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MAI K. ARBEGAST

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Mai K. Arbegast Resident of Berkeley Mai was born in San Jose, California in 1922, the oldest of six children of the late Mr. and Mrs. Gijiu Kitazawa. She resided in San Jose and attended San Jose State College until World War II, at which time the family was relocated and interned in a detention camp at Heart Mountain, WY. She was permitted to leave the camp to attend Oberlin College from which she received her B.S. degree. She attended Cornell University and received a Masters degree in Ornamental Horticulture. At the end of the war the family returned to San Jose and Mai continued her education at the University of California Berkeley, receiving a second Masters degree in Landscape Architecture. She became an instructor in the UCB Department of Landscape Architecture and taught for thirteen years. In 1967 Mai opened her own Landscape Architecture office, practiced throughout the Bay Area and consulted widely. She conducted educational garden tours to Japan, England and Europe. She lectured at many educational institutions and will be remembered for her work with horticultural organizations and for her pro bono work for many organizations in the Bay Area. She arranged for the gift of the Blake Estate in Kensington, CA to the Dept. of Landscape Architecture at UCB and was instrumental in obtaining Filoli, the Roth estate in San Mateo for the National Trust. She facilitated the donation of the Farrand literary collection to UCB and also donated her personal library to UCB. She received a Life Time Achievement Award from UCB Landscape Architecture Department and received the Horticulturist of the Year Award from AAGBA. She is survived by her loving husband David, their four children Deborah, Lisa, Michael and Katherine, granddaughters Victoria, Mikayla and Allison, sons-in-law Michael Conn, William Wagner and Luke Swafford, and by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kitazawa, Mrs. June Barr, Mrs. Helen Komatsu and an extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends. There will be no funeral or memorial services. In lieu of flowers the family invites donations to Filoli 86 Canada Road, Woodside, CA 94062.
Published in Contra Costa Times on Apr. 15, 2012
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