crucial role in 1980-90s in developing and overseeing administrative responsibilities of the UPA
  • 1984: Co-organized the first Easterns
  • 1985-1988: Second women’s national director of 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
  • 2004-Present: 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

Championship Tournaments

U.S. National Championships

Year Team Placement
1983 Andromeda Club Women 3rd
1984 Andromeda Club Women Pool Play


How did your contributions impact the sport and/or its organization?

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.