Kaye Warren ’41

During his years at Oakland Tech, Kaye Warren took every art class offered, created amusing cartoons for Scribe News and the Scribe Annual, and drew posters and signs for various school events. His senior year, he was elected assistant vice president of the boys’ class, with the distinction of being the first Asian American to hold a class office. Warren stayed on at Tech after graduation to take more art classes hoping to receive a scholarship to an arts college.

Kaye Warren’s cartoon in The Scribe, 1939

However, the war interrupted those plans and he enlisted in the U.S. Maritime services. He spent most of his 3-year term creating charts and graphs for naval operations, many of which are now displayed at the San Francisco Maritime Museum. After the war, he had a lifelong career in sand carving and commercial art, owning and operating Pioneer Carved Glass & Sign Company in San Francisco from 1949 to 1999. His works are displayed in hotels, restaurants, and offices throughout the Bay Area and in hundreds of private collections. He was referred to as the “Maestro” and the “Guru” of sand carving by protégées and colleagues. Warren was truly a Renaissance man, an avid reader and letter writer, a singer and dancer, a raconteur. He died in 2009.

Kaye’s partner of 23 years, Kay Sylvia, wrote this about him: “Kaye was an exceptional human being. He was in the company of many successful, great men, but never exploited his own merits. Kaye’s childhood was difficult and school was his salvation, a place where he could excel in his love of learning, art, and people. He reminisced often about the joy of being at Tech High and the friends that he made there. Tech High should be very proud of Kaye Warren.