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Alice Frost Kennedy; Beautification Advocate


Alice Frost Kennedy, an authority on trees and gardens who devoted her life to beautification of Pasadena and Los Angeles County, has died. She was 73.

Kennedy died Wednesday at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena of complications of surgery, said her son, Eric Douglas.

As a director of Pasadena Beautiful, Kennedy instigated a campaign for funds to save or replace many of the older trees lining the city's streets. She also persuaded the city to match the money collected. Through the program, more than 1,300 trees have been planted and many others have been saved.

"Pasadena was founded by people from the Midwest who loved trees and planted a lot of them," she often said. "Those who live here today have inherited an urban forest that needs to be preserved for future generations."

Kennedy was a former president of the board of trustees of the California Arboretum Foundation and was on the boards of the State and County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens and Descanso Gardens. She was a member of the Pasadena Parks and Recreation Commission and a founding member of the Urban Forestry Advisory Committee, which encouraged the city to install sidewalks that would not harm the roots of existing trees.

Known for her love of bright colors in gardens, she often wore them as well, particularly fuchsia and purple. Kennedy served as president of the Pasadena Garden Club, like her mother before her, and was a docent at the Huntington Gardens in San Marino.

Almost as fond of animals as she was of trees, Kennedy was president of the Pasadena Humane Society and a docent who gave tours at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Born in Berkeley, Kennedy moved to Pasadena in her youth. She studied economics at Smith College and UC Berkeley, and worked for Lockheed Industries during World War II.

Twice widowed, she is survived by her third husband, William Kennedy; four children, Eric, Penelope, Jonathan and William Douglas; and two grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at Church of the Angels, 1100 Ave. 64, Pasadena. The family has asked that any donations be made to the Humane Society or to Pasadena Beautiful's street trees project.

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