- Houfek Home
- Houfek Sisters
by Kirk Rattenne
This untitled watercolor of a lighthouse was painted in 1949 by Paul Houfek, the eldest child of Wencil and Nora Houfek. Paul, who was living in Denver at the time, painted the picture as a wedding gift for his sister Jayne.
When asked about the location of the lighthouse Paul wrote "I'm sure there was no lighthouse in that city (Denver)." He further explained that he used art books and magazines for subject matter. Perhaps he got his inspiration from his time living in Michigan. Paul added that he felt this painting was one of his best.
Jayne Houfek married Donald Rattenne on October 16, 1948 and recieved the painting from Paul sometime in 1949. From that point on it had been a fixture in Rattenne households in San Francisco, Mill Valley, Santa Clara and two homes in San Jose. You can often see the painting in the background of many old Rattenne family photos. In later years the painting had migrated to the upstairs hall of the Todd Way house, but was still held in high regard.
October of 1998 marked Jayne and Don's 50th wedding anniversary, and Jayne passed the painting on to her youngest son Kirk, ensuring that "Uncle Paul's Lighthouse" will continue to hang prominently in a Rattenne household for many years to come.