In Memory

Grant Hudnut Kenyon - Class Of 1945

Grant Hudnut Kenyon

Grant H. Kenyon, an influential Sacramento lobbyist who successfully fought for legislation to make it easier for men to detect prostate cancer, died of the disease April 14, 1998. He was 70. Mr. Kenyon is believed to be the only lobbyist to have legislation named after him.

The Grant H. Kenyon Prostate Cancer Detection Act of 1997 was introduced by state Senator John Burton, D-San Francisco, and signed into law by Govenor Pete Wilson. The bill requires physicians to notify patients of available screening tests for prostate cancer.

Mr. Kenyon, who was battling cancer of the vocal cords when he learned several years ago he also had prostate cancer, refused "to let it slow him down," Wilson said in a statement.

"Even when he lost his vocal cords, he never gave up his voice. He fought prostate cancer as well. . . . Grant's commitment to improving the lives of Californians and his courage in life were a lesson to us all."

The state Senate adjourned in Mr. Kenyon's memory Thursday and Burton, speaking on the floor, remembered him as a well-respected figure in the Capitol.

"As a result of his experience, of not having had the (prostate cancer detection) test given to him, he worked for three years in order to get a bill down to the governor's desk," Burton said.

"He was one of the best lobbyists, I think, around here," Burton added. "He would always tell you what the bill did. He would never give you a con job."

Mr. Kenyon, who lobbied primarily on behalf of the business community, was a partner of Alan Edelstein in the Sacramento firm of Kenyon and Edelstein Legislative Advocates. Their clients included the Glass Packaging Institute, Abbott Laboratories and the California Waterfowl Association.

Fellow lobbyist Jo-Linda Thompson remembered him as "one of a kind, as honest and hard-working and tenacious as they get. He'd get mad and frustrated sometimes, but he enjoyed the game. He really did."

He was born and raised in San Marino, son of Cecil Clark Kenyon, a Republican Party activist, and Raymond G. Kenyon, a vice president of Southern California Edison Co.

After graduating from South Pasadena High School, in the closing months of World War II, Mr. Kenyon joined the Coast Guard and served aboard a cutter in the Pacific. A year later, following his discharge, he enrolled at Claremont College, where he earned a bachelor's degree, then went to work as a personnel specialist in the private sector.

During the Korean War, he served as an Air Force officer. Later, as a resident of San Marino, he served on the City Council there. He first came to Sacramento in the mid-1960s to lobby for the Merchants and Manufacturers Association.

His first marriage, to Joan Winterer, ended in divorce. Three sons survive from that marriage: David and Mark Kenyon, both of Novato, and Dean Kenyon, of Palmdale.

He also is survived by his second wife, Patricia King Kenyon of Sacramento;, stepchildren Jane and Steve Willett, both of Sacramento; brothers Clark Kenyon of Newport Beach and David Kenyon of Pasadena; and eight grandchildren.

Sacramento Bee, April 20, 1998