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R. Kay Holmstead


1933 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
R. Kay Holmstead Obituary
Sept. 4, 1933 ~ Jan. 29, 2014
R. Kay Holmstead passed away on January 29, 2014 at the age of 80. He was at peace and ready to leave this life, but his family will surely miss him.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Melly (Mary Louise Gillison), who rarely left his side during the last four difficult months of his life. He is also survived by their five children (Jeff Holmstead, Diane Benson, Julie Miller, Laura Stanworth, and Janice Johnson); two brothers (Hal and Craig Holmstead); a sister (Jayne Nelson); and 20 grandchildren, of whom he was very proud.
He was born in Lehi, Utah on September 4, 1933 to Rex Holmstead and Laura Gean Evans. Kay was the first person in his family to attend college, supporting himself by shearing sheep, finishing cement, and managing a farm until he graduated from BYU at the top of his class. He interrupted his university studies to serve for three years in the newly created Central American Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For the rest of his life, he looked for opportunities to talk with native Spanish-speakers wherever he could find them. As a young missionary, Kay served as the first District President of the Church in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, and then as a Counselor in the Mission Presidency.
He met the love of his life, Melly, when he returned to BYU. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple in 1959 and in 1962 moved to Boulder, Colorado, where they spent most of the last 51 years. He was a successful and respected businessman and real estate broker and investor, but family and church were always his top priorities. He attended an untold number of his kids' sporting events and concerts and was always a favorite of his children's friends. He fulfilled many Church callings, including Bishop of the Boulder First Ward and the University of Colorado Student Ward, Mission President of the Costa Rica/Panama Mission, Stake Patriarch, and Sealer in the Denver Temple. Everyone around him admired his work ethic and self-reliance. He was very handy and could fix and build most anything. After he retired, his hobby was building furniture. Kay was a sports fan and his children have many fond memories of watching football and basketball games with him. He was known for his wisdom, integrity, practicality, intelligence and good humor. To the end of his life, family, friends, and neighbors constantly turned to him for advice on a wide variety of subjects and projects.
The funeral service will be held in Boulder, Colorado, Saturday, February 1st.
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Published in Deseret News from Feb. 1 to Feb. 2, 2014
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