Kathryn M. "Kay" (Robish) Topliff joined her loving husband in heaven Wednesday, April 23, 2014, after an extended illness. Born in 1927 in Baltic, Conn., she made family and friends a priority in everything she did from gardening, cooking, sewing and church activities.
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Kay was predeceased by Hubert, her husband of 63 years, in 2013. She is survived by her three children, Kristine of Auburn, Ross and his wife, Carolyn, of Newburgh, N.Y., and Alan of Pembroke. Grandchildren include Angela Reagan and her husband, Emanuel; Benjamin; and Kathryn Kreider and her husband, Ash. Family also includes four great-grandchildren; Jill, a former granddaughter-in-law; and former daughter-in-laws Brenda and Peggy. She was predeceased by her sister Ruth Rosiene.
Kay loved to brighten her world, planting flowers, vegetables and shrubs wherever she lived. Her smile and joy of living were infectious to all who met her. When not working outdoors, she enjoyed sewing clothes and cooking for family and friends, and supporting many church projects.
Following high school at Norwich Free Academy, she attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, then transferred to Eastern Connecticut State Teacher's College, earning her bachelor's degree in 1947. In 1973, she earned her teaching master's degree from the University of New Hampshire. She taught in Connecticut from 1950 to 1953, then became a stay-at-home mom. In the fall of 1959, she and Hu moved to New Hampshire when he began serving the Congregational Church in Pembroke.
Kay enjoyed teaching at Pembroke Elementary School for 23 years before joining her husband in retirement while living in Auburn. They enjoyed travelling to Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Visiting hours will be held at the Petit Funeral Home at 167 Main St., Pembroke, on Friday, May 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the Longmeadow Congregational Church at 4 Wilson's Crossing Road, Auburn, on Saturday, May 10, at 11 a.m., followed by a time of fellowship and a brief committal service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Longmeadow Church or the Alzheimer's Society. Friends are encouraged to visit the Petit Funeral Home website at petitfuneralhome.com, where memories of Kay can be posted.
Petit Funeral Home
167 Main Street Pembroke, NH 03275
Published in The Concord Monitor on May 5, 2014