Kent Warner Smith sponsored obituary
Kent Warner Smith
June 16, 1941 to
February 18, 2008
Kent Warner Smith passed with a quiet look of delight on his face on Monday,
February 18, 2008 at his home in Nevada City. He was 66.
A celebration of Kent’s life will be held Sunday, March 16 at 2 pm at the
Nevada City Veterans Memorial Building, 415 N. Pine St. Nevada City. In
Kent’s spirit, his family invites everyone to dress casually and, if you
like, wear a kooky hat. Bring your dancing shoes, favorite memories, and a
Kent will long be remembered in the Nevada County community for his deep
political and spiritual engagement, as well as his humor, intelligence, his
commitment to justice, and his fun eccentric character.
Kent’s brilliance and vast knowledge of geo-political issues were
remarkable. Coming from a line of scholars, Kent graduated from Stanford in
1964 with a BA in American History. He played for the Stanford Men’s soccer
team and studied abroad in Italy. Kent then went on to earn an MA in History
at the University of California, Berkeley in 1966 followed by a PhD in
Diplomatic History, UC Berkeley 1972, successfully completing a dissertation
on U.S.-Mexican relations.
As a graduate student, Kent was a leading organizer of non-violent
resistance to the Vietnam War and a dedicated activist in the Civil Rights
Movement. He served as the Field Secretary of the War Registers League in
1972 and the Academic Coordinator for the Peace Studies Program at Stanford
in 1974. He also co-authored the U.S. history textbook, As It Happened.
Kent was a devoted father of two daughters, Micaela and Gabrielle, and
lived in Santa Cruz while raising his family with Mardi Van Winkle, his
former wife and co-adventurer. During this time, his creative side started
to emerge and he delved into sculpture, cake decorating, planning family
trips and creating the family game, Torpedoes and Submarines which everyone
loved. He taught History and International Relations at several institutions
of higher education and MBA Marketing and Management in the Silicon Valley.
In the mid-80s, he moved to San Francisco and founded the Dream Training
Institute. He was also executive director of the Association of Dreams.
Dreams served as a meaningful guide for Kent in understanding his life and
In 1985, he moved to Nevada County and built his beloved “Walden” cabin in a
spiritual community near Grass Valley. The quietude this provided supported
a deeply spiritual life for 12 years. During this time, he was instrumental
in the formation of the Green Party of California and ran for both the U. S.
and State Senate. He was among the early pioneers in organizing the Green
Party globally, in particular between Canada, Mexico and the U. S. He played
an important role at the first Planetary Meeting of Greens held in Rio de
Janeiro in May 1992 immediately preceding the Earth Summit.
Upon hearing of Kent’s passing, Natalia Escuedero, former vice-president of
the Green Ecological Party of Mexico wrote, “Mission accomplished, Kent! You
served your country, society and mother Earth throughout your life,
demonstrating that you are a man of justice and order. You have left us an
example to follow.”
During the 1990s, he became president of our local FCAT station producing
and hosting several programs such as The Emerging Golden Age, The News Hour
and the Monty Python-like comedy Mid Realities with friend Jerry Martin.
Kent continued his community service until the end of his life organizing
many groups, teaching free classes and mentoring others. One of his last
political efforts was organizing Americans for Constitutional Integrity, a
group dedicated to the preservation of our country’s constitution and the
Impeachment of President Bush.
Kent’s interests were varied and included tennis, soccer, trips to the
family cabin, international adventure (traveling to more than 35 countries)
reading, writing, (he authored the book People Magic: How to Manifest the
Relationships you Want), meditating, art (The Outlaw Artists), walking the
streets of Nevada City, attending cultural events and cultivating and
enjoying the depths of intimacy with his life partner, Lynn.
Kent was a beloved grandfather to his six grandchildren. Affectionately
known as “Grandpa Moustache,” he loved to wrestle and play soccer. He was
famous for his money toss.
In his eight-month journey through illness and healing, Kent remained
positive and loving, relying on an “attitude of gratitude.” He focused on
natural healing and a method he called Healing in Style which meant going
out to restaurants, watching movies and having fun. He used his last time on
Earth well by cultivating love and forgiveness among his loved ones. It was
no surprise that he died with a look of delight on his face.
Kent is survived by his life partner, Lynn Ely; daughter and son-in-law,
Micaela Rubalcava and Jeff Cunan of Quincy, CA; daughter and son-in-law,
Gabrielle Smith-Dluha and Radovan Dluhy-Smith of the Czech Republic; six
grandchildren: Luis, Che and Miles Rubalcava Cunan, Jakub Dluhy-Smith, Theo
Dluhy-Smith and Olivia Dluha; brother and sister-in-law, Dan and Hannah
Smith of Walnut Creek; sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and Mike Anderson of
Grass Valley; sister and brother-in-law, Elaine and John Culverwell of
Fremont; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by parents,
Louise Dally Smith and Ralph J. Smith.
The spirit of Kent W. Smith’s life was to play, to explore, to try new
things, to make an impact, to stand up for justice, to serve truth, and to
search for God. May that spirit live on in all of us.
Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of the Foothills.
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