The Pendergast Family Scholarship
The Ken Pendergast Family Scholarship was started in 1992, by his parents, after the death of Ken Pendergast ’79. Over the years as the Pendergast Family passed in lieu of flowers it was requested donations be made to the Pendergast Family Scholarship fund at SJHS. The fund was originally planned to be an endowment, but with interest returns so low it has become a scholarship program instead. Over 30 years the account has grown from the original $1,000 to over $40,000.
November 6, 1960 - April 1, 1990
Surrounded by his family, Ken Pendergast ‘79 peacefully passed away in his childhood home. He was only 29, but what a life he packed into those 29 years. While at San Juan High, he was an active member of the Drama Club, a spirited school Mascot and culinary enthusiast. He was known for his delicious cheesecakes, his love of the piano and his entertaining personality. One of Ken’s favorite holidays was Halloween; he collected clowns and if you knew his personality that would seem fitting. He was employed primarily in the restaurant industry working at such establishments as DeNicola's, Red Lobster in Sacramento and the Nosheria off Union Square in San Francisco while he studied acting. Eventually, Ken earned his certification for Massage Therapy. While performing massages, Ken realized many of his clients required physical therapy to “cure what ails them.” So Ken enrolled in community college to study Physical Therapy. Unfortunately, he died prior to earning his degree.
In his honor, his parents, Tom (a San Juan High school Math teacher) and Barbara, used proceeds from his life insurance policy to establish the Ken Pendergast Scholarship to assist other students with their educational pursuits. Subsequently, the scholarship was renamed The Pendergast Family Endowed Scholarship. Subsequently, Ken’s father, mother, and brother have passed away as well. In lieu of flowers, those inclined could make a gift to the scholarship. Over the years, it has grown to over $40,000 and annually provides a current San Juan senior a leg up on their post-secondary pursuits.
Most importantly, Ken was a terrific brother (to Kathy ‘73, Kevin ‘74, Kerrie ‘75, and Keith), a loving son, and doting uncle to his nephew, Derek, and niece, Anne. Unfortunately he passed before getting to meet the rest of his nieces. He was also a caring and compassionate friend. He was funny. He was kind. He is missed.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that remembrance gifts be made to The Pendergast Family Scholarship Fund c/o The San Juan Alumni Association, P.O. Box 103, Citrus Heights, CA 95611