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Christopher Stone Dove

Died: April 20, 2000

In a short personal essay he contributed to the Twenty-Fifth Reunion Classbook, Kit wrote, “Much energy has been spent over the years on the debate about ‘moving to a better place’ or ‘making the best of where we are.’ I instinctively act on the latter agenda, and find my roots deepen as a result; along with increased investment in my wife, my kids, my community at home and at work.” These straightforward words about himself were amply borne out in his life.

Kit was an environmental and community activist in San Mateo County, California and along the San Mateo County Coast, much acclaimed for his successful environmental preservation efforts. When a Japanese bank threatened Half Moon Bay with development, he organized a protest in front of its headquarters in San Francisco, got the group to spell out “No yen” in pumpkins in a pumpkin field, and had a photographer fly over and photograph it for newspapers. He co-authored County Measure A, a growth control measure for unincorporated areas, and organized and lobbied successfully for its passage. He was a founder, leader, or active member of many local and regional environmental organizations and was an energetic and persuasive advocate who, one writer wrote, “brought a flair to his activism.” Kit once rented a truck, used its side panels to condemn offshore drilling, and drove up and down El Camino Real using a loudspeaker to make the case known.

In a tribute to Kit published in the Congressional Record, House of Representatives member Anna Eshoo stated, “Kit Dove was not only active in politics, he was also active in getting others to participate in the public arena;” he was “much sought after” on account of “his wisdom and ability to bring people together.” Kit’s wife Mary, to whom he was married for 26 years, said that Kit would campaign tirelessly for environmental causes, and the most important thing “was engendering a sense of belonging…It was his job to make this feel like a community.” Kit’s son Christopher added, “His innate ability to bring together [people] of varying views over diverse issues, and gain respect from all involved, was a key component in realizing his goals.”

Kit’s years at Yale presaged the strong individual contributor, team member, leader, and problem-solver that Kit was. He majored in math, captained the freshman wrestling team, and wrestled for the varsity from 1963-66; and he became an adept rock climber and rowed for Pierson’s crew. Describing his essay for our 25th Reunion as something of a “summing up” and a “goodbye,” Kit wrote that “fleeting memories of our times together visit from time-to-time;” and he recalled “late-nite chats, pizzas, cards” and more, including wrestling and “computers-computers-computers.” His career was in computing, working for companies like Matson Lines, Rand Information Systems, and IBM, and also founding his own company.

His Dad was “a dedicated family man,” his son Christopher said, who had a “graceful talent to find everybody’s strength, regardless of their personalities.” Kit died at home, with his family, following a long battle with mesothelioma. People in the community dedicated a sequoia tree to him, a public memorial service was held, and the area newspaper reported that “friends and adversaries offered glowing praise for [his] dedication.”