Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Woman That Got Me Started: Kay Francis Perkins

Kay Francis Perkins died after a long illness on January 24th, 2018 in Orlando, Fl, at the age of 80 in her home of 51 years.

Kay lived a long, adventurous life and was the proud head of a large extended family. The grace with which she carried herself through her days, was something admired by all. She was always more interested in the other person and left everyone wishing they could be more like her.

She left home at an early age to be an Air Force wife, not knowing that the title of homemaker was a moniker that ill-described the life she would end up living. She raised four children with her husband, while traveling the United States, often moving every six months. That turned into seven years of raising the children on her own while her husband was held as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. During that time, she went from wife and mother, to activist, to the point of speaking before the National League of Families and traveling to the Paris Peace Talks in 1969.

In 1973, she was re-joined by her husband, Glendon, and they spent the rest of her life together, traveling the world, this time for fun. During this period, she entertained and was entertained, to the point of dining with the President of the United States. She loved Europe and the Smoky Mountains, and she preferred to travel in style, enjoying quiet times with a good book, a cup of tea, and her dogs.

After her children grew up, she attended college at UCF and then went on to teach at the local Naval Training base, helping young aspiring submariners overcome the stress of Naval School.

In mid-life, she had a battle with Breast Cancer and that fight turned her into an elder athlete. Her passion became Water Aerobics and we all watched in amazement as she got an even brighter sparkle in her eye as she got stronger and stronger over the years.

Her family grew over the years and was filled with grandchildren and great grandchildren. All of them wishing for just a little more time with Granny.

Then, Parkinson’s came, an illness Kay knew well. Her father had died from it before she was 22 years old. She stayed tough, going to events, joining dance groups, becoming an expert on the disease, and preparing her family for her eventual passing.

Kay somehow maintained an elegance and grace that seemed more befitting royalty.

She is survived by her husband; Glendon, children: Ed (Pam), Paul (Dawn), Cindy (Jeff) and Steve (Lori), 12 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and her brother; Floyd Kinney.

Her greatest wish was to be remembered as someone that loved their family more than anything else in the world. She kept a daily journal until she could no longer write. Her last entry was "Be brave, have courage, and love life".

1 comment:

  1. If I had to choose just one person as a role model in my life, it would be my beautiful-inside-and-out Aunt Kay. Lovely eulogy, Ed. Thank you.