Henry Dakin
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Henry Saltonstall Dakin 1936 - 2010 Henry Dakin died peacefully at home surrounded by family in Ukiah, California on August 25th at age 73. A fourth generation Californian, Henry helped creative individuals realize their uncommon dreams by sharing his skills and resources to support their innovative for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. His boundless curiosity, indefatigable industry and selfless service inspired countless people. He leaves a prodigious and enduring legacy of visionary philanthropy, humility, kindness, and immense generosity. Henry grew up in Pasadena, California, and graduated from Harvard University in 1958. During the 1960's, he did research in health physics at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and designed a pocket radiation detector that is still in use today. Devastating tragedy befell him in 1966 when he lost seven family members in a plane crash, among them his father Richard and brother Roger, who founded the Dakin Toy Company. During the 1970s, Henry's protean interests in consciousness, parapsychology, computer technology, and environmental conservation generated leading-edge projects at his Washington Street offices in Pacific Heights in San Francisco. His love of printing led him to explore early innovations in desktop publishing and many other publishing ventures: he wrote a book on Kirlian photography, published religious documents smuggled from Soviet political prisons in the "Samizdat Bulletin" and a major guide to doing business in Moscow. Henry's deep concern over the escalating arms race grew in the 1980s, and resulted in his increasing support to many activist groups that were pioneering novel forms of citizen diplomacy such as Esalen's Soviet-American Exchange Program. Ever-expanding activities required more space, so Henry transformed an auto-body shop at 3220 Sacramento Street into a unique office complex, multi-media and cultural networking center for citizen activists to hold public and private events. Over the decades, Henry incubated an astonishing number and variety of fledgling non-profit groups, providing them with technical support, funding, and office and living space. Some are now well-established groups such as Internews, United Nations Association of San Francisco, Institute for Global Communications, Presidio Alliance, San Francisco Global Business Council, Association for Space Explorers, Link TV, and Bioneers. Self-effacing, Henry shunned publicity, yet was a truly remarkable cultural ambassador, peacemaker, and global communications pioneer. In 1988 the New York Times featured two of the many groups he fostered: Center for Citizen Initiatives, which exchanged business delegations of thousands of Americans and Soviets, and the San Francisco/Moscow Teleport, which introduced e-mail to the Soviet Union and later became a global telecom company. Henry and his wife Vergilia helped Bay Area parents establish the San Francisco Waldorf School, based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. The school now operates classes from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, and is the largest Waldorf school in North America. This loving husband, father, brother, and compassionate friend of humanity and the Earth was a 40-year resident of Pacific Heights in San Francisco, more recently of Mill Valley in Marin County, and finally Ukiah. He is survived by his wife Vergilia Paasche Dakin; daughters Adriana Dakin, Rose Dakin, and Julia Dakin Frech; son David Platford; grandchildren Iola Dakin Gravois and Gwendolyn Dakin Johnson; sisters Susanna Dakin and Mira Sadgopal (Mary Dakin); nephew Samuel Dakin and his children; and a vast network of friends and grateful recipients of his generosity. A memorial celebration for Henry Dakin will be held in San Francisco at The Presidio Golden Gate Club on November 14, 2010 at 2:00pm. Gifts in Henry's name may be made to: San Francisco Waldorf School, Earth Island Institute, RSF Social Finance, and Mendocino Environmental Center.

