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Katherine Prentice


1928 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Katherine M. Prentice

Nov 8, 1928 - June 3, 2018

Katherine Minetta Prentice (née Quist), of Hayward, Oakland and Rancho Murieta, California, June 3, 2018, age 89, at home, in the loving embrace of immediate family, especially her husband of 72 years, Waller J. Prentice.
Kay, as all knew her, was a model of grace and generosity, an East Bay native with deep California roots. Paternal grandfather, Nils Quist, founded the family-run Quist Brothers lumberyard in Hayward, producing redwood millwork for the developing region. Maternal grandfather, Henry Coleman Cutting, became a principal founder of the City of Richmond (hence Cutting Boulevard). As a freshman at Hayward High, Kay was crossing the street when she caught the eye of an athletic senior driving to school who vowed to find out her name. This was Kay Quist (HHS '47), jewel of the modern dance program, and Waller, the beguiled driver. By the time Waller shipped out for the Philippines in 1945, in the Army Air Corps, they were sweethearts, and soon after his return, they eloped to Reno. Kay had turned eighteen only the day before. Like so many couples after World War II, they scraped by, but they were uncommonly happy.
Applying Kay's design instinct and irrepressible can-do, they built their own house in the Oakland hills, a haven for family and friends. With a husband on the Oakland Police force (Sergeant, then Captain), she adapted to his nighttime shifts and a wife's perennial safety concerns. There were two boys to raise, a flower shop to run, and myriad domestic responsibilities which Kay handled with unusual skill, elevating cooking, gardening and sewing to an art, and achieving mastery of upholstering and, later, water color painting.
In 1995, Kay & Waller retired to Rancho Murieta, once again building their house and creating a magnetic center of vibrant gatherings, as grandsons and great-grandsons were added to the fold.
Kay's light step, joy in life and good-natured hard work bound husband and sons, Prentices, Quists, and extended family of all generations, along with the many friends who came within her orbit. Those who knew her intelligence and exceptional warmth enjoyed a privileged sense of belonging.
In addition to her husband, Waller, Kay Prentice is survived by devoted sons and daughters-in-law, Blair and Helaine, Berkeley, and Scott and Debra, Sacramento; sister Elizabeth Haun, Danville; Rev. Kevin Mullins, OSA, San Diego; grandsons Asa, Russell and Graham and their wives; three great-grandsons, Holden, Brooks and Malcolm; and cherished nieces and nephews. Kay was predeceased by grandson Matthew in 2003.
In remembrance of Kay Prentice, a memorial service will be conducted on Saturday June 16, 2018, 12:00 noon, at Klumpp's Chapel of Flowers, 2691 Riverside Boulevard, Sacramento.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 10, 2018
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