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Philip Edward Kay Obituary

Philip Edward Kay, 59, renowned civil rights employment attorney quietly passed away in San Francisco on August 29, 2012. He is survived by his loving wife Robin Ann Kay, his three dogs Shadow, R.J. and Tippy, and his two cats Squeeky and Allie.

He was born in San Francisco February 5, 1953 to Eugene Kay and his wife Alice Winterstein. He was the third of four children and is survived by his mother, two sisters, and brother. He attended West Portal Elementary School, Hubert Hoover Middle School and Lincoln High School in San Francisco. He graduated from UC Berkeley and started his career as a San Francisco fire fighter. While he worked as a firefighter he attended night school at San Francisco Law School and fulfilled his father’s dream of having an attorney for a son.

He met his wife, a ballet dancer, in 1983 on a blind date and fell instantly in love with her, They married May 5, 1984. They became inseparable, when she became his paralegal. He was an avid student of history and Lincoln.

His legal career includes the ground breaking case of Weeks v. Baker, McKenzie, of which the book The Price of Harassment was based upon, and includes the legal strategy both he and his wife created. Phil was a fierce advocate for employees in the workplace; taking cases on behalf of women, minorities and others whose civil rights were violated. He also distinguished himself as lead counsel in Atkins v. Safeway, Greene v. Dillingham, Yarborough v. Peoplesoft, Gober v. Ralphs, and Marcisz v. UltraStar.

Phil qualified for the 1980 Olympic trials in the marathon. Phil’s passion for sports remained with him for his entire life. He was an excellent skier, golfer, runner and later in life a cyclist. Phil suffered a cardiac arrest on a beautiful morning in Marin enjoying what he loved, cycling.

He will be remembered by his wife and close friends for his generosity, dry whit, compassion for animals and his indefatigable pursuit of justice for those less fortunate against the powerful. Phil is preceded in death by his father Eugene Theodore Kay. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Truckee Humane Society PO box 9041, Truckee CA 96162, or Golden Gate Greyhound Adoption, PMB 182, 2977 Ygnacio Valley Road Walnut Creek, CA 94598. The memorial will be held on Monday May 6, 2013 from 2-4 at the Neptune Society Columbarium, One Loraine Court, San Francisco, CA 94118.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on April 14, 2013
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About Leslie Brodie

Leslie Brodie is a reporter, writer, blogger, activist, and a religious leader in the community.

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