Native San Franciscans Ken Hoegger and Kathy Conte Hoegger grew up in the Excelsior District and stayed in the City after they were married to raise their family in Westwood Highlands. One of the founders of the Friends of Mount Davidson Conservancy, Ken is an active civic leader, initiating or participating in a number of historic and park preservation efforts. Ken could see Mount Davidson from his home on Prague Street and decided at age 7 to take the Monterey bus with his young neighbor to go see it firsthand. His friend’s dad watched over them with his telescope as they enjoyed their adventure hiking up to the City’s highest point. (Courtesy Ken and Kathy Hoegger, www.kenhoegger.com.)
Young Ken Hoegger celebrating his birthday in the backyard of his Prague Street home with his parents in 1947. McClaren Park in the background when cows still roamed the area and hung their heads over their back yard fence.
Kathryn and Joseph Hoegger in front of the home they purchased on Prague Street in 1943. Ken’s parents met in San Francisco while Joseph was working as butler and gardener for The Spreckels and Gellert estates in Menlo Park and Atherton. His father was born in Switzerland and came to California in 1921 to join his brother at the age 21 working as farm hands and for a cheesemaker. His mother’s parents were also Swiss. Kathryn was born on their dairy farm in Minnesota and came to San Francisco in 1941 to visit friends. Joseph was with the friends when they met her at the train station and it was love at first sight.
Baby Kathy Conte with her mother, Josephine, Aunt Yolanda Conte, and sister, Ann Marie, in front of their Lamartine Street home in 1947. Kathy’s mother was born in Calabria, Italy, and joined her father in San Francisco when she was 13. Her father, Joe, was born at home in North Beach and grew up there. Joe’s father also came from Calabria to San Francisco in 1905, just before the 1906 Earthquake, and his mother emigrated here from there in 1908. Joe and Josephine married in 1938 and lived in North Beach until they were able to buy a new tract home in Cayuga Terrace in 1940. Joe was a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service and delivered mail to the homes in Bernal Heights during World War II. Many Italians lived there then and he would read the letters to them from their sons fighting in the war.
Kathy’s first communion in 1951. In 1957, the State of California bought their house to make way for the building of the 280 Freeway.
Kathy riding the ferry to a Bemis Bag Company employee picnic in Tiburon with her grandfather, Giuseppe Rinaldi, mother, and sister in 1951. Giuseppe was a master shoemaker in Italy and worked with his son in a shoe repair business on Polk Street. Kathy’s mother, Josephine, worked in the bag company making flour, feed, and mesh bags on Sansome Street.
Three generations gathered at the Hoegger home in Westwood Highlands celebrating Eric Hoegger’s third birthday in 1977: grandparents: Joe and Josephine Conte, Kathryn and Joseph Hoegger, with proud father, Ken.