David Kayfes

Photo by Paul Neevel.

Shortly after graduating from University of California, Berkeley in 1963 with a bachelor’s in journalism, Bay Area native David Kayfes joined the Army National Guard. He had the good fortune to be stationed for two years in Italy, where he met Anneke, a young woman from Holland. “I got out in October of ’66,” he says, “and got married in December.” Back in the U.S., he worked for the Associated Press in Salt Lake City, then found a job back at Cal, in the Sports Information Department. “I worked 12-hour days a lot,” says Kayfes, who eventually tired of the PR spin expected in the sports info realm, and moved to Eugene in 1974 to work as a sports reporter for The Register-Guard. “Honest journalism appealed to me.” After 25 years with the R-G, mostly covering local high-school sports, he retired a few years early in 1999. “That’s when I started my volunteer work,” he says. Inspired by hospice volunteers who had cared for his parents, he delivered meds to patients for five years, until FedEx was given that task. Since taking a Master Gardener course in 2001, he has taught composting for the Lane Extension Service. “There’s something about compost, taking rot and waste, turning it into good soil,” he says. “Something about new life, resurrection.” Following a composting class at Sponsors, Inc., Kayfes has mentored five young men, newly out of prison. Family pooch Abby appears with him in the photo.