Florence M. Hays "Kay" Dunaway

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  • "When I met Kay the first time I fell in love with her and..."
    - Eydís Víglundsdóttir
  • "Ég samhryggist ykkur innilega Eydís"
    - Eydís Víglundsdóttir
  • "In my prayers....God Bless."
    - Cathy Dickenson-Gaw
  • "May the powerful words recorded in the Bible at Matthew 5:4..."
  • "Each of you are in my thoughts and prayers."
    - Barbara Jane Dickenson
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Florence Marion "Kay" Hays Dunaway, born September 5, 1929 in Springfield, Mo., passed peacefully into the arms of her Heavenly Father with the enduring love and devotion of her children and family, whether near or far, on February 2, 2017 in Augusta, Ga. The beloved daughter of the late Samuel Marion Hays, and the late Josephine S. Hays Winslow, both of Springfield, Florence's musical and dramatic talents was evident and acknowledged at the young age of four. Educated and trained in the performing arts of classical ballet, modern dance, tap, drama, piano and voice, Florence was a self-motivated young prodigy, continuing her studies through her early adult years. After graduating from Springfield's Central High School in 1947, Florence relocated to the Beverly Hills, California area where she pursued her dreams, taking on the stage name of Kay Hays, performing in variety shows and other stage productions of the era. Early in 1951, she returned to Springfield, retaining her stage name of "Kay," as it had become a part of who she would be for the rest of her life. Soon after, she would marry Robert H. Dunaway, her husband of 61 years, who predeceased her in death on May 14, 2013. Throughout her marriage, Kay's dedication and devotion to her husband and their six children were her crown jewels, lovingly and tirelessly making a beautiful home and life for her family; as disciplined in her routines and her work of raising a family as she had demonstrated during her years of training as a young child. As the spiritual leader of the family, she instilled in her children to have faith in a loving God, His son Jesus Christ, and to believe in the power of His word and the Holy Spirit. Kay possessed an abundantly warm, loving, and nurturing personality with a large dose of a "Lucille Ball" kind of humor and antics. She selflessly put the needs of her children and husband before her own while offering a supporting role to her husband's business developments. In 1973, the mid-life chapter of her life, Kay was the motivational energy and creative mind for a business venture that put her in partnership with her husband. With her musical and performance background, contacts and expertise, she became the leading lady of the show when they founded the first of what would become a private enterprise of multiple stores, known as Colonial Keyboards, representing Yamaha, Steinway and other top lines in the industry. Store locations included Springfield, Mountain Home and Harrison, Ar. These stores were Kay's love and dream come true. She loved teaching children and adults alike, which had always been part of her vision for the stores. With her gracious talents and magnetic personality, Kay shared her natural gifts with others and touched many during the seminal years of Colonial Keyboards. In 1985, Kay and Robert moved to Augusta for semi-retirement, looking forward to a warmer climate, grandchildren and golf. Kay was dedicated to her many grandchildren, enjoying her second chapter of mentoring the next generation. Her passion for music, flowers, and gardening continued until her final years, as Kay's homes and gardens were always adorned in nature's beautiful colors and there was always one of her favorite tunes to be played and/or sung. Kay is survived by all six of her children: Amy Immel (Jeffery) of Alpharetta, Ga., Robert D. Dunaway (Marcy) of Dallas, Tx., Susan Thielke (Frederick) of Augusta, Kevin H. Dunaway (Denise) of Springfield, Polly Cockrell (Alan) of New York, Ny., and Cara Ringen (Deron) of Acworth, Ga. Also surviving her are 13 grandchildren: Sean Dunaway, Neely Kate Dunaway, Edvin Dunaway, Rebecca Thielke Manton (John), Catherine Thielke Groupe (John), Abigail Thielke Sherard (Alex), Callie Dunaway, Kenzie Dunaway, Rianne Mullins, Mary Blake Mullins, Emma Mullins, Evan Brown and Grayson Brown. She is survived by five-great-grandchildren. Preceding her in death are three sisters: Katherine "Kitty" H. Winslow, Julia "Judy" H. Goodman and Joan "Jody" H. Maranto; and her revered stepfather, Dale T. Winslow, Sr., all of Springfield. Visitation is scheduled for Friday, March 10, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Greenlawn South, Springfield. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 1:30 p.m., in the chapel at Greenlawn South with burial to follow at Maple Park Cemetery, Springfield. The children of Kay Dunaway wish to express our most sincere gratitude to the administration and staff of Stevens Park Health and Rehabilitation, and Gentiva Hospice, Augusta, for the excellent long-term care and loving support given to our mother and family during her tenure in skilled nursing. You became her extended family whom she loved and enjoyed. Thank you for loving her and seeing her for who she truly was in spite of the challenges of her health condition. Her final years were better because of each of you. Thank you. For memorials in remembrance of Kay's spiritual faith and enduring love of children visit: www.billygraham.org or "Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks" www.bigbro.com.
Funeral Home
Greenlawn Funeral Home South - Springfield
441 West Battlefield
Springfield, MO 65807
417-881-3000
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Published in The Augusta Chronicle on Mar. 5, 2017