Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A sad note - Redmond Kernan

I am sorry to pass on the news that Redmond Kernan has passed away. Redmond was a huge asset to our City and a friend to many. Such a charming , handsome, hardworking man - he will be missed.

Born in New York City, May 27, 1934. Redmond moved to Carmel California with his mother, aunts, grandmother, sisters and brother to be closer to his father Redmond Kernan II, who fought as a General during World War II. Redmond and his friends did their part during the war, scanning the Pacific for U-Boats and checking out the Pebble Beach golf course for intruders.

He graduated from Santa Clara University, then served in Korea. He remained in the Army as a reservist for many years, rising to Lieutenant Colonel. After leaving the service he had a job offer as an engineer in the City of Los Angeles, but left after two smoggy days to return to San Francisco. He started in the City of San Francisco engineering department, then joined the Redevelopment Agency. Before he left in 1990 he was Acting Director of the Agency. He is proud of his leadership role in the design, development, and construction of Moscone Center, South Beach Harbor, and Yerba Buena Center. A standout in the many projects he helped foster was winning the fight to allow DeLancey Street to build its wonderful community in South San Francisco.

Before and after he retired, he served on numerous Boards, including San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR), the Presidio Historical Association, and the California Heritage Council. He was a Commissioner on the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Advisory Council, and helped start NAP, Neighborhood Association for the Presidio. A long time Board Member of PAR, Planning Association for the Richmond, and recently received a commendation from the Doyle Drive planning committee, for his help in designing the new roadway through the Presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge, which is about to be funded as part of the Federal stimulus.

Redmond is known for his courage, commitment, and personal charm. All these qualities, plus a sense of humor, have been essential recently in the huge fight to protect the Presidio Main Post, a nationally designated historical landmark district. The Presidio Trust together with past Trust member, Don Fisher, announced building of a 100,000 square foot privately owned Contemporary Art Museum and a 90,000 square foot motel on this historical spot, site of the founding of San Francisco by the DeAnza expedition in 1776. Redmond has been active building coalitions of community groups, to save the Presidio from this illegal encroachment. This David and Goliath battle has been going on for over three years, thanks to the dedication of Redmond and many others.

Mourned by his wife, Sharon Gadberry; his children John Kernan, Julia Garrett, Michael Kernan, and Brendan Williams; Grandchildren Samantha, Sydney, and Kevin Garrett and Redmond James Kernan,

Services Monday April 20, 10am, St. Ignatius Church, 650 Parker Avenue, San Francisco. Donations to St. Ignatius Church, Presidio Historical Association, or San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR).

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