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Patricia C. Kearns

Patricia C. Kearns ("Pat") was born August 24, 1943, and left us on May 31, 2019. She was a key figure in the development and organization of the Cloud Hands West, the Tai Chi family of teacher Mr. Hubert H. Lui in the San Francisco Bay area, from its inception in the late 1960s.


Pat was the keeper of li, the Chinese word for propriety, in the group, and became the go-to consultant on all things concerning the parties, retreats, and important business of the Tai Chi family. Like the ancients in classical history, Pat was the earliest and therefore both one of the youngest and one of the oldest of us Tai Chi practitioners. She was a Canadian, bred in the bone, having graduated from Our Lady of Perpetual Help High School and, in 1966, the Registered Nurse program of St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, B.C.


Her role as a nurse in San Francisco was manifold in several hospitals there: St. Mary's, Mt. Zion where she was a union representative for her group, University of California San Francisco Breast Care Center through 2014. In 2004, in the course of her work at the UCSF Medical Center, Pat was presented The DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nurses, honoring nurses internationally in memory of J. Patrick Barnes and created to express the gratitude for extraordinary nursing by his family.


The acknowledgment of Pat's nurturing of the people to whom her compassion and high energy drew her is continued here in the Tai Chi family's use of her family name for our publishing company, Kearns, Howard & Walker.

KHW | Photo Patricia C. Kearns, Founder

 Patricia (Pat) C. Kearns

禮 Lǐ (propriety)

Maria Teresa Aguilar Howard

Maria was born in 1929 in Richmond, CA to Gustave Aguilar and Guadalupe Aguilar Rivera and died on December 13, 2019. At 15, she spent a year with her family in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and attended Colegio Guadalajara Del Sagrado Corazon. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1950, where she majored in Spanish, edited the yearbook, and was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. In those days, Cal played in the Rose Bowl, and she attended the 1949 and 1950 games with a handsome Air Force Captain (ret.) and ex-POW Harry F. Howard. She married Air Force Captain (ret.) and ex-POW Harry F. Howard in 1950; they had six children and lived in Marin County.


Maria encompassed the spiritual and the spirited in many roles: as a translator and aide at Wade Thomas School; in postgrad studies at the Graduate Theological Union, San Francisco Theological Seminary; at Dominican College where she earned an M.S. in 1985; and, at age 60, Maria dedicated her myriad people skills to a counseling career until she retired from that at age 85.


Her 30-year presence in the Tai Chi group left an indelible mark on how we experienced our practice and, in truth, how we came to see ourselves. What Maria gave us has provided the great strength of our collective self-confidence for moving forward with Kearns, Howard & Walker, and Maria's married name, manifesting her great lifelong love for Harry, in the supportive middle of the company name is no accident.

KHW | Photo Maria Teresa Aguilar Howard, Founder

Maria Teresa Aguilar Howard

顧問 Gùwèn (counselor)

Charlee Walker

Charles S. Walker, known to us all as Charlee, passed away peacefully on December 30th, 2019. He was a wonderful, generous, and loving man and father and a dedicated member of our Tai Chi family. He had a unique perspective on life, a unique sense of humor, and a zest for adventure. He was steady and loving and enjoyed the camaraderie of the group with a quiet admiration for us all that he was often philosophically disposed to share.


At the annual Tai Chi retreats in Oregon and California, he rested with us from his busy life while he, no doubt unwittingly, fortified each of us in our own resting while on retreat. He was generous in his praise and shared his affection as rapidly and earnestly as he shared his keen humor and wry sense of the ironies of life. He was private about his professional life as an engineer, but through his work with one of Oregon's huge electrical companies, he actually knew a vast amount about the electricity grid throughout the State.


His profound humility was eclipsed only by his indomitable spirit, which we witnessed in his dedication to Tai Chi despite the severe physical challenges visited on him by a grievous auto accident later in his life. He remains an inspiration and our memory of his furthering love underpins all we are attempting in the development of Kearns, Howard & Walker.

KHW | Photo Charlee Walker, Founder

Charlee Walker

不屈不撓 Bùqūbùnáo (indomitable)

In loving memory

(in alphabetical order)

Patricia Annette Hayford Coen • Kamala Friedman • Daniel “Web” Webster Kirksey • Emerald Lee • Shizu ("Sue") and Nate Lofton • Hubert H. and Elsie Lui • Shirley Rise • Doug Wilson • Benjamin • Earle Woods

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