Ken Edlin loved life. In every photo his smile is wide.

January 8, 2018

By: Lynn Lohr

He loved his wife, Janine, a mademoiselle he met by chance on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Ken and his cousin offered a young French woman and her friend a ride home one sunlit afternoon. Things clicked in the right way and a courtship ensued. In a blink, sixty years of marriage spooled by. As a charming parallel, Ken’s cousin married Janine’s friend!

Pictures of summer vacation afternoons in the French countryside, family gathered around bounty-filled tables, talking animatedly, sharing food and wine, show how much Ken loved life with Janine, her family, and his.

Kenneth M. Edlin also loved the law. After formative stints at Stanford and in the Air Force he was admitted to the California State Bar in 1950. He practiced with enthusiasm for forty years.

Ken gardened with verve, sharing fruits and vegetables with lucky neighbors. He and Janine traveled widely. The photos catch them pausing on castle steps, on bridges. Each time, they turn with a grin and an embrace as the moment is captured.




Ken became famous for his sense of humor and fun, his love of family and fairness.

And then he marked the close of a very good life by giving back.

Janine died in 2015 and Ken followed her a year later, leaving sizable bequests to the San Rafael Public Library, the Legal Aid Society, and United Way Bay Area.

There’s a pattern in these generous gifts. All three of them demonstrate a desire to help as many people as possible by donating to anchor organizations that provide assistance, support, and enrichment to thousands of people.



Each of us considers the legacy we will leave. Including United Way Bay Area in your will is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to return the blessing of a life well lived. The language is simple. You’ll see it in the box below. Alternatively, you can contact Lisa Simons at or (408) 345-4314 for more specific information about making a gift from your estate.

Ken and Janine would be very happy to know that others took the same road they did. Janine might quote a proverb in thanks, “Plaisir partagé, plaisir doublé,” and Ken, smiling in agreement, would translate, “Joy shared, joy doubled.”



Sample Bequest Language
I hereby give, devise and bequeath (a specific dollar amount, a specific item, or a percentage of your estate) to United Way Bay Area, a non-profit organization located at 550 Kearny Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA, 9418, Federal Tax ID 94-1312348, to further the mission of the organization in its service of San Francisco Bay Area individuals, families, and communities.


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