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Kathryn Elder (KAY) Wall


08/20/1920 - 03/11/2015 Obituary
Kathryn Elder (KAY) Wall Obituary
On March 11, 2015, Kay passed away in her home with her beloved cat by her side. She had been a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother; a woman who gave herself selflessly to her family, friends, and community.
Kay was born in Oakland, California on August 20, 1920. She was the only child of Neil and Kathryn Elder. She grew up in Alameda where her father was a postman. While growing up she was nicknamed "Buddy". She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in Physical Education. While attending Cal Berkeley, she worked at the California School for the Blind and then transferred to work at the School for the Deaf where she met Vernon Townsend Wall. They were married May 9, 1942, just prior to Vernon being shipped overseas during WW II. After Vernon returned from the Pacific Theater he was stationed at Alameda Naval Air Station where their first child was born. He then asked for a transfer to Philadelphia Naval Hospital for duty in the Aural Rehabilitation Program.
Upon Vernon's discharge from the Navy, Kay and Vernon returned to California and settled in Bakersfield. Vernon started his own business, Wall's Hearing Aid Center.
Kay joined the Bakersfield Police Department Reserves in 1952, with the distinction of being the first female police reserve officer in Bakersfield. She served in the Reserves for over 40 years. She was an expert marksman and knew how to handle a night stick.
Kay took a teaching position at Garces Memorial High School in September 1953. She taught various subjects: Sewing, Health Ed., Drivers Ed., and eventually she taught women's PE. Kay also worked with the Bakersfield City Recreation Department teaching gymnastics. She was instrumental in promoting USGF gymnastics in Bakersfield in the 1960's.
In 1976, after 23 years of teaching at Garces, Kay started her second full-time career working at the Bakersfield Police Department as a Community Service Technician. In 2000, Kay retired from the BPD at the age of 80 with citations for her service to Bakersfield. She was known by many officers as "mom" and later as "grandma". She loved all her "boys in blue".
After a month of retirement, Kay volunteered at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. She served wherever she was needed until she suffered a stroke that limited her speech and mobility.
She is preceded in death by her husband Vernon in December 2007. She is survived by her 5 children and their spouses: Kenneth V. and Cherie Wall of Bakersfield, Helen K. Jackson of Bakersfield, Margaret M. Wall and husband Eric A. Jacobsen of Port Orford, Oregon, Susan A. Hootman-Gueldner and husband F. Ed Gueldner of Bakersfield, and John F. and Susie Hogue-Wall of Lake Isabella. She has 17 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.
We all love you mom and will miss you greatly!
Memorial services will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery on March 20, 2015 at 10:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Bakersfield Police Benefit Association.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Mar. 17, 2015
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