Kat DeDontney was born Kathleen Alison Potter on July 3, 1960, three minutes before midnight in San Francisco, California. The doctor suggested to her mother that if she wanted an ‘Independence Day’ baby they could wait out the three minutes. Her mother decided that she should have her own birthday rather than share it with an entire country. Rather than an ‘Independence Day’ baby, she ended up with a ‘very independent baby’. That independence followed her into adulthood.

Kat lived in Redwood Estates until she was two years old, then the family bought a farm in Scotts Valley, where she grew up. Scotts Valley was a horse town back then, and her childhood was spent taking her horse to all the equestrian events Scotts Valley used to host, and riding on trails all over the Santa Cruz mountains. She attended Scotts Valley School through 8th grade, then Soquel High. She attended Cabrillo College where she earned an associates degree, and San Jose State, where she studied Graphic Arts. She later earned certification as a Master Gardener and also became an accomplished Beekeeper.

Kat had an adventurous spirit, and moved from Santa Cruz to Jackson Hole Wyoming where she spent many happy years working in the restaurant, wine, ski and clothing industry. She was an accomplished seamstress and made high end sports clothes for Jackson Hole’s outdoor adventurer population. She also made and sold her jewelry there. Tragedy struck when her fiancé was killed in an ice climbing accident. She was of course devastated, and came home for a while, but soon longed to be back in Jackson Hole. After a time she met her fiancé Vincent Bonet who was in Jackson on a ski patrol exchange program from France. He spoke about as much English as she did French but they hit it off. They were together many years, and she moved to France with him and became fairly fluent in French, although the locals said she had an American accent. After she and Vincent parted ways as friends, she moved back to Santa Cruz. There she met her future husband Jay while waitressing at Auntie Mames.

Kat and Jay eventually moved to Prunedale, California where they bought a small farm. Kat continued to be a ‘jackie of all trades’ and worked in administrative jobs, waitressing and nurseries, all the while making and selling jewelry and clothing on the side.

She tended her garden and critters at home, and every Christmas friends and family could expect handmade honey from her bees, jams and preserves from her garden, and handmade clothing from some unique fabric she had found that reminded her of someone.

Kat was happiest in her garden, or riding on the back of Jay’s Harley in their group rides all over the back roads of California and beyond. She also loved back country hiking and camping, skiing, windsurfing and kayaking.

She loved all animals. She always had cats, usually had dogs, and also had exotic birds, horses, goats, chickens, ducks and more. She was always rescuing a new addition to the family.

After she and Jay parted ways, she moved to the Sierra foothills. She had a special love for the mountains.

Kat was a talented, creative, strong willed, loyal and unique person, who loved her family, friends and pets beyond measure.

She left this earth on January 22, 2023. She was preceded in death by her father Arthur Hamilton Potter. She is survived by her former husband Jay DeDontney, her mother Velma Potter, brothers Chris Potter, Jere Potter (Vickie), sister Abby Tromblee (Tom) and many cousins and nieces and nephews.

Her family is planning a celebration of life sometime in the spring. Check Kat’s facebook page for more information.

Take a walk in the woods, a paddle on the lake or a run down a snowy mountainside and think of Kat. If you would like to make a donation in her memory, she loved the mission of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (https://bestfriends.org/sanctuary)

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.



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