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Hope Duveneck Williams ’38

Hope was one of four Duveneck siblings, known as the Big Four, who regaled family and friends with tales of their adventures and antics, and purchased an old fishing cabin at Fallen Leaf Lake in California. In 1924, their parents purchased Hidden Villa Ranch in Los Altos Hills, California, and developed it into a youth hostel and summer camp with the mission of land preservation, social justice, and environmental education. After graduating from Palo Alto High School, Hope attended Bennington College and Reed before completing graduate studies at UC Berkeley and the University of Southern California with a degree in occupational therapy.

Hope had a special gift for engaging with youth with disabilities and worked as an occupational therapist for the army during World War II and then for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. She was a talented potter, and her sense of humor imbued the flying pigs and other creations she sold at Peninsula Potters in Pacific Grove, California, of which she was a charter member.

Hope married Dr. Russell Williams, and during their long life together they hosted friends, family, artists, and writers who needed a place to stay in California. She was a charter member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and contributed generously to sustaining Hidden Villa Ranch. In an act of profound generosity, the Duveneck children gave up their considerable land inheritance when their parents passed away and donated it to the nonprofit trust that their parents had established in 1960 to carry on Hidden Villa’s ambitious mission. Eventually, Hidden Villa encompassed 2,500 acres, 900 of which were later donated to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, leaving 1,600 acres under a nonprofit trust to support the environmental and educational retreat in perpetuity.

Hope supported organizations focused on the environment, nonviolence, women’s rights, and social justice. The last of the four siblings, she is survived by her three stepchildren and her beloved dog, Clairie.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2018

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