Ann Ford Kadyk

Died: December 28, 2015
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Ann Ford Kadyk, a resident of the Berkeley area since 1959, passed away on Monday, December 28, 2015 at the age of 84, with her family at her side. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, John A. Kadyk; by her two children, Lisa C. Kadyk (Teresa Chiaverotti) of San Francisco and John C. (Chris) Kadyk (Tessa Sugarbaker) of Oakland; by two grandchildren, Khiven R. and Claudette M. Kadyk-Chiaverotti of San Francisco; and by her brother, Sam W. Ford (Delcie) of Placentia, CA.
Ann was born in Pasadena, CA on March 20, 1931 to Sam V. and Lena H. Ford. She grew up in Pasadena and attended Pasadena City College where she received an AA degree before proceeding to UC Santa Barbara. There she obtained a teaching credential and met some lifelong friends. Ann specialized in early childhood education, and loved teaching and interacting with children throughout her life. She had her own elementary school classroom when she married John Amos Kadyk in Pasadena in 1957. The newlyweds then moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they lived for almost two years before relocating to Berkeley in 1959. Once Ann’s own children were born (in 1960 and 1961), she took a hiatus from teaching, devoting herself to her family until her children left for college. She then returned to teaching, working for many years at the Griffin Nursery School in Berkeley. A lover of nature and the outdoors, Ann was a lifelong bird watcher, gardener (mainly of native plants), and advocate for the environment. She made many dear friends in bird watching groups that she joined, including that of the UC Berkeley Section Club. In addition, she was a docent for over 25 years at the Oakland Museum of Natural History, where she loved leading school groups and showing children special things she had collected, such as a hummingbird nest, a deer antler or a butterfly cocoon. She and her family took annual backpacking trips in the Sierra, and she was the “go-to” person in the family for identification of birds, trees, flowers, or rocks.
Ann volunteered her time to the community in many ways over the years. In addition to her Oakland Museum docent work, she volunteered for the Foreign Student Committee of the University Section Club at UC Berkeley, and for the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library.
Dancing and music were also constant threads through Ann’s life. She and her husband John originally met through folk dancing in Pasadena, and they continued to dance together for many years, including square-dancing during their time in Michigan, more folk dancing in their early years in Berkeley, and ultimately settling on Scottish Country dancing, which they became very devoted to (including the wearing of kilts and ghillies). In addition, Ann enjoyed attending classical music concerts with John throughout her life, and she herself played the piano from time to time (an early inspiration for her musician son John C. Kadyk).
Ann had many travels over the course of her lifetime. In 1977-78, she moved with her husband and children to Ferney-Voltaire, France while John did a sabbatical at CERN in Geneva. During that year, she and the family traveled together to many countries in Europe, including driving behind the “iron curtain” to visit friends in Hungary in an old Peugeot station wagon. Later, after both children had finished college, she and John traveled to six of the seven continents (all except Antarctica) most often on nature-oriented trips involving bird and animal watching. Many of John and Ann’s close friends joined them on these trips. Ann had a talent for capturing special moments on film and left behind many carefully annotated photo albums as a remembrance of their adventures.
Ann will be missed immensely by her family and friends. She was friendly and kind, welcoming and inclusive of all, always thinking of others before herself, and had a lightness of spirit that touched everyone she met. Her kindness remained even when she herself was not feeling well – when she was in the hospital for a heart valve replacement earlier this year, her nurses told her that she was their favorite patient. She was highly intelligent and loved learning and books. She will be remembered for her idealism and deep commitment to making the world a better place for all people and creatures, as well as for her level-headed good judgment.
A private visitation and interment will be held on January 7, 2016 at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito. A memorial will be held at a future date to be announced by her family. Donations in her memory can be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Natural Resources Defense Council.

I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve,
to dry before the sun of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

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Died: December 28, 2015

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Sunset View Mortuary

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The staff of Sunset View Mortuary.


Sam Ford posted on 1/7/16

Dear John. Lisa, Chris, Khiven, Claudette, and all those whose lives were touched by Ann in her long and productive life. Thank you, Lisa, for the beautiful retrospective of Ann's life, and especially the poem at the end. I believe you've really captured Ann's essence as well as her wishes for those she's left behind. As Ann's sister-in-law for 56 plus years, I can certainly attest to her thoughtfulness and kindness, her generosity, her lively intelligence, her wonderful sense of whimsey, her love of the earth and all the beauty we see around us every day. Ann loved every living thing (with the possible exception of mosquitoes), and was an early advocate of conservation in all forms. I can't wash my dishes without thinking of Ann and wondering if I'm using too much water to rinse them before putting them in the dishwasher. Sam has always known he was blessed to have such a wonderful sister. We've had some great times together, especially when you children were small, camping trips to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Anza Borego, the Redwoods, and the incredible northern California coast. We shared visits to the Pasadena grandparents (Grandpa and Grandma Ford were so happy to have all their babies around them at once) and our unforgettable visits to Berkeley. Everywhere I look I find little mementos of Ann and our times together. So many fun memories. Hers is certainly a life worth celebrating. We love you all, and are with you in our thoughts. Love always, Sam and Delcie


Laurie Herron posted on 1/6/16

I remember sitting in our backyard one evening, in about 1966. I was sitting in Aunt Anns' lap and did not want to go inside the house for a sweater and leave the comfort of her lap and her soft silky skirt. I have many fond memories of her and I never left her presence without knowing she loved me. She always understood that investing encouragement and noticing the value of others around her was worthy of her attention and she really did enjoy life. We began writing to each other in 1969 and she has always been faithful with her pen and paper to keep in touch. She made a difference in this world and we will all miss her so very much. -Laurie