Sunday the Cardiff Kook statue was decorated to honor the one-year anniversary of the death of Encinitas City Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan.
Houlihan died of endometrial cancer on Sept. 16, 2011, at the age of 63.
A white ribbon wrapped around the base of the statue read ‘In Loving Memory of Maggie Houlihan’ and just beneath that, there was a row of flowers. The statue held a large banner that read 'Rest in Peace' with Houlihan's photo on it and its feet were adored with all sorts of stuffed animals, a nod to Houlihan’s love of animals and her ongoing efforts to work with rescue groups, including the Rancho Coastal Humane Society.
Houlihan was honored with a dedicated bench at the RCHS dog park last year, and during that tribute, president Jim Silveira thanked her for her work to help animals, which included co-founding of the Spay and Neuter Program in 1990 and the founding of Wee Companions Small Animal Rescue in 1998. Houlihan was elected to the city council in 2000 and is largely credited with increasing transparency in government, which included televising city council meetings and uploading city documents online.
During the tribute at RCHS former Del Mar City Councilwoman Crystal Crawford told the audience she believed Houlihan was driven to serve Encinitas because it’s what she loved doing most.
“I recently heard that happiness is found somewhere between community service and love. I think that’s Maggie. Maggie is all about love and community service and she is one doggone happy woman,” she said.
In an interview with Patch last year Houlihan said facing cancer had taught her to embrace the present, and said she hoped others could learn the same.
“None of us know what the future holds, and each day is unique and the only time we will experience that particular day,” she said. “To me, this means that we need to grab the gusto each and every day as it comes, whether sunny, rainy, filled with challenges or easy.”