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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 31, 2010.
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35 entries
December 27, 2019
A great fantastic person I used to visit Henry at his office 3220 sacremento Street San Francisco I met prince Alfred Von liechstenstien threw Henry daken we had great fun together dearly missed
John Hutchison
Friend
October 20, 2015
Henry and Vergilia Dakin have been dear friends and always the most honest and generous people I know. May Vergilia and her children continue and have wonderful lives.
Anna Erik
October 24, 2011
Henry inspired me not to be afraid of computers and the language of the future. Petrified, I listened, made mistakes and with a shaky hand slowly learned. Henry was more than a patient teacher. Thank you again Henry. Jessica
October 19, 2011
Dear Henry, I just learned of your passing, and am so sorry we won't connect in the flesh any more. I saw you last at the How Weird Festival circa May of 2005 in SF. I have a photo of you from then as well, that I will get to your family when I come across it in my archives. You were one of the very first of those who've helped me and my vision to become manifest during my "last five years" working toward the establishment of Creativity Cafe; a Community Edutainment Venue. You helped perhaps more than any other during my "last" five years on the trail of manifesting a new kind of physical meeting ground. You were indeed, one of the very first believers in my work to ground Creativity Cafe when I arrived in SF in 1994 and continued to offer all the support you could, to assist with furthering my vision. I can't thank you enough for your belief in me, never mind the unending support for a venue and network of venues that cater to each individual; in order to help them succeed and find what they need to make their lives more happy, healthy and enjoyable. I will surely miss your intellect, wisdom and generosity of spirit and resources. You were a rare breed ...that I know has rubbed many THE RIGHT WAY. Thanks for being one of my most marvelous mentors! I carry your spirit in my heart. Thank you, thank you thank you Dear Henry. BTW, your last act on my behalf was the inclusion of V.A.R.I.O.U.S. and KidCast for Peace: Solutions for a Better World in the program of the UN'S 60th Anniversary. Such a thoughtful Man.
Peter H. Rosen
October 19, 2011
Henry was a great and gentle man who understood so many things large and small. He reached so many people in so many ways. He always used his wisdom and kindness wisely. He was a great father, husband, friend and supporter of education, ideas and projects of merit and more. He will always be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
Stevanne Auerbach
October 19, 2011
Dear Henry, I just learned of your passing, and am so sorry we won't connect in the flesh any more. I saw you last at the How Weird Festival circa May of 2005 in SF. I have a photo of your from then as well that I will get your family when I come across it in my archives. You were one of the very first of those who've helped me and my vision to become manifest. You, more than any other during my "last" five years (after 15 previous) on the trail of a new kind of physical meeting ground. You were indeed, one of the very first believers in my work to ground Creativity Cafe and offered all the support you could to assist with furthering my vision. I can't thank you enough for your belief in me, never mind the unending support for a venue and network of venues that cater to each individual in order to help them succeed and find what they need... to make their lives more happy, healthy and enjoyable. I will surely miss your intellect, wisdom and generosity of spirit and resources. You were a rare breed ...that I know has rubbed many THE RIGHT WAY. Thanks for being one of my most marvelous mentors! I carry your spirit in my heart. Thank you, thank you thank you Dear Henry. BTW, your last act on my behalf was the inclusion of V.A.R.I.O.U.S. and KidCast for Peace: Solutions for a Better World in the program of the UN'S 60th Anniversary. Such a thoughtful Man.
Peter H. Rosen
September 21, 2011
An angel on earth...
I can only imagine the celestial celebration welcoming him into the next world... I pray his sincere contribution and influence will continue to inspire all of us who were so deeply touched by him in this life. Thank you Henry...
JoAnn Grady
August 19, 2011
A trusted and good friend Mr. Henry Dakin.
Francisco Da Costa
April 8, 2011
Just seeing this...fond memories of 3220 and henry's generosity of spirit to me and john. henry was a true inspiration, mentor and friend! travel well, henry
priscilla richardson
April 8, 2011
priscilla richardson
February 18, 2011
Henry was a quiet and reflective man. I will never forget my encounters with him while my daughter was attending SF Waldorf School. He invited me to visit him at his Sacramento Street office and I was amazed at what I was witnessing. ...an incubator for ideas for computer technology and new social causes. On a wall in my classroom, I posted a San Francisco Chronicle article about Henry and his contribution of Macintosh computers to political activists during the time of the breakdown of the Soviet Union. One day a student, Christopher Sokoloff, walked in and asked if I knew Henry Dakin. I informed him that I was honored to know him and that he was also the benefactor of San Francisco Waldorf School. Not everyone will know that Henry leaves behind a large footprint which has changed our world.
Elliot Barenbaum
January 15, 2011
When I read about people like Henry Dakin, I feel much better about our world and how lucky the people that surrounded him were!
He passed on my late sister's, Nancy,birthday ..Peace to you all..
Joni Kirby
January 11, 2011
Henry was instrumental in bringing the World Youth Go Championship to the United States for the 1st time in 1992. Because of the success of this event Jiang ZhuJiu, 9-Dan was able to successfully immigrate to the San Francisco Bay area and help to nurture many young students in this most ancient of games. This also directly led to the presence of Rui NaiWei, 9-Dan the greatest woman player of all time in Mt. View, Ca.

Henry continued to quietly help the American Go community with his introductions to various government and business leaders of note. His generosity and inspiration will always be part of the legacy of the development of Go playing in the West.

He was a great mentor in many ways and a role model for humanity.

