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Lorel Lu Kay


1926 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Lorel Lu Kay Obituary
Lorel Lu Kay
April 9, 1926 - January 9, 2013
Resident of Saratoga
Lorel Lu Kay, age 86, died peacefully at her home in the Saratoga Retirement Community on Jan 9, 2013 surrounded by the love of her husband and family who were present. Lorel's life as a spouse, mother, relative and friend was a rich one, full of love offered and love returned.
Born on April 9, 1926 and raised in Los Angeles, Lorel Lu Daus grew up in a happy family with older sister June and parents Paul and Daphne. She went to University High in Los Angeles where her valedictorian speech signaled a theme of enduring importance to her with its title "Science with a Heart." Lorel graduated Magna Cum Laude from UC Berkeley with a degree in Chemistry and then continued her education in the graduate program at University of Michigan. After attending a lecture by Professor Melvin Calvin, Lorel enthusiastically became an integral part of his research team at UC Berkeley. Lorel is a coauthor on the seminal 1954 publication that was cited when Calvin was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1961) for his work unlocking the secrets of photosynthesis.
In 1952 Lorel Lu met Eric Kay. Soon after, they married and began a deeply loving partnership of 60 years that was a true love story: they frequently discussed the issues of the day and all could see their affection for one another. Eric and Lorel have 3 children (David, Erica, Andy), 6 grandchildren (Frieda, Owen, Kara, Mckenzie, Joshua, Carly) and 4 great-grandchildren. Nurturing her family was always Lorel's top priority and proudest achievement.
To the end her mind was restless and probing, her creativity multi-faceted, her love for words and puns constant, and her dedication to others unwavering. Lorel Lu was an artist (bronze sculptor- hero of the West Valley College sculpture class, painter, and filmmaker), a writer (poet and story-teller), a scientist, and a humanitarian. Although exceedingly humble throughout her life, Lorel was an inspiration to all who knew her.
A scientist at heart, Lorel's insatiable desire to know how things worked, her love for understanding the process itself, propelled her to be a doer in life not satisfied in being a spectator. In life as with all her endeavors, Lorel embraced the journey. She delighted in the process and was accepting and always grateful for the perfection of whatever resulted.
Private services will be held on February 23rd. In lieu of flowers, which Lorel loved, donations may be made to Mendocino Coast Clinics (www.mendocinocoastclinics.org) or the .

Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Jan. 18, 2013
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