Kay Ann Hermanowicz
Palm Bay, FL
Kay Ann Hermanowicz, a resident of Palm Bay, FL, has died. She was 51. Kay was born September 27, 1962, in Bloomington, IL, where she spent most of her childhood until moving with her family to State College, PA in 1975. She was a 1980 graduate of State College Senior High School, State College, PA. She earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Penn State University in 1985.
Kay had an abiding love for the natural world. She liked to climb trees and hike in the mountains. She could track the night sky as well as the flight of birds, and she was able to name the species of a spider from the patterns she saw in its web. When she spoke of what she knew about the stars, plants, insects, and birds, she did so without any hint of self-consciousness, focused as she was on the wonder of what she saw and not on her own knowledge. This kind of intellectual generosity — the ability to show the marvelous to others without taking credit for it — made Kay a wonderful teacher of young children. She spent many years teaching early education in Pennsylvania and Florida. Kay was also a loving aunt who had a natural ability to listen and speak to the young with the earnestness and respect they deserve while also sharing her affection and humor.
Kay possessed a gentle soul. She was fun-loving and found happiness bringing laughter to others with her wit and unique sense of humor. At her core, Kay was an independent person whose gift to the world was abundant loyalty, affection, and positive encouragement to those whom she loved. Kay always dreamed of creating her own, distinctly original life path and she was never particularly interested in the world's expectations about what a woman should be or do. She was instead true to what she believed, and what she believed in was love, fairness, justice, and kindness. She found beauty and solace where many others fail to look.
Reluctance to let Kay go is tempered by the knowledge that she now rests where she always felt most at home. She has returned to nature.
Kay is survived by her father, Henry J. Hermanowicz of State College, PA; a sister, Carol, of Indialantic, FL; her brothers, Ken, of Lake Forest, IL, Neal, of Irvine, CA, Glenn, of Concord, NH, Bruce, of St. Marys, PA, and Joe, of Athens, GA; and seven nieces and nephews.
Her mother, Helen Hermanowicz, died in 2006.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at the Captain's House at Goode Park, 1300 Bianca Dr., Palm Bay, FL. A private memorial will be held in State College, PA.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY on May 3, 2014