I will remember him fondly, especially by candlelight.
Ernest Brown
December 13, 2010
Henry Dakin helped so many people over the years, including me. He was a real people supporter and encouraged artists and musicians. Thank you, Henry, for giving me an office for a reasonable rent at your Sacramento St. building! Lots of love and light to you.
Norma Novy
November 28, 2010
Thank you for the San Francisco Waldorf School. My daughter, Stephenie Butler Greene attended the school for 3 years and it continues to influence her life and family.
Elaine Butler
November 26, 2010
Thanks to Adrianna for this Guest Book and to her Dad for just being Henry and for inspiring and supporting so many in incredible work/play that continues to add light to a very scary world. Hope to keep on discovering good work that needs a nudge and the people and resources to complete it. Links to Friends of 3220 encouraged!!!
Connie Madden
November 23, 2010
In 2000, our long-time friend Reinhold Ziegler introduced us to Henry who thought it would be a great idea for us to do a presentation about our rocket program (Interorbital Systems) in the upstairs meeting space at his 3220 Sacramento Street think tank/lab. Through that meeting, we were introduced to Creon Levit, who in turn led us to Eric Gullichsen (our first investor) and via Eric, met King George V of Tonga (then Crown Prince), in whose Kingdom our spaceport is now located. Dear Henry: ever the catalyst!
Randa and Roderick Milliron
November 19, 2010
Henry was a true innovator and philanthropist. His 3220 Sacramento street incubator provided opportunities for many creative and talented people who were on the leading edge the space to experiment and explore..
From his support of explorations of the paranormal,of sustainability and innovative technologies.Henry never stopped thinking about the future and how to solve problems to help make life more livable for all.
I am truly sorry I missed the memorial,
however I would like to add my voice to the many singing Henry's praises , his life touched many lives, and he will be missed.
My heartfelt blessing and condolences to Virgila and the family.
Dr. Sandy Rosenberg
November 17, 2010
our future . . .
Henry was a man who wasn't shy about sharing. He contributed so much to our planet, and to innumerable people: to their lives, their causes . . . he helped to create many professional books, newsletters, and projects with mysterious "initials" (CUUI, SFWS, IGC, ASE, PRG, etc.) that are well known outside of the centers of 3101, 3220, 3228 . . . Being present at his Memorial Service, in the presence of hundreds who knew him, put me in a time bubble where I could see decades stripped away, the past merging with the present, and hopefully the future, where his good works and ideas continue to multiply fruitfully with the end result of world peace . . . Thank you, Henry S. Dakin, for your myriad contributions to ensure future generations' survival.
Ginger Ashworth
November 17, 2010
Thank you Henry for your participation, encouragement, generosity and support, at The Spiritual Healing Center in Mill Valley. You are a gift and blessing for our earth. Your light shines bright in the universes as you dance through the stars. Thank both, Henry and Virgillia for sharing your gifts with all of us. Blessings from all of us! Carol, Andrew, Joel, Serafina, Michael, Gary, Melinda, Fermine, David, Marleen, Wendy, Norma and all of your friends.
Carol Eckels-Gaeddert
November 14, 2010
Generous, curious, with a remarkable ability to find innovative and creative people and support them to do their work -- in his humble way, Henry Dakin had a tremendous positive impact on the world and the ripples of his influence are still expanding. Back in the 1980s, Internews incubated in his Sacramento Street building in San Francisco, and it would not be what it is today without his crucial early support.
Annette Makino
November 14, 2010
I remember as a young girl having piano recitals at Mr. Dakin's home in Presedio Heights. I think Frank Ahrold was my teacher at the time. I lived walking distance. He and my parents were friends. Mr. Dakin was very interested in experimenting with I think it was electronic music at that time. He was so sharing and creative. Thank you.
Mari Calhoun-Aldridge
November 14, 2010
I met Henry through his daughter, Adriana, last December and enjoyed New Year's Eve with him and a few family and friends in the depths of the Redwood forest. What a blessing! Those heart touching moments will be with me forever.
As his obituary says, Henry was a truly humble man, therefore I never knew until now widely his influence was felt and the depths of his generosity.

Henry, thank you so very much for being a true inspiration to so many! By your giving, you created so much hope. What a wonderful legacy.
I am sure your positive and brilliant energy will always be with those of us you touched. God bless.
Carole Brown
November 12, 2010
I met Henry Dakin and his Beloved Vergilia in 1998. He did so much in offering his life to promoting awakened consciousness, higher ideas of living on our planet and love for our fellow human beings. I will remember his kindness and strength, always having time to talk with us with love in his heart.

