Wallace Kay Huntington
May 15, 1926 - February 3, 2015
Wallace Kay Huntington died peacefully in his sleep on February 3rd at the age of 88.
As a fifth generation Oregonian he was born in the pioneer family home in Salem, adjoining the Oregon state capitol building. His parents were Hollis and Marjorie Kay Huntington. He was the great-grandson of Thomas Kay, founder of the historic Kay Woolen Mill 1889 and whose grandparents were Cora M. and Thomas B. Kay, a prominent State of Oregon official in the 1900's.
Huntington was a celebrated author and practicing landscape architect throughout the Northwest. He was educated in Salem and graduated in art history from the University of Oregon. He served as president of the North Pacific chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. He was a frequent and exacting contributor to the Oregon Historical Society publications.
In 1976 Huntington purchased the Case House near Champoeg and began extensive restoration of the 1859 Greek revival house. He gave the Case House a second life with his collections of Oregon art, furniture and pottery. The pastoral setting allowed for a grand garden that grew over the years to cover several acres. The many garden rooms allowed Huntington to create numerous designs and include his extensive plant collection.
Huntington was an avid traveler. As a young man he began traveling the world with his parents and then with his wife. His favorite country was Italy which he visited over 20 times. Most recently, in the summer of 2014, he visited Venice with his sister Crystal as part of an architectural tour to Croatia.
As a practicing landscape architect since 1958, his work was a combination of classic models and innovations of his own which produced beautiful and sustainable gardens everywhere. Thirty-six years ago he formed the partnership of Huntington & Kiest Landscape Architects with Craig Kiest. He leaves treasures of design that will be appreciated and admired by generations and his loving nature will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.
Huntington was preceded in passing by his wife of 23 years, Mirza Dickel Huntington. He is survived by his sisters, Crystal Huntington of Portland, Oregon and Shirley Huntington of Venice, Florida; his cousin Thomas Kay of Salem, Oregon and his stepson Paul Dickel of Dallas, Texas.
As he wished, there will be no formal ceremony in preference to a small private time of remembrance. Wallace Kay Huntington chose to be buried with his wife Mirza in Champoeg with his beloved, restored pioneer home, the Case House nearby. With his love of Oregon history, the small rural cemetery seems a perfect choice for this gentle man. Donations in his honor can be made to the Lord & Schryver Conservancy.
Published in The Statesman Journal on Feb. 15, 2015.