Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kay Keyes Millhon

Kay Keyes Millhon born July 2, 1938, died peacefully at Enso House on Monday January 30, with her husband Jerry Millhon and friend Dana Kelly at her side.

Kay was born in the small town of Page, North Dakota, near Fargo, where she spent her childhood. She and her husband Jerry moved to Whidbey Island in 1994 after a brief stay in Kirkland, preceded by many years in Toledo, Ohio. Kay worked as a Development Officer at Maumee Valley Country Day School, as an assistant at the Cleveland Foundation, and as assistant to the President of Bowling Green State University before moving with Jerry to the Northwest. 
Her ultimate work of love, however, was as a team member at the Whidbey Institute where she was rightly credited for far more than she really believed she did in the early years of the Institute. What made that experience so special were the community relationships she built over the years, both at the Institute and with so many wonderful people on Whidbey Island. She joined the staff in 1996 and resigned in November of 2004, gleefully joining her husband whose work took him to San Francisco, a city where she had spent many years after leaving Fargo.

Kay and her husband loved each other deeply, she loved reading, she loved her brother Jerry, she loved crosswords, she loved her grandchildren and her immediate family and she always had a suitcase at the ready for travel. Her gracious warmth and remarkable care for others, her deep understanding of many things not easily seen, her calmness in any given situation and her deep laugh will be missed.

She leaves her brother and sister-in-law Jerry and Gayle Keyes from Orange, California, her sisters-in-law Alice Millhon, Owaneco, Il, Marti Mather Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, and Betsy Calder from Ocala, Florida. She leaves four grandchildren through Jerry's former marriage, two of whom she was fortunate to come to know and love unconditionally, Harper Prud'homme and Margot Prud'homme granddaughters of Jerry's daughter Elizabeth Polk and her husband Sam Prud'homme from Seattle, WA. Her other grandchildren, who she dearly loved, Lucy and Henry Millhon from Waccabuc, New York, are children of Jerry's son Drew Millhon and his wife Kim.

A celebration of Kay's life was held at the Thomas Berry Hall at the Whidbey Institute on February 26, 2012. Kay suggested that in lieu of flowers to send support to either the Whidbey Institute Box 57 Clinton, WA; to Enso House, 6339 Wahl Road, Freeland, WA 98249; to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, or to a charity of your choice.