I will miss you Henry Dakin, your greatness, purposeful achievements and love for your family, community and all Humankind.

I will keep you in my heart forever.
Celestine Star*
November 10, 2010
I first met Henry Dakin and the 3220 Gallery in 1986 after landing in SF while working and living with Jim Heddle and Marybeth Braun of EONS. My life would never be the same. The amazing events and people that came through that door and the opportunities that Henry provided for - let me know that here was a man of the future. He had a heart of Gold and made so many dreams come true. My own included. We had our first WonderBar party at 3220 and it was a huge success apart from the fire department shutting us down due to the smoke for the lasers but hey! That was all part of the fun. Henry was so dear to me and I cried and cried when I heard he died. I only wish I could have been there with him and Vergilia. These two pioneers made history in San Francisco and I can only hope that their legacy will live on. Thank You Dear Henry for your deep abiding sense of What IS RIGHT. You brought nobility to the SF community. We will always Love You. Stephanie
Stephanie Suttton
November 10, 2010
First I heard about how Henry Dakin brought dreams into reality. He was sponsoring parapsychology research with Russian psychics at that time. I finally met him and entered his sphere of creativity. He supported my work, partook himself, and encouraged me to continue with my research, all the while shedding a light wherever he went. I treasure knowing Henry.
Lizet Freeman
November 8, 2010
Henry was my first true mentor and I share everyone's feelings of thankfulness to have known him. Working with Henry, as part of the Presidio Alliance, was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. He and his wonderful wife Vergilia showed us all what graciousness truly looks like.
Leanne Hoadley
November 5, 2010
I am honored to have known Henry but had no idea of the breadth and scope of his life. I wish I had had the chance to get to know him better... I enjoyed the summers we spent at the Lake and it was always a special treat when Henry paid us a visit.
leslie veenstra
November 5, 2010
What an extraordinary human being. I did not know him, but wish that I had. He is gone way too soon. But he obviously touched so many lives. A life lived beautifully, in spite of the tragedy of personal loss.
Linda Knauer
November 4, 2010
Henry, You have always sought to improve conditions on earth, while never seeking recognition for your self. I was always amazed by your generosity, your philanthropy and your committment to making extraordinary amd wonderful things possible - from the founding and development of San Francisco Waldorf School, to raising human consciousness, to fostering world peace. I feel privileged to have known you and worked with you on the development of SFWS. As Paul noted, I am sure you are and will be working from the other side for the benefit of human beings and the world we have been entrusted to care for. May your good will bear good fruit now and into the future.
Jeff Kofsky
November 4, 2010
Henry's creatively focused mind often brought to mind both a wizard and a professor processing manifestations of potential…A true Walking the Talk Rare Individual. A contributor of sustaining humanities potential! Let those who shared, Keep the Lamp Lit.
Ron Frazier
www.HopeandBeyond.org
Ron Frazier
November 1, 2010
A wonderful adventurous innocent man awed by the potential and the magic of life... he is on his way and will be working from the other side... until he decides to come back again if he wishes! Blessings to all his family.
paul silbey
November 1, 2010
For-Giving Altar honoring Henry Dakin
Henry was one of the most generous people that I have ever met. He was so kind, intelligent, and helpful. I will never forget the meetings and events we held at his 3220 Sacramento Street building that were so important, not just for our causes, but for so many struggling non-profit, social change agents. On Saturday, October 30, 2010, we built a "For-Giving" altar at the 31st Annual Spiral Dance and placed Henry's photo on the altar to honor him and his memory, as well as some other brave, generous souls- the Reverend Lucius Walker, and the nine Free Gaza Flotilla Martyrs. I will carry Henry's memory in my heart, as long as I live.
Carol Brouillet
November 1, 2010
Trips to the house on Jackson and the offices on Sacramento were some of the highlights of my childhood. I am so sorry for your loss girls.

All my love,

K
Kena Haazelwood
November 1, 2010
Dear Henry. Rest in peace. I met you at your daughter, Adriana's wedding to Pete Johnson. You and Virgillia were there when my wife Anne and I celebrated our wedding just a few years ago – the second time we talked. Oddly, years before meeting you, I had heard about your work in roundabout ways. Meeting you closed that loop and I am as grateful as many others for your vision in affirming the power of those "odd" connections.
Russell Imrie, Arlington, Virginia
Russell Imrie
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