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Kent Colwell

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Kent Colwell Obituary
Kent Leigh Colwell

Kent L. Colwell, a former senior executive at Transamerica Corporation, died on January 23 at the age of 84.
Kent was raised in Pasadena, CA. He graduated from Stanford University at the age of 20 in 1951. Following his graduation, he served as an officer in the United States Navy. Later, he earned a MBA degree from the Harvard School of Business where he was awarded the distinction of Baker Scholar.
His career with Transamerica started in 1962 when he was hired to be the assistant to the then President. Kent worked at Transamerica for 35 years as President of several subsidiaries as well as Vice President of Transamerica. He was responsible for various real estate related activities including investment, development and lending, as well as an extensive program of investment in Low Income Housing tax credits. One of his favorite projects was managing the development of the Ventana Inn and Restaurant in Big Sur, CA. Kent fell in love with Big Sur and made many friends there as he served as President of the award-winning inn from 1980 - 1997.
Professionally, Kent was a member of the Counselors of Real Estate, President of the National Association of REITS (1984), a member and past President of the Golden Gate Chapter of Lambda Alpha International and a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. He also was awarded the first ever ULI San Francisco Leadership Award from the Urban Land Institute of which he was a member for many years. Kent served for almost 30 years as a Director, Treasurer and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Bridge Housing, the largest non-profit developer of affordable housing in California.
At various times Kent was a member of the Bankers Club, The World Trade Club, The University Club and the Lagunitas Country Club.
He loved Hershey bars, the 49ers (when they were winning), Maui, the S.F. Ballet, mac and cheese and films. (He reluctantly turned down a position as CFO of United Artists, a subsidiary of Transamerica at the time, because it meant relocating to New York.) But, more than anything else he loved his family, his large extended family and a huge circle of friends. He was the gentle, generous and helpful patriarch of our family always there with advice, a helping hand or financial assistance to anyone who needed it. As Kent's nine year old granddaughter said, "K.C. was SUPER nice!"
Kent is survived by his wife of 52 years, Peggy, a son David (Katy), daughters Hilary (Dave) and Stacy. He also leaves behind six grandchildren - Chase, Henry and Hailey Colwell and Skyla, Georgia and Summer Thomas. Kent was predeceased by his infant daughter Caroline.
Per his request, there will be no formal memorial service. A private family gathering honoring Kent's life and legacy will be held at a later date.
Those wishing to honor Kent's memory may send a donation payable to Bridge Housing, 600 California St., Ste 900, San Francisco, CA 94108. Contributions may also be made at www.bridgehousing.com.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jan. 28 to Jan. 31, 2016
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