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The Rose of Love
Valentine's Day Vignettes From Campus

By Julia Sommer, Public Affairs
Posted February 10, 1999

Photo: Cathy McIntosh and Jan Pardoe

Cathy McIntosh, left, and Jan Pardoe "jump the broom" at their 1996 Tilden Park wedding ceremony.

That splendid thing, love, sometimes blossoms in the least expected places. Here's how it happened for two campus couples.

Not Your Garden-Variety Wedding

Programmer/analysts Cathy McIntosh and Jan Pardoe met in 1990 at a lunch meeting of LeGaSEE -- the Berkeley lesbian/gay staff organization that McIntosh co-founded in 1989, now called Let's Gab.

It was not love at first sight. "We're very different," says McIntosh. "When a friend tried to play match-maker, Jan said I was too intense and I said she was too young."

About a year later, though, they realized they were falling in love.

In 1994 they bought a house together -- "got mortgaged," as they put it -- and in 1996 they registered with the City of Berkeley as domestic partners. The two were married in Tilden Park on Sept. 7, 1996 in a ceremony attended by many Berkeley staff members. It culminated in a ride on Tilden's miniature steam train.

"The fact that the government doesn't recognize our marriage doesn't make it any less real for us," they say. "Our wedding was a very big deal."

For their honeymoon the pair spent four weeks in Europe, including one week on the Greek island of Lesbos and another in Scotland, where Pardoe had studied Scottish history.

McIntosh graduated from Berkeley in 1977 with a BA in social welfare. She joined Berkeley's staff in 1987 and is currently interning with Physical Plant-Campus Services.

Pardoe graduated from Oberlin in 1988 with a BA in history and received her MLIS from Berkeley in 1989. She has been a programmer/analyst with the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science since 1992.

It All Started with a Radiator

Leslie and Kenneth Nelson met at the Institute of Industrial Relations 10 years ago.

Leslie was the receptionist there; Kenneth, a stationary engineer, had been summoned to fix a malfunctioning radiator.

Offering him some Valentine's Day cake, Leslie confessed she was breaking up with her boyfriend. Losing no time, Kenneth asked her out for lunch the next day.

They found they had much in common, including a love of fishing, camping and the outdoors. Leslie also got along well with Kenneth's three children from a previous marriage.

On May 26, 1990 they tied the knot in Fairfield. Their honeymoon in Southern California and Mexico included visits to Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo and an Angels game.

The Nelsons commute together from Pittsburgh and have lunch together whenever possible. "We just enjoy being with each other," says Leslie. Their children are 18, 16 and 12.

Leslie is now a fiscal assistant at IIR and Kenneth has been at his campus job for over 18 years. "It's never boring," he says. "I get to meet new people every day and there's an interesting variety of jobs."


February 10 - 16, 1999 (Volume 27, Number 22)
Copyright 1999, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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