Vida Kenk

Currently serving as Calaveras Big Trees Association (CBTA), President

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IHQ’s Secretary

My full name is Vida Carmen Kenk y Blanco.  I was born on Christmas Eve, 1939 in Santurce, Puerto Rico.  I love having a birthday at this time!  My parents were both biologists and professors.

We moved to Washington, D.C. when I was eight years old, and later to Alexandria, VA.  My father worked at the Library of Congress compiling scientific bibliographies.

I am a proud Alumna of the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.  I wandered through several majors before settling on biology.  I earned a Ph.D. in Biology at Harvard.  Taught biology at SJSU for 44 years, where I eventually became the Dean of the College of Science.

I married Bill Minkel Aug. 24, 1974.  He is a biologist, musician, scoutmaster, handyman, great father and grandfather, and all around good guy.  We have two adult children and two grandchildren.

We first came to this area in 1974.  Bought a weekend cabin in 1989.  Bought a lot on which Bill and contractor Mark Williams built our retirement home (2004-6).  We retired in this area specifically to enjoy the mountains, volunteer at the park, and share our knowledge and love of nature.

Nadine Bowlus, who was my colleague in the SJSU Biology Dept, introduced me to IHQ and also to Calaveras Big Trees Association (CBTA).  I am the current president of CBTA.

I am not athletic.  I enjoy reading books, especially those set in a different place/time. 

I start each day with gratitude and a Tai Chi warm-up.  I’m a team player, an optimist, and a Pollyanna.