2009 Jenkins Kameth

From: oppenhoff@earthlink.net

Subject: Mary Kay Kameth [ -2009]

Date: October 16, 2009 4:44:04 PM PDT

To: kelyn@adelphia.net

Dear Friends, 

     A long-time Malibu community activist and dear friend to many of us, Mary Kay Kamath died at home in Santa Barbara on August 22, following a long illness. 

     Mary Kay served three terms on the Santa Monica/Malibu school board and briefly on the college board (before the college and unified school district split). She was only the second person from Malibu to serve and the first to come from the school community having been a long time leader and tireless volunteer in the PTA. She was on the board when the decision was made to close Madison Elementary and Pt. Dume School, where her own children had attended and she voted to establish Malibu High. 

     Mary Kay was an early member of SMRR even though she lived in Malibu. She frequently chaired or served as parliamentarian for the annual meetings of some of Santa Monica's neighborhood organizations. Accused of being a handmaiden to Tom Hayden by a conservative opponent when she first ran for election in 1981, she disarmed the audience by saying that she had never met Mr. Hayden (pronounced like the classical composer) but that she certainly intended to vote for him. 

     Mary Kay believed that one's self-interest was best served by doing the right thing rather than the convenient thing. She believed strongly in tolerance but was most intolerant of selfish behavior, bigotry and hypocrisy. She was a careful listener who commanded respect when she herself spoke. Mary Kay believed in the essential need for people to do good, in spoiling children, in baking homemade cookies and in using one tea bag for the entire day. Becoming a friend of Mary Kay was, for me, love at first sight. 

     Having survived breast cancer in the mid 70's, Mary Kay regarded the rest of her life as a precious gift. It was indeed to all of us who knew her. Her husband, Sanjiv has said that Mary Kay did not want a memorial service, but that if people wished to act in her memory, they should donate to the charity of their choice. 

     With gratitude, love and deep respect, 

     Connie Jenkins

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 Kelyn Roberts